Sinclair Broadcast Group is the nation’s largest broadcaster. They control many local news channels, and thus have an outsized influence on what many viewers see when they turn on their televisions. This weekend, Sinclair came under fire after a reporter at Deadspin stitched together images of Sinclair broadcasters across the nation all reading the same “forced script” about the danger of “fake news.” The video caused an uproar, leading multiple commentators such as Jimmy Kimmel to call it a “extremely dangerous to our democracy.” A month ago, CNN had reported on the planned broadcast, with quotes from Sinclair anchors expressing dismay at the perceived “propaganda.” Sinclair, for its part, calls the broadcast part of its “anchor delivered journalistic responsibility message.”
This is not the first time Sinclair has come under fire for its central control over local news broadcasts. Critics charge that the Federal Communications Commission has changed policies to benefit the company and antitrust regulators are currently reviewing Sinclair’s efforts to buy Tribune Media. Sinclair argues its efforts are merely in the name of “fair and objective reporting” and that its large reach is no cause for concern.
What do you think? Are you concerned about the Sinclair Media “forced script”?
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