If you thought that Fox News looked like state-run media, just wait until you see the Trump propaganda that is now being forced onto local news channels across the country. This is the kind of stuff you’d expect to see in North Korea, not here in America.
In May, the Sinclair Broadcast Group bought the Chicago-based Tribune Media Company, creating what is being called “a TV Goliath.” The deal is currently pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission. But if the deal is approved, Sinclair will have access to 72 percent of American households.
The problem? The ultra-conservative Sinclair makes Fox News look mainstream. They are extremely pro-Trump. And they are determined to drown out real news with propaganda straight from this administration.
Sinclair is now forcing local TV news anchors to read a promo that slams national media as “fake news.”
On Wednesday, CNN reported that many anchors were extremely upset about it. The script that they are forced to read begins with praise for the “quality, balanced journalism” being produced by local stations. Then it quickly pivots to the “troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country.”
“The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media,” the script reads, according to CNN. “More alarming, national media outlets are publishing these same fake stories without checking facts first.”
“Unfortunately, some members of the national media are using their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think’ … This is extremely dangerous to our democracy.”
The script then makes the anchors say that they “understand Truth is neither politically ‘left or right.’”
CNN says instructions that came along with the promo direct the anchors to read the scripts “exactly as they are written.” The local TV stations are also being told to run the promos as often as possible “to create maximum reach and frequency” and are told to run the promos “using news time, not commercial time.”
The instructions also tell anchors that they must appear neutral. And that includes avoiding wearing blue or red on air.
Check here for a list of Sinclair stations. You can look up your city, they’re listed alphabetically, to see if any of your local stations are currently owned by Sinclair.