The president and CEO of Sinclair Broadcast Group reportedly sent out an email to his company employees vowing to stay the course despite experiencing “politically motivated attacks” from outside the media group for forcing anchors to parrot right-wing talking points.
Chris Ripley apologized to his employees for facing backlash after the videos of Sinclair anchors reading the same script about “fake news propaganda” and ill-researched reporting.
The videos led to criticism from various news outlets for trying to attack free speech in media. CNN called them “zombies.” The anger was not only confined to other media outlets — Sinclair employees reportedly were not too happy with the script themselves.
According to HuffPost, some anchors initially refused to read the cloned script but buckled under pressure from their strictly outlined contracts.
Ripley emphasized to his employees to not bow down to “extremists” regardless of their political inclination.
“For having to field nasty calls, threats, personal confrontations and trolling on social media, I am truly sorry you had to endure such an experience. However, as an organization it is important that we do not let extremists on any side of the political fence bully us because they do not like what they hear or see,” he wrote.
The email comes after some anchors were reportedly upset for not receiving an apology for the threats they had to endure ever since the video-compilation came to light.
He also said Sinclair anchors following a script is not a new practice for the company.
“As you know, the practice of on-air personalities following a script is not unique to Sinclair. However, the blowback we received for doing so certainly is,” he continued.
Ever since the video of anchors reading the same script surfaced, Sinclair has faced severe backlash for its extreme right point of view, especially for “must run” segments that included some by Boris Epshteyn, a chief political analyst for the broadcast group. He is also a former senior adviser to President Donald Trump.
However, Ripley further explained the media group’s approach is not going to change and Sinclair will continue its “hybrid approach of bringing together the best of the local broadcast model with the best of the network model which will undoubtable [sic] expose us to more criticism because ‘no other local TV broadcasters does [sic] it that way.’”
Sinclair, it appears, has gone on the offensive, with a public relations firm hired by the media outlet sending out a video, attacking CNN for hypocrisy. The video is titled, “Did CNN Attack Sinclair For Doing Exactly What CNN Has Done For Years?”
Sinclair has yet to comment on the email obtained by HuffPost.
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