Sinclair group draws criticism for 'fake news' promos; praise from President Trump

Sinclair group draws criticism for 'fake news' promos; praise from President Trump

Last month, CNN said that Sinclair stations were being given the script for segments called "anchor delivered journalistic responsibility messages".

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

Deadspin's video stops at a line that it repeats again and again, to drive home the video's critical message: "This is extremely unsafe to our democracy".

Over the weekend, Deadspin published this article and video discussing the Sinclair Broadcast Group.

The promos are drawing scrutiny as Baltimore-based Sinclair, known for its conservative political leanings, already forces its local stations - including KLEW in Lewiston - to run right-leaning commentaries and news packages that are produced by the parent company.

One of Trump's favorite targets, CNN, posted a story Monday quoting an unnamed Sinclair employee who said the on-air advisory "sickens me".

The new "fake news" spots attracted little controversy when they began airing on Sinclair stations last week, including on its largest station, WJLA, in Washington. "Nothing says "We value independent media" like dozens of reporters forced to repeat the same message over and over again like members of a brainwashed cult".

Another late-night comic, Jimmy Kimmel, tweeted a link to the Concourse video and commented, "This is extremely risky to our democracy".

More news: Parkland students slam 'stupid' mandatory clear backpacks

As David has previously reported, Sinclair "takes not only an ideological line but at times a partisan line".

Sinclair owns KATV and has been in the process of acquiring KFSM-Fort Smith, KXNW-Eureka Springs and WREG-Memphis in a deal to purchase Tribune Media holdings. The Federal Communications Commission has allowed the company to consolidate more power and centralize more news production.

General manager Jim Lapiana at WPGH Fox 53 News in Pittsburgh confirmed that his station did not air the promo because, although the station is owned by Sinclair, WPXI (a Cox Media Group station) produces its news content.

For WJAC 6 News in Johnstown, general manager Jim Doty declined to comment and referred questions to Sinclair's corporate office.

Famous former CBS news anchor Dan Rather also criticized the pro-Trump media group for their practices that discredit journalism.

"It was a standard package, but an extended package, extended story where you'd hear more directly from candidate on the issue instead of hearing all the spin and all the rhetoric", Sinclair spokesman Scott Livingston told Politico.

This is a monster story, but not really one that should surprise many considering how conglomerated the media landscape has become. The Company has multiple emerging networks as well as stations affiliated with all the major networks. "The problem with what Sinclair does is they co-opt the credibility that local anchors have built up in their communities over years and decades".

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