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Democrats to File Complaint Over Film Critical of Kerry - 2004-10-12

The Democratic National Committee says it will file a complaint with U.S. election officials (the Federal Election Commission) Tuesday over a broadcasting company's plan to air a film critical of Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry.

Party officials Monday called the film, which the Sinclair Broadcast Group has ordered its 62 stations to air next week, an illegal corporate campaign contribution.

The film, titled "Stolen Honor," focuses on Mr. Kerry's 1971 Congressional testimony criticizing the Vietnam War, which he gave after returning from his tour of duty there. The film features former U.S. prisoners-of-war saying Mr. Kerry's comments led their Vietnamese captors to treat them more harshly.

The Kerry campaign has called the film a smear on Mr. Kerry's reputation.

The Sinclair Group defends the planned broadcast as news and says it has invited Senator Kerry to participate in a panel discussion after the film is aired.

The Associated Press reports that 18 Democratic senators have written the U.S. agency that regulates broadcasters (the Federal Communications Commission) to request an investigation of whether the planned broadcast is an improper use of public airwaves.