Sinclair Broadcasting slammed for forcing anchors to recite anti-fake-news 'script'

03 April, 2018, 02:48 | Author: Kristopher Anderson
  • Deadspin  CBS 4 Valley Central

Sinclair Broadcast Group has been thrust into the spotlight by a viral video showing anchors from its news stations nationwide reading a company-mandated promotional announcement warning against media bias and "false news".

Deadspin released their video over the weekend, which spotlighted local newscasters from across the country at Sinclair-owned affiliates reading the exact same story about "fake stories" and "false news", and it was a little eerie for Oliver. "The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media", the script has the anchors proclaiming, adding "This is extremely risky to our democracy".

Now, this revelation about the Sinclair Group isn't new, in fact, CNN Money reported on the promos last month, the outrage picked up speed when a disturbing video of multiple news outlets forcing anchors to spew out the promo full of Trumpian messages was edited together by Deadspin. Scott Livingston told David that Sinclair's "reporting is nonpartisan" - although the company has been frequently accused of favoring Republicans in news coverage.

The script also decries some members of the media who us their platforms to "push their own personal bias and agenda", which is "extremely dangerous" to our democracy.

Jane Hall, a professor at American University and a former media critic for Fox News, said that the promo is clearly supporting President Trump's condemnation of most news outlets.

On MSNBC today, "Morning Joe" namesake Joe Scarborough deemed Sinclair "state-run media for an autocrat" in a verbal assault on the network and Trump.

"Since joining Sinclair in April, Epshteyn has consistently parroted Team Trump's position in "Bottom Line With Boris" segments", I wrote.

"This is extremely unsafe to our democracy", late night host Jimmy Kimmel tweeted Sunday.

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Sinclair has seemingly managed to continue pushing forward with its proposed $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media, which would greatly expand Sinclair's national audience reach, amid the all the criticism. Sinclair, whose corporate leadership leans right, uses terminology familiar to Trump and his criticisms of "fake news".

The anchors were also told not to wear red, blue or purple while they spoke, to avoid looking political. "The goal is to look apolitical, neutral, non-partisan yet professional", the instructions read, according to CNN's report.

With 173 stations, is the largest owner of local television stations in the country.

People rightfully slammed the network for making its reporters read forced scripts.

Sinclair did not return requests for comment.

"The Pai FCC is a gift to the broadcast industry, as the commission bends over backwards to give favors to massive media conglomerates like Sinclair". The new version, however, uses local anchors who are familiar to viewers and may have greater cachet and credibility.

Some anchors complained to CNN in March, saying the "manipulative" message made them feel like a prisoner or war being staged for a recording.

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