Media Manipulation In PA

OpEdNews breaks another story I can't seem to find anywhere else on the net. Apparently, viewers in PA last night weren't able to see Ben Barnes' interview on 60 minutes.

The hotly contested battleground state of Pennsylvania settled in last night for their regularly scheduled TV programming. What they were not aware of is that the GOP had decided that there was one show last night they did not want them to see. CBS aired 60 minutes at 8PM, as they always do. Last night the main story was an interview with former Lt. Governor of Texas , Ben Barnes. For those of you who may not be aware, or live in or around Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, Ben Barnes has recently confessed to pulling the strings that got George Bush into the Texas Air National Guard, jumping him ahead of more qualified candidates for the coveted spot that would mean avoiding have to go overseas and fight in the Vietnam War.

At about the time 60 minutes was due to come on the air, A CBS affiliate in Scranton-Wilkes-Barre , Pennsylvania went off the air. The official excuse from a news director was that, “Our transmitter busted.” Miraculously, the “busted transmitter” was working again at 9PM, when you guessed it, 60 Minutes was over. The station was flooded with complaints which were met with derisive response such as “this is not part of a right-wing conspiracy”, “get a life”, and “take it up with CBS if you got a problem”. The station in question, WYOU has also refused to re-broadcast the episode, lending further credibility to the fact that it was pre-arranged. One angry viewer correctly noted that NBC is carried on the same duopoly in that area yet experienced no such problems with their programming.

Here is the kicker though. WYOU is one of several affiliates owned by Nexstar Broadcasting Group, whose chief executive is a Texas millionaire named Perry Sook. Mr. Sook is a contributor to Republican candidates and Republican special interest groups. Now, what are the chances that a “transmitter busted” only during the one hour where someone was going to be very critical of the president, on a network that is run by a chief GOP contributor?

...Pennsylvania was not the only location that experienced problems with the airing of this 60 Minutes episode. Two localities, one in Oklahoma and another in Indianapolis both tried to air the 60 Minutes show after 2 AM, instead of the regularly scheduled time. After many viewer complaints, the affiliates gave showed it in prime time. Another affiliate in Texas did not cave in and aired the show at 1:35 AM. Lastly, some Direct TV subscribers in Illinois said that they were not able to see the show either.

Free speech, eh? This smells a bit fishy. Now, trust me, I realize it's possible that Anthony Wade is making all of this up, but if he is, no one is calling his bluff. OpEdNews is a rather big site, getting their stories posted amongst all the other "newspapers" in google and yahoo's directories, so certainly this isn't going entirely under the radar. Then again, maybe there's a logical explanation for all of this. Maybe they were afraid Barnes' would drop his pants and didn't want to pay the FCC fines? Stay tuned. Hopefully this one will actually develop into something bigger.
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