Sinclair forced TV anchors to criticize "fake" news-and Trump loved it

Sinclair's new media-bashing promos rankle local anchors

A viral video showing news anchors at television stations around the country reading the same script about "fake stories" is drawing the nation's attention to the one company that owns them all: Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Sinclair, already the biggest TV news broadcaster in the USA, has 193 television stations and a deal to acquire an additional 42 from Tribune Media, which owns outlets KTLA in Los Angeles, WPIX in NY and WGN in Chicago.

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 risky to our democracy" because they published stories that were critical of Trump and his administration.

"Unfortunately", it said, "some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control exactly what people think. This is extremely risky to a democracy", the script added.

The segments, featuring former Trump aide Boris Epshteyn, are aired nine times a week on WGME, WPFO and other Sinclair stations, as are conservative commentaries from former Sinclair executive Mark Hyman, and nightly updates from the company's Terrorism Alert Desk, which air regardless of whether there was any terrorism that day to be alerted about.

The Fake News Networks, those that knowingly have a sick and biased AGENDA, are anxious about the competition and quality of Sinclair Broadcast. (Nasdaq: SBGI) ("Sinclair") today responded to a series of media reports attacking the Company's recent promotional announcement for its local news.

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

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. The president went on to proclaim the chain "far superior" to CNN and NBC, although Sinclair owns dozens of NBC affiliates.

Scott Livingston, vice president of news at Sinclair, sent a memo to employees defending the company, and of course it was forwarded on to Bloomberg because this company is leaking more than the Titanic right now. It's what the anchors don't say that's so disturbing and, frankly, embarrassing to every journalist who participated in what many are comparing to hostage videos - that they were mandated to do those spots, which strongly resemble President Donald Trump's words.

Sinclair Broadcast group is in the process of acquiring Chicago-based Tribune Media. The anchors then go on to say that many media outlets are publishing "fake stories" and pushing agendas. It owns or provides various programming, operating, or sales services to television stations. Oliver tore into the company on Sunday night. Local viewers would have no idea that the message came not form local stations but from Sinclair.

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.

Meanwhile, a new poll has found that 77 percent of Americans believe that media outlets do report "fake news" at least occasionally - up from 63 percent a year ago. The deal requires the blessing of the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice, both of which are dominated by Trump loyalists.

"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.

The longer segment about Sinclair that Oliver refers to above originally appeared in July of previous year.

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