See if they own your station

Sinclair Broadcast Group owns over 200 local news stations across the United States including WGN

Sinclair Broadcast Group owns over 200 local news stations across the United States including WGN

David Smith, chairman of the Sinclair Broadcast Group, defended his company's decision to have local TV news anchors deliver a scripted speech that warned about fake news, The New York Times reports.

Timothy Burke, a video editor at Deadspin, said he read a CNN story last month about the script being sent to local stations and contacted a media monitoring service to collect examples of the statement being read on the air.

"Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control 'exactly what people think, '" part of the script reads.

Sinclair again has shown how corporate control of local news can be unsafe for democracy. Over the weekend, media outlet Deadspin released a video showing anchors from dozens of those markets reading the script in unison - including the Treasure Valley affiliate.

President Trump, on the other hand, is defending Sinclair, saying that fake news networks are being hypocritical. Pro forma for the Tribune acquisition (before any related divestitures), the Company will own, operate and/or provide services to 233 television stations in 108 markets.

INSKEEP: Yeah. We don't know that that is the reason why Sinclair would have been so supportive of President Trump by any means, but we do know that they're supporting President Trump, and the president is being supportive of them.

Sinclair Broadcasting owns more than 190 stations nationwide, and is awaiting government approval to buy even more, expanding their reach from 40 percent to over 70 percent of the nation's households.

Watch Deadspin's compilation of Sinclair anchors below. "The "Fakers" at CNN, NBC, ABC & CBS have done so much dishonest reporting that they should only be allowed to get awards for fiction!"

So why, you may be wondering, would so many journalists willingly go along with such ham-fisted propagandizing? John Oliver and co. already covered Sinclair in great depth in a 2017 episode of Last Week Tonight.

Sinclair often feeds the local news stations it owns "must-run" stories on Trump-tastic topics like the threat posed by "the Deep State".

Media investor Peter Chernin, who held high-ranking positions at Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation for two decades, tweeted, "This is insidious".

Lapka told the newspaper she learned in March she would be recording a promotional message, but said she "wasn't comfortable" with it when she saw the script.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, also called out Sinclair for its biased coverage and for making reporters attack mainstream media outlets.

"I was a broadcast journalist for 32 years, and I see this Sinclair move as an effort to discredit all news media except Sinclair", Gardner told the Statesman.

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