'False news' promos put Sinclair in spotlight

Saul Bowman
April 4, 2018

Sinclair then held Leiberman to contractual language that blocked him from seeking a job at any television stations in the 39 markets where it has operations. In the message, the anchors say they "work very hard to seek the truth and strive to be fair, balanced and factual".

And in Cincinnati, City Councilman P.G. For example, a December 2016 story by Politico said that The Trump campaign "struck a deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group during the campaign to try and secure better media coverage".

Fox 47's comments were in direct response to recent fallout over a script for a "must-run" segment that was sent to all Sinclair-owned stations last month, which claimed "false news" from competing outlets posed a danger to democracy. The site posted it on Twitter - it had more than 7 million views midday Monday - and its other social media pages Saturday and saw it replayed on HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Sunday. Slightly more from these groups rely on cable news.

Sinclair's new "fake news" spots - which it refers to as its "Journalistic Responsibility Campaign" - have caused unease among some of the company's journalists, who regard it as an attack on colleagues within their chosen profession and an instance of corporate pandering to the Trump administration.

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.

Criticism of Sinclair has come after Deadspin created a viral video compilation of Sinclair anchors reading the exact same statements attacking the mainstream press for being "extremely unsafe to our democracy" because they published stories that were critical of Trump and his administration.

"I feel really bad for the anchors who are in the promos, because it paints them in a negative light and in a manner which is not truly who they are", the reporter said.


It was reported last week that employees at KOMO, a Seattle-based station, were unhappy with the Sinclair script, with one newsroom employee stating that it felt like "a forced thing".

"Some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal agenda". "This is extremely risky to democracy".

Even if you haven't heard of Sinclair Broadcast Group, chances are you've seen their news broadcasts. The company got some attention in April for hiring Boris Epshteyn, a special assistant to President Trump, as a chief political analyst.

Despite being the country's largest broadcaster, Sinclair is not well known by the average American, with many viewers unaware that Sinclair controls their local news station.

Democrats have also chided FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a Trump-appointed Republican, for supporting TV ownership rule changes that would make it easier for the merger to pass regulatory scrutiny.

Oliver again criticized Sinclair for pushing Epsheteyn commentaries, and aired part of the Deadspin clip of anchors reading from the script. The firm broadcasts free over-the-air programming, such as network provided programs, locally-produced news, local sporting events, programming from program service arrangements, syndicated entertainment programs, and internally originated programming to television viewing audiences in the communities through various local television stations.

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