Or, I wonder where things could have gone so wrong?
By Brad Friedman on 4/30/2004, 2:54pm PT  

As today's mini-flap rages on concerning the tribute to "The Fallen in Iraq" on tonight's Nightline where Ted Koppel will read the names and show the pictures of those killed in combat, it seems our own Deputy Defense Secretary , Paul Wolfowitz, a major architect for the brilliant plan to go to war in Iraq, should perhaps tune in. With a calculator!

According to AP, when asked yesterday how many troops have died in Iraq at a House Sub-committee hearing , Wolfowitz' estimate was some 200 American servicemen short:

"It's approximately 500, of which Ś I can get the exact numbers Ś approximately 350 are combat deaths," he responded.

The actual number, as of Thursday, was 724 total dead with 522 of them killed in combat according to documentation on the Defense Department's own website. As of this morning, twenty-four hours later, the numbers are 732 and 530 respectively according to their website documentation.

In the meantime, despite a highly critical letter to them from War Supporter, Veteran, Prisoner of War and Republican Senator John McCain, the Sinclair Broadcast Group is refusing to carry tonight's Nightline show on their 8 owned ABC affiliate stations across the country.

UPDATED INFO SINCE POSTING THE ABOVE: Despite Sinclair CEO David Smith's claims that they would not run the broadcast because Nightline is "doing nothing more than making a political statement," it's worth noting that Sinclair has so far donated well over $100,000 in hard and soft money to Republican Candidates and $0 to Democrats since 2000.

As well, the Conservative website Newsmax.com reports the following in a January article titled "Sinclair, The Next Fox, 'Fair and Balanced'" about Sinclair's National News program distributed to the stations they own:

As [Sinclair Vice-President Mark] Hyman puts it, "The left's real beef is who controls the microphone. We're not liberal. We're not providing a slanted view. And that's what really angers them."

Sinclair CEO David Smith echoed that sentiment, telling the Washington Post that his aim is to offer a "fair and balanced" news program, something missing on the major network news programs.

"Our objective is to tell the story in the most truthful and honest way possible," he said, adding, "There will be no spin."

As mentioned, tonight's Nightline will do nothing more than read the names and show the pictures of those American's killed in action in Iraq. Perhaps it's the lack of spin that bothers Sinclair.

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