Sinclair Fires Washington Bureau Chief

CBS News

The program revisits the subject of Sen. John Kerry's actions in Vietnam and as an anti-war activist, and because it is running days before the election, the Democratic Party and 18 Democratic senators filed complaints with federal agencies objecting to the broadcast and demanding equal time.

They weren't the only ones to object, however. Sinclair Broadcast Group's Washington bureau chief, Jon Leiberman, says he's been fired for his public criticism of the company's plans to produce the program.

Leiberman - who had said he was uncomfortable with calling the program "news" instead of "commentary" - said he was fired by Joseph DeFeo, Sinclair's vice president for news, and "escorted out of the building."

"I was told I violated company policy by divulging information from a staff meeting to The (Baltimore) Sun in this morning's edition," Leiberman said late Monday.

"They're using news to drive their political agenda," says Leiberman. "I don't think it served the public trust."

In the interview published Monday, Leiberman, 29, called the planned Sinclair program "biased political propaganda, with clear intentions to sway the election."

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