Sinclair Broadcasting statement on ‘fake news’ sparks coordinated media counterattack

by WorldTribune Staff, April 3, 2018

Left-wing media outlets went ballistic after a video emerged of Sinclair Broadcasting local news network anchors reading a script which mentioned “fake stories” in the mainstream media.

Sinclair anchors compilation by Deadspin

The outrage was sparked by a 98-second video posted on Deadspin on March 31 which showed dozens of Sinclair anchors reading a script which said many media outlets are publishing “fake stories.”

The anchors also said: “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 dangerous to a democracy … It’s our responsibility to pursue and report the truth. We understand Truth is neither politically ‘left nor right.’ Our commitment to factual reporting is the foundation of our credibility, now more than ever.”

Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns more than 173 television stations nationwide, describes itself as “one of the largest and most diversified television broadcasting companies in the country. Sinclair owns and operates, programs or provides sales services to more television stations than anyone and has affiliations with all the major networks. In addition, Sinclair is the leading local news provider in the country, as well as a producer of sports content.”

In their response to the viral Sinclair video on Deadspin, CNN and MSNBC “anchors and pundits seemed to repeat the same talking points over and over again, crying about how ‘concerned’ and ‘chilled’ they were by the video,” Daily Caller media reporter Amber Athey noted.

“This wouldn’t be the first time these outlets have been caught in a chorus,” Athey wrote. “In our ‘Democrats Write The News’ series, The Daily Caller has exposed how these outlets latch on to words and phrases from Democratic lawmakers and repeat them ad nauseam.”

MSNBC “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski said she was surprised some of the local anchors didn’t refuse to read the script.

“This looks like something we would mock the Russians for doing during the days of Pravda,” said co-host Joe Scarborough.

Scott Livingston, Sinclair’s senior vice president of news, in a statement sent to USA TODAY, said: “It is ironic that we would be attacked for messages promoting our journalistic initiative for fair and objective reporting, and for specifically asking the public to hold our newsrooms accountable. Our local stations keep our audiences’ trust by staying focused on fact-based reporting and clearly identifying commentary.”

President Donald Trump defended Sinclair on Twitter: “So funny to watch Fake News Networks … criticize Sinclair Broadcasting for being biased. Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke.”

Meanwhile, Fox News is standing by “The Ingraham Angle” host Laura Ingraham amid a left-wing boycott campaign targeting the show’s advertisers.

“We cannot and will not allow voices to be censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts,” Fox News co-president Jack Abernathy said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “We look forward to having Laura Ingraham back, hosting her program next Monday when she returns from spring vacation with her children.”

Parkland high school student and gun control activist David Hogg called for an advertiser boycott after Ingraham criticized him on Twitter for “whining” about colleges that rejected his applications. Ingraham apologized to Hogg on March 29, but he refused to accept the apology.

Hogg then teamed up with left-wing activist group Media Matters to pressure Ingraham’s advertisers into boycotting her show. Over a dozen advertisers pulled their ads.

Ingraham is scheduled to return April 9 after taking what Fox News said was a “pre-planned” vacation.

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