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The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week

4. Sinclair, the Moment I Met You, I Swear

Will Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI) have an effect on the presidential election? Or will the presidential election have an effect on Sinclair?

Sinclair, you may recall, is the TV station operator that has told its stations to run an anti-Kerry documentary, uninterrupted, in prime time on its 62 TV stations next week.

Actually, we're not sure what Sinclair will be running, although we suspect it will not be too complimentary toward presidential candidate John Kerry. What Sinclair says on its Web site is that its "upcoming special news event" will feature "the topic of Americans held as prisoners of war in Vietnam."

What we do know is that Sinclair's desire to inform the public -- or what critics call an illegal, disguised political contribution to President Bush -- could have some unintended economic consequences. Maybe.

Some of Sinclair's critics on the left are trying to hit the company where it hurts: The wallet. The Web site www.boycottsbg.com, for example, is compiling listings of Sinclair's local and national advertisers; the idea is to pressure these companies, with the threat of an advertiser boycott, to pressure Sinclair into pulling the documentary. Another site, StopSinclair.org, has also sprung up.

Whether the pressure is working, or will work, is unknown. No one picked up the phone at Sinclair when we called Thursday. One national Sinclair advertiser, United Online (UNTD), had no comment. Previous boycotts of media and entertainment companies, on various complaints, don't seem to have had injurious effect.

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