The conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group owns more television stations than any other broadcaster in the U.S. That ownership means it can dominate and set the agenda for local news channels seen by millions of people, every day, across the country.
In rather horrifying (and very Orwellian) fashion, the Trump-supporting conglomerate this week forced all of its newscasters to mouth an identical script denouncing “fake news,” in an effort to cast doubt on legitimate journalism and foster the Trump Administration’s agenda:
The so-called “must run” script, which local stations owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group were required to read, according to several reports, blasts “the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country.”
The Sinclair Group has a long history of interjecting right-wing propaganda into its local affiliates’ newscasts. This is not some altruistic effort on the part of a kind and gentle media conglomerate to extol the virtues of unbiased broadcasting. To the contrary, its purpose and intent was the exact opposite—it was meant to assist the Trump Administration in its effort to paint all negative news stories about it as “fake news” and blunt or negate the impact of reports criticizing Trump and his actions:
The broadcaster has aligned itself with the Trump administration: In addition to the “one-sided news” script featured last week, Sinclair stations are also required to run political commentary from the network’s chief political analyst, Boris Epshteyn. Epshteyn previously worked for the Trump White House and Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Here is the article and a particularly creepy video compiling several Sinclair outlets’ newscasters mouthing the script they were forced to say: Video