Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Sinclair Broadcast Group Weaponizing News Anchors For Trump's Ongoing Battle With Reality

Sinclair is making TV anchors read a script about fake news—here's what a supercut of it looks like Watch our IRL dystopia in real time with these Sinclair local news broadcasts
Rosie Leonard | 07 April, 2018, 00:54

The conservative-leaning Sinclair Broadcasting Group is requiring anchors to read verbatim a script praising the "quality, balanced journalism" of local stations, while bemoaning the "sharing of biased and false news" by national media, according to CNN.

The controversial promo has run on Sinclair stations across the country and includes Trump-sounding bits such as "national media outlets are publishing these same fake stories without checking facts first". "This is extremely unsafe to our democracy", the message read. But it's not just that one anchor; it is dozens across the country, all working for Sinclair Broadcast Group, all literally reading off the same script.

It was the latest show of the vast reach of a company that owns local TV stations across the country and has always been criticized for pushing conservative coverage and commentary onto local airwaves.

In an early morning tweet, Trump said Sinclair is "far superior" to CNN and "fake NBC".

"Sinclair's employee handbook.states that the company 'may monitor, intercept, and review, without further notice, every employee's activities using company's electronic resources and communications systems, '" the Huffington Post reported.

INSKEEP: Yeah. We don't know that that is the reason why Sinclair would have been so supportive of President Trump by any means, but we do know that they're supporting President Trump, and the president is being supportive of them.

Livingston told The New York Times a year ago that they "work very hard to be objective and fair and be in the middle".

The statements were part of a promotion that stations owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group were required to deliver.

If Pai allows the Sinclair Network to surpass the threshold, the viewing public will receive biased local news and consequently be more prone to developing one-sided opinions.

Boris Epshteyn, a senior advisor to Trump's 2016 campaign, is an analyst for Sinclair whose commentaries run on its stations. The compilation gained traction, even being featured on late night show "Last Week Tonight" by host John Oliver, who also hosted a section about Sinclair in 2017.

"Sinclair's probably the most unsafe company most people have never heard of", said Michael Copps, the chairman of Federal Communications Commission under George W. Bush.

This was a chilling reminder of what happens to local news sources when a large media group has a stranglehold on power and a political agenda.

Naturally, people were not happy with the blatant silencing of the freedom of the press. "I felt like a POW recording a message", one of the anchors told the Reliable Sourceshost. The agreement gave Sinclair greater access to Trump and his campaign in exchange for running interviews without commentary, according to Politico.

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