Sinclair could bring its 'fake news' crusade to a Dallas station soon

04 April, 2018, 01:32 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Sinclair Broadcast Group the owner of the largest chain of television stations in the nation

Sinclair wrote promos for its network of local broadcasters. They go on to say that some media persons "use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda", and that "this is extremely risky to our democracy".

President Trump tweeted in support of Sinclair, criticizing other news networks for being "among the most dishonest groups of people I have ever dealt with".

"We're concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country", the script says. "The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media". Some outlets publish these "fake stories" without checking facts first and some people in the media push their own biases, the statement said. "This is extremely risky to our democracy". While almost every Sinclair owned station has opted-out of responding directly, this morning the station in Madison, Wisconsin announced it did not air a recent Sinclair must-read script, saying it "stayed true to our commitment" to viewers. On top of that, it was reported in late 2016 that the Trump campaign struck a deal with Sinclair, offering access in exchange for favorable coverage.

President Trump loved the Sinclair script, which echoes Trump's frequent complaints about the media spreading "fake news" stories.

The spots attracted relatively little controversy when they first aired last week. Not wanting to see his work appropriated by someone else, Burke said he rushed to get the full video posted Saturday afternoon. But we are human, and sometimes our reporting might fall short.

The scripted segments went viral over the weekend when Deadspin put together a mash-up of Sinclair anchors across the country repeating the same speech.

Famous former CBS news anchor Dan Rather also criticized the pro-Trump media group for their practices that discredit journalism.


The controversy comes at a critical time for Sinclair. They are now seeking to acquire dozens more with the proposed purchase of Tribune Media. Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke. The deal still requires the approval of federal regulators. If they're looking for local news, they're increasingly seeing less of it in favor of corporate "must runs" since Sinclair took over five years ago.

Sinclair owns and operates almost 200 TV stations in the United States, and is attempting to buy Tribune Media Company, which would give it access to dozens more in large markets. "If the FCC allows this, there's nothing to stop [other companies] from getting bigger and editorializing on their local newscasts".

"It is ironic that we would be attacked for messages promoting our journalistic initiative for fair and objective reporting, and for specifically asking the public to hold our newsrooms accountable", a statement from Sinclair Broadcast Group said. "It illustrates a story that in some cases can read like a conspiracy theory".

The anchors give no specific examples. And Livingston, in his memo, didn't mention stories such as the discredited theory that a Democratic National Committee staffer named Seth Rich was murdered as payback for leaking politically embarrassing DNC emails to WikiLeaks. That's the goal of these announcements: "to reiterate our commitment to reporting facts in the pursuit of truth".

But Sinclair's stand against so-called fake news received a wholehearted endorsement from a certain occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Scott Livingston, Sinclair's senior vice president of news, backed the promos. Sinclair, which has a history of supporting conservative candidates, as a company has similar political views to those of Trump.

The 60- to 75-second editorials are read by local anchors and air during local news programs.

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