Obedient “local” news anchors repeat corporate memo – as ordered


Screencap/Deadspin

Over the last week or so, local television news anchors across the the country have joined together to paradoxically warn viewers about the “troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country.” The identical, seemingly earnest editorial messages paid lip service to the importance of fact-checking and unbiased reporting, but they also complained about “false news” and “fake stories.” If that seems to echo the rhetoric of President Trump, it’s probably because the statement was written by one of his allies.

The anchors were forced to read the so-called journalistic responsibility messages word for word by their employer, the conservative-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest owner of television stations in the country. The features were one of Sinclair’s now infamous “must-run” segments, consisting of conservative commentary that every Sinclair-owned station is required to air.

RTFA for exactly the sort of crap politics Orwell addressed in 1984.

7 thoughts on “Obedient “local” news anchors repeat corporate memo – as ordered

  1. Truthiness Inc. says:

    President Trump on Monday defended Sinclair Broadcasting Group after its move to have its local news anchors warn of alleged bias in reporting by other media outlets. “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 tweeted Monday. “Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke.” http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/381229-trump-defends-sinclair-its-funny-to-watch-fake-news-networks
    A poll released Monday found a large majority of Americans believe mainstream news outlets report “fake news.” http://thehill.com/homenews/media/381225-more-than-3-in-4-believe-traditional-media-outlets-report-fake-news-poll Sinclair is the largest owner of local television stations in the country and is awaiting approval for its proposed merger with Tribune Media, which would give it access to about 70 percent of the nation’s television audience. Critics have accused FCC Chairman Ajit Pai of rolling back media ownership restrictions in order to pave the way for the deal.

    • 2+2=5 says:

      “And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”
      George Orwell, 1984

  2. Puzzling Evidence™ says:

    “Sinclair TV chairman to Trump: ‘We are here to deliver your message’ : The rightwing broadcaster met Trump at the White House to pitch a potentially lucrative new product to officials” https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/apr/10/donald-trump-sinclair-david-smith-white-house-meeting?CMP=share_btn_tw In his interview with the Guardian, the Sinclair boss also struck out at Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, for reportedly boasting that Trump’s 2016 campaign team made a deal for favourable coverage on Sinclair stations in return for giving access to the company’s journalists.” (“Kushner: We struck deal with Sinclair for straighter coverage” Dec 2016) https://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/trump-campaign-sinclair-broadcasting-jared-kushner-232764

  3. Talking heads says:

    (Cincinnati 4/5/18): News anchor Rob Braun said in a WKRC-TV staff meeting Wednesday that he’s been getting death threats after Channel 12 started airing a statement by owners Sinclair Broadcast Group complaining about media companies pushing “their own personal bias and agenda.” http://wvxu.org/post/rob-braun-getting-death-threats-over-sinclair-statement#stream/0
    Sinclair has received a nationwide blacklash since Deadspin mashed together three dozen Sinclair anchors – including Braun and co-anchor Dierking – reading the Sinclair script in unison, as if they were mindless corporate robots.
    When the story exploded on social media this week, some people asked: Why don’t Sinclair TV anchors quit in protest? Because the 40 percent financial penalty in their Sinclair contracts would be too costly, according to Bloomberg and the Hollywood Reporter. (see links)
    Contracts also include a “non-compete” clause, which can restrict an employee from working at a competing TV (or radio) station for months.

  4. FAKE NEWS™ says:

    “Ajit Pai refuses Democrats’ request to revoke Sinclair broadcast licenses : Pai springs into action—and much faster than when Trump wanted to punish NBC.” https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/04/ajit-pai-refuses-democrats-request-to-revoke-sinclair-broadcast-licenses/ “While Trump called for the FCC to consider revoking NBC licenses because of “fake news” in October 2017, Senate Democrats asked Pai yesterday to consider revoking licenses from the right-wing Sinclair Broadcast Group.”

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