Trump Backs Sinclair After Viral Video Shows Propaganda Tactics

Sinclair Broadcasting made its local news anchors read propaganda scripts written by them, fueling President Donald Trump’s anti-media campaign.

UPDATE: Despite evidence demonstrating Sinclair Broadcast Group requiring its news anchors to read propaganda scripts, President Donald Trump voiced support for that organization’s calls against so-called “fake news” in a tweet he made on Monday morning.

“So funny to watch Fake News Networks, among the most dishonest groups of people I have ever dealt with, criticize Sinclair Broadcasting for being biased,” Trump wrote, adding that “Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke.”

Trump’s criticism of media outlets for reporting on discrepancies in comments he’s issued and other lies he’s made while in office isn’t new. But his observation on Sinclair is likely due to that group’s penchant for reporting positive news (and censoring negative stories) about him in the past.

Indeed, Sinclair once fired an executive at one of its affiliate stations for questioning the appointment of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to the post she now holds. Sinclair also requires many of its stations to air “must-run” segments, which frequently promote right-wing causes.

In response to a now-viral video demonstrating how the stations are required to read from the same script, one local news anchor who used to work at a Sinclair station blasted his former employer on Twitter.

“What they’re doing now is ridiculous propaganda and it’s an embarrassment to the profession,” KTTV anchor Bill Melugin wrote. “I feel for my former colleagues being forced to read this garbage.”

It doesn’t take a genius to see why Trump would prefer the propaganda machine of Sinclair Broadcast Group over other, more scrutinizing organizations. Sinclair gives favorable, biased reporting that pleases Trump and makes him look better overall, even when he’s undeserving of such praise.

As the video exhibiting Sinclair’s propaganda concludes, this is extremely dangerous for our democracy. Americans need to be wary of these outlets and less trusting of Sinclair stations in the months and years ahead, until changes are made that allow local affiliates more autonomy and less dictatorship from the organization overall.

Sinclair Broadcasting is reportedly making its local anchors read propaganda scripts in what looks like an attempt to fuel President Donald Trump’s anti-media campaign.

Conservative-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group owns almost 200 local television stations in the U.S., many of them in rural areas. The company recently forced its news anchors to read a scripted promo about “the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country.”

Deadspin made a collection of video clips, where different local news anchors parrot the same lines in an attempt to apparently condemn “some media outlets” for “false news” and “fake stories.” The kicker line is about how “this is extremely dangerous to a democracy” — apparently written unironically by Sinclair.

I felt like a POW recording a message,” one anchor, who wished to stay anonymous and worked at a Sinclair-owned station, told CNN last month.

“They’re certainly not happy about it,” an unnamed employee at Sinclair-owned KOMO in Seattle told The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “It’s certainly a forced thing.”

The company runs editorials from former Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn, who is famous for writing Trump’s infamous 2017 Holocaust Remembrance Day statement that failed to mention Jewish people.

Unsurprisingly, Sinclair has ties to the presidency. In 2016, Jared Kusher reportedly struck a deal with the network to give them more access if they ran interviews of Trump without any commentary.

After assuming office, Trump opined his distrust toward publications who reported important facts that the president did not want to address. Trump publicly threatened to sue The New York Times and other media outlets for giving coverage to his alleged sexual assault victimsblasted CNN as “fake news” and also called BuzzFeed a “failing pile of garbage” for publishing an unverified dossier that claimed Russian spies had blackmail-worthy personal and financial material on the U.S. president-elect.

As if all of this wasn’t enough, the reporters working at channels owned by Sinclair are reading forced scripts decrying one-sided news.
It's imperative to note that Sinclair is might reach 72 percent of U.S. households soon. Currently the company is in the process of purchasing Tribune media, a deal that would give it access to 42 more stations.

People rightfully slammed the network for making its reporters read forced scripts. Some called their video clips “hostage videos.”


Thumbnail/Banner Image: Pixabay, Neva79

View Comments

Recommended For You