Sinclair Broadcast Group airs 'fake news' warnings

Sinclair's new media-bashing promos rankle local anchors

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

"We're concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country", reads the script.

There are no Sinclair stations in San Diego, however, Sinclair lists several California stations, including stations in Bakersfield and Fresno.

Sinclair(SBGI) is the biggest owner of local television stations in the United States, owning or operating 173 of them.

And in Cincinnati, City Councilman P.G. The headline was: "How America's Leading Local TV Owner Turned Its News Anchors Into Soldiers In Trump's War On The Media". "Creepy, cult-ish, and way too propagandistic for my taste", the Democrat said in tweet Sunday.

Sinclair also has pushed to ease regulation of the broadcast industry and approve its plan to buy Tribune Media, a move that would dramatically increase the company's reach. The acquisition, announced in May 2017, would increase Sinclair's number of TV stations from 193 to 220 or more - and its reach of US homes to 72%.

"No one in our bargaining unit is happy with the way Sinclair is forcing these must-runs", Fischer said.

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.

Trump tweeted that "The Fake News Networks, those that knowingly have a sick and biased AGENDA, are anxious about the competition and quality of Sinclair Broadcast". "Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke".

The tweet followed a widely-viewed video montage of television anchors from around the country reading from a script decrying "biased and false" reports, in a message with striking parallels to Trump's "fake news" mantra.

One anchor, who declined to comment, instead pointed HuffPost to a Facebook post by Norma Holland, anchor of "Good Day Rochester" the morning news program broadcast by WHAM-13, a Sinclair affiliate in Rochester, New York. "He makes the decisions and as just one American wherever he wants me to line up just tell me where and he'll make the call". Then, what they'll do is what you saw in the Deadspin video.

In the Sinclair script, which Stelter obtained and The Seattle Post-Intelligencer posted Friday, local anchors begin the video segment stating their pride in "the quality, balanced journalism that (their station) produces". "More alarming, is some media outlets publish same fake stories without checking facts first".

BRAUN: Unfortunately, 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 continues, concluding with a line urging the public to hold the station accountable, followed by a promise: "We work very hard to seek the truth and strive to be fair, balanced and factual..."

Sinclair employs Boris Ephshteyn, a former Trump aide, as its chief political analyst.

President Trump loved the Sinclair script, which echoes Trump's frequent complaints about the media spreading "fake news" stories.

President Donald Trump criticized the major television networks on Tuesday as "fakers". FCC Inspector General (IG) David Hunt recently agreed to investigate whether Pai has improperly favored Sinclair and coordinated with the company on FCC rule changes. The influence of fake news has been a hot topic in political and cultural circles and is a key component of investigations in Washington about Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election. Others say they'd like to do more, but they're wary due to what they say is Sinclair's policy and practice of closely monitoring its employees.

The merger, the group says, "will help it spread its conservative propaganda further across the country". CNN also detailed the must-run segments earlier in March.

Latest News