Leading news programs across America repeated the same text about "fake news"

03 April, 2018, 06:28 | Author: Kristi Owen
  • Sinclair's new media-bashing promos rankle local anchors

Still, the broadcast company is relatively unknown, and many viewers aren't aware who owns the local news station they're watching - or their potential motives.

Peter Chernin, a media investor and once the president of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, in a tweet called the video "insidious".

While the policy, which many staffers have referred to as embarrassing and pushing a pro-Trump agenda of its own, started nearly a month ago, it went viral this past weekend and President Trump tweeted support for the stations this morning.

The script for these defacto PSAs on journalistic integrity in the age of social media leaked to CNN earlier this month, and the pieces began running recently. After receiving more than 50, he fashioned them into a video that shows anchors reading different portions of the text, either simultaneously or one after the other.

Last spring, reporting on the company's ambitions, NPR's media correspondent David Folkenflik wrote, "If history is any guide ..."

What: A frightening look at the scourge of "false news" warnings invading local news broadcasts, courtesy of Sinclair Media.

"Must-runs" are segments that are produced by Sinclair and distributed to their local news stations across the country, that those affiliates, you guessed it, must air.

Among the anchors who read the message were Alison Bologna and Frank Coletta of WJAR-TV in Providence.

"It is extremely unsafe for our democracy".


The viral video was released after multiple media outlets spent weeks reporting on Sinclair's use of the scripts.

In positioning itself as the next Fox News, Sinclair hired President Donald Trump's former spokesman to serve as its chief political analyst, noting that he would appear on the 170-plus stations Sinclair owns and operates.

NPR's Folkenflik spoke with Sinclair's top news executive a week later.

Sinclair spokesman Scott Livingston told the New York Times previous year that they "work very hard to be objective and fair and be in the middle".

But Mary Nam, an anchor at the Seattle-based KOMO 4 local news station, blasted the president for finding anything amusing about media consolidation.

Then, on Friday, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer published the script in its entirety. On Friday, the liberal website ThinkProgress released a video showing some samples of local stations airing the segments. The Deadspin video generated heat on social media during the weekend, prompting retweets with critical commentary from TV personalities such as Jimmy Kimmel.

During the 2016 election, the Trump team struck a deal with Sinclair for exclusive access because the media giant, according to Jared Kushner, had a better reach than CNN. "Our local stations keep our audiences' trust by staying focused on fact-based reporting and clearly identifying commentary". "We seek the truth and strive to be fair".

There are no Sinclair stations in San Diego, however, Sinclair lists several California stations, including stations in Bakersfield and Fresno. Some believe that this is pro-Trump messaging, raising questions about the motive behind the script.

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