Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: SBGI) issued a statement today praising television commentator Bill Maher’s statements in reference to threats of media – related boycotts.
Maher stated Friday evening that boycotts are “the modern way of cutting off free speech.” He referred to these forms of boycotts as “bullying,” noting “I have been the victim of a boycott. I lost a job once. It is wrong. You shouldn’t do this by team, you should do this by principle.” Maher continued, “I know, we don’t like Ann Coulter’s views. I like her as a person. I’ve never agreed with one thing she ever said.”
“The ongoing effort to damage free speech in this country, and to extort businesses by pursuing advertisers is wrong and fundamentally un-American. The right, left and center should debate in the arena of free speech, and not engage with threats of extortion. While the left-wing and right-wing can both threaten boycotts, ultimately American businesses need to communicate effectively to all audiences. We commend Mr. Maher for his statements, and urge more people on all parts of the political fence to stand up and say the same thing. It is wrong to repress freedom of speech and discourse that does not fit ones’ world view,” said Chris Ripley, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sinclair.
About Sinclair Broadcast Group
Sinclair is one of the largest and most diversified television broadcasting companies in the country. Pro forma for the Tribune acquisition (before any related divestitures), the Company will own, operate and/or provide services to 233 television stations in 108 markets. The Company has multiple emerging networks as well as stations affiliated with all the major networks. Sinclair is a leading local news provider in the country and a producer of live sports content. Sinclair’s content is delivered via multiple-platforms, including over-the-air, multi-channel video program distributors, and digital platforms. The Company regularly uses its website as a key source of Company information which can be accessed at www.sbgi.net.