If Sinclair Broadcasting grows to encompass 70 percent of American networks, it will affect not only the media diet of many people, but their viewpoints and political ideologies going forward. The hire was skewered in a 2017 segment on HBO's "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver".
"Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control "exactly what people think".This is extremely unsafe to a democracy", the anchors said. At a time when trust in media is eroding, the Sinclair promo not only told viewers to trust media less because of partisan bias; it allows them to cry "fake news" at anything they disagree with. Along with that reporter, other Sinclair employees in other markets are describing heated conversations are taking place in newsrooms and anger towards company's headquarters.
The KATU anchors were also included in a montage that appeared on Deadspin, in which anchors from Sinclair-owned stations around the country were seen in delivering the same script, word for word.
A person in Sinclair management confirmed that tensions are on the rise. The "Terrorism Alert Desk" is a recurring segment.
Some anxious the mandated segment undermined the news organizations, while others - including President Donald Trump - defended Sinclair. The script - reminiscent of Fox News' old "fair and balanced" tagline - cast Sinclair's stations as the antidote. The company is awaiting approval for a proposed $3.9-billion merger with Tribune Media, which would expand its reach even further. But that is the stance journalists ask others to take, including the politician pressured to take extreme positions and the man forced to choose between a paycheck and reporting unscrupulous banking practices.
Journalists have a responsibility to serve as a bulwark against threats to a free press. It is unclear if any stations have refused to broadcast them.
Norma Holland from 13WHAM News, a subsidiary of ABC, has spoken out publicly on Facebook about her struggle and anger after reading the script.
"You cant be serious!" he wrote.
SBG is the corporate abbreviation for Sinclair.
In exchange, Sinclair would broadcast their Trump interviews across the country without commentary, Kushner said. In essence, roughly a third of the country doesn't believe real news anymore because fake news tells them the real news is fake.
On Monday the company explained the messages as promotional announcements for its local news coverage that were in response to "the public's distrust in the news generally".
But some outsiders see it as irresponsible.
Sinclair again has shown how corporate control of local news can be unsafe for democracy.
Livingston's memo praises the expansion of their news operations while slamming the "misleading, often defamatory stories" about the company over the last few days. "The first key to stopping it is to call on advertisers who support this propaganda and express your objections". They pointed out that station Facebook pages and Twitter feeds are receiving criticism about the promos. His story recounts how many anchors chafed at the mandate, with one saying he "felt like a POW recording a message".
The Democratic lawmakers also noted that Trump reportedly discussed potential FCC rule changes in a meeting with Sinclair's executive chairman and said that Pai or his staff "have met with Sinclair representatives on numerous occasions".