Sinclair Media Forced It's Anchors To Wage War on "Fake News"

Tuesday, 03 Apr, 2018

[And yet we'll now proceed to obsess over the work of the national news media.] We are extremely proud of the quality, balanced journalism that KOMO News produces.

The existence of the script was reported by CNN almost a month ago, and Deadspin posted a video of news anchors from around the country reading the script to their viewers this past weekend. Last year, Oliver dedicated almost 20 minutes to Sinclair and its political infiltration in what's meant to be unbiased, unpartisan local news.

John Oliver and the team at Last Week Tonight. Ellington Management Group LLC now owns 9,800 shares of the company's stock worth $371,000 after purchasing an additional 3,500 shares in the last quarter. Gabelli Funds LLC increased its position in Sinclair Broadcast Group by 1.0% during the 3rd quarter.

"We aren't sure of the motivation for the criticism, but find it curious that we would be attacked for asking our news people to remind their audiences that unsubstantiated stories exist on social media, which result in an ill-informed public with potentially unsafe consequences", Livingston said in a statement provided by Sinclair.

The group regularly sends "must-run" content to its affiliate stations, including a package on March 21st featuring former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka discussing the existence of a "deep state" - a term for unelected government officials who supposedly run the state through a shadow government.

The promos are drawing scrutiny as Baltimore-based Sinclair, known for its conservative political leanings, already forces its local stations to run right-leaning commentaries and news packages that are produced by the parent company. The "Terrorism Alert Desk" is a recurring segment. Local reporters are under enormous pressure to do more with less.

Oliver previous year warned viewers about Sinclair Broadcasting which could own local stations representing 72% of the country's TV households if its Tribune stations buy is approved.

"But recently, Sinclair took their game to a new level", Oliver said. It is now awaiting approval of the deal from government regulators. The deal would add dozens more stations to its portfolio. Must they really say this stuff as if they mean it? "I've been talking with staffers at Sinclair-owned stations for several weeks - here's my brand new story about all this".

"The promos served no political agenda, and represented nothing more than an effort to differentiate our award-winning news programming from other, less reliable sources of information", Sinclair stated. Sinclair announced plans last May to acquire Tribune Media Company's 42 television stations, a move which would expand its reach to almost three-quarters of American households.

An all-newsroom email from one station news director read: "Let me be absolutely clear here..." These MUST Run. If they do not, my job is on the line.

SBG is the corporate abbreviation for Sinclair.

Sinclair did not return requests for comment.

Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email. But the latest critiques of Sinclair's approach to local news could put pressure renewed pressure on the FCC as it reviews the merger.

But some outsiders see it as irresponsible.

The scripted promos started running last week, and they went viral over the weekend after Deadspin edited them together to show how similar the scripts are. "This, as we've seen, is extremely risky to a democracy", three anchors said.

Media investor Peter Chernin, who held high-ranking positions at Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation for two decades, tweeted, "This is insidious". Some even called the script "propaganda". After receiving more than 50, he fashioned them into a video that shows anchors reading different portions of the text, either simultaneously or one after the other.

Sinclair journalists leaked details of their contracts on Monday and said they faced fines if they quit while under contract.