April 24, 2018

Trump calls Sinclair superior to CNN

04 April 2018, 12:46 | Rufus Hill

Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. - SBGI - Stock Price Today - Zacks

Sinclair's new media-bashing promos rankle local anchors

"WMSN/FOX47 Madison did not air the Sinclair promotional announcement during our 9pm news this weekend", a spokesperson for Fox 47 Madison said.

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.

Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest owner and operator of local TV stations in the US, is under fire this week for requiring dozens of its news anchors to recite an on-air critique of "fake" news stories, echoing the language of President Donald Trump and his allies in their attacks on the media.

Timothy Burke, the video director of Deadspin, read a report last month that local news anchors felt uncomfortable reading the script warning about fake news and inaccurate reporting. In the "American Pravda" video series, senior figures at CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post admit to undercover reporters that the "Russia narrative" is false, that they pursue a biased agenda, and that they chase ratings over the truth.

President Trump, who has railed about how he's covered in the media and routinely complains about "fake news", voiced his support for Sinclair in tweets Monday and Tuesday.

"We're concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country", reads the script. "The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media". Unfortunately, some members of the national media are using their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control "exactly what people think". "This is extremely unsafe to democracy".

In the midst of traffic and weather updates, a Sinclair station might have former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka show up and talk about the Deep State, Aaron says.

Well, in an era of so much news, the attempt to discriminate between what's fake and what's real investigative reporting is getting harder - at least that is something we can all collectively agree upon.

Sinclair owns KATV and has been in the process of acquiring KFSM-Fort Smith and WREG-Memphis in a deal to purchase Tribune Media holdings.

The promotion looks unique in each market, but Sinclair's corporate Hunt Valley, Md. -headquarters scripted and distributed it to its stations. Sinclair, which has a history of supporting conservative candidates, as a company has similar political views to those of Trump. If the deal is approved, Sinclair would own at least 220 stations, and reach more than 70 percent of US households.

Ajit Pai, Trump's pick to chair the FCC, has already rolled back broadcast TV station ownership limits that would have prevented the merger.

KATV responded to a request for comment about how the station made the decision to participate by forwarding Sinclair Broadcasting Group's thoughts on the matter.

Among others, John Oliver skewered Sinclair's campaign during his HBO program, "Last Week Tonight", on Sunday.

"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", he said. It's one of the largest owners of TV stations in the country. Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather described the script, apparently foisted on news anchors from management above, as "Orwellian". Those promotions featured Livingston, the Sinclair news executive, who criticized "the troubling trend of irresponsible and one-sided news stories plaguing our country".

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