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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Sinclair's Top Political Reporter Fired

In response to his harsh criticism of Sinclair's anti-Kerry film plans, Sinclair has fired their top political reporter.

Howard Kurtz, WP:

Jon Lieberman, who also was the lead political reporter for the 62-station television chain, told CNN last night that he was terminated for his criticism, which was quoted in yesterday's Baltimore Sun. He spoke out, he said, because "I feel so strongly that our credibility is at issue here. . . . I feel our company is trying to sway this election."


Sinclair Vice President Mark Hyman said in a statement: "Everyone is entitled to their personal opinion, including Jon Lieberman. We are disappointed that Jon's political views caused him to speak to the press about company business." The statement called him a "disgruntled employee."

Lieberman, 29, called that characterization "completely unfair," telling CNN's Paula Zahn that Sinclair had promoted him twice and treated him well until he criticized plans to have the news division handle the upcoming hour-long special at a meeting Sunday.


Lieberman acknowledged that he was violating Sinclair policy by giving an unauthorized interview and revealing part of what happened at a company meeting, but said he felt he had no choice but to speak out. "I knew I had nothing to gain by doing it and everything to lose," he said. "I need to be able to sleep at night."

(I believe the name is Leiberman.)

Update: The CNN transcript is online.