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  • Sharyl Attkisson's softball interview of Trump is the latest example of Sinclair's pro-Trump propaganda

    Blog ››› ››› NINA MAST

    In what is merely the latest example of Sinclair Broadcasting’s mission to imbue local news with pro-Trump propaganda, Sinclair's Full Measure invited President Donald Trump on to make unchecked, demonstrably false claims, tout his non-existent legislative successes, and attack the news media.

    During the November 5 interview, host Sharyl Attkisson, a former CBS anchor with a history of flawed reporting and right-wing advocacy, asked few contentious or adversarial questions of the president and issued no follow-ups to Trump’s false claim that the Trump-Russia dossier is “phony” and “fake,” his inaccurate claim that his administration has had more military successes against ISIS than during the entire presidency of Barack Obama, or his erroneous claim that his administration has enacted “almost a record” number of bills. Trump also attacked the “fake” media during the interview, continuing his war on the press. This is not Trump’s first time on Full Measure. During a previous appearance on the show, when he was a candidate for president, Trump said he was entertaining the idea of “banning reporters from certain events.

    As president, Trump has not given a one-on-one interview with a serious journalist since May, and instead has granted interviews only to fawning sycophants on sympathetic networks, including Sinclair. Sinclair has benefited from Trump, thanks to the deregulatory efforts of Trump’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The organization has announced plans to acquire Tribune Media’s dozens of local television stations, a controversial deal at least four states are urging the FCC to reject. Last week the FCC helped Sinclair towards achieving that acquisition when it voted along party lines to eliminate a rule that mandated local news stations maintain offices within the communities they serve.

    Even before Trump won the election, Sinclair had aligned itself with him and reportedly struck a deal for greater press access to the then-candidate in exchange for better coverage. Attkisson’s interview is just the latest manifestation of a growing Sinclair-FCC partnership that exploits Americans’ trust in local news for political gain.

  • Statement of Media Matters president Angelo Carusone on Sinclair Broadcast Group internal memo

    Memo of Sinclair VP is "totally disconnected from the reality of Sinclair’s programming"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Media Matters President Angelo Carusone released the following statement after Politico reported on an internal memo sent from Sinclair Vice President of News Scott Livingston that attempts to defend the network for requiring local stations to broadcast right-wing opinion packages:

    Sinclair’s defensive memo holds about as much weight as its deceptive “must run” segments. The broadcaster is in damage control mode. And with good reason! Even though Sinclair executives are acting like their takeover of Tribune’s stations is a done deal, it actually hasn’t been finalized yet.

    Sinclair knows that the deal could still far apart, especially given that afraid viewers and employees of Tribune stations all across the country have started to stand up for their local news since Sinclair’s agenda and chicanery were exposed.

    The pushback that Sinclair is getting is well-founded too! Sinclair’s right-wing political agenda is a well-established fact. The company advances its politics by exploiting the trust and confidence that the public still has in local news in order to poison the information landscape with bias and pro-Trump propaganda from the bottom up.

    Mr. Livingston’s memo is totally disconnected from the reality of Sinclair’s programming. The company’s intentions are clear, its record is well-established, and no amount of internal memos will correct for its bias and agenda.

    Sinclair Broadcast Group, the country's largest operator of local television stations, has announced that it will buy Tribune Media, which runs news stations located in critical swing state cities including Indianapolis, Des Moines, Philadelphia, Chicago and Miami, among others. Sinclair and its affiliates have a history of airing conservative-leaning reporting and commentary, and its executives have donated to Republicans and Republican causes.

    More Americans trust their local news stations more than national news and cable pundits. Now these local news viewers are increasingly and unsuspectingly faced with state run-style propaganda from Sinclair-owned stations. Precisely because viewers aren’t on their guard when they watch local news,  local news outlets are a powerful delivery mechanism for pernicious misinformation and false narratives -- and Sinclair is taking advantage of that.

    Sinclair’s expanding media footprint -- rife with pro-Trump talking points presented by Trump-tied personalities in “must run” commentaries  -- is dangerous to our national discourse. The company’s ongoing relationship with the Trump administration is just as dangerous as its coverage, including a deal struck during the election for “more access to Trump” in exchange for “straighter coverage.” With the Sinclair-Tribune merger imminent, local news stations around the country -- especially in battleground states -- are about to become more Fox News-like.

    For the millions of Americans who get their news through local programming, vigilance is key. If your local news station is owned by Sinclair, don’t be fooled by the conservative lies the network will try to pass off as “balanced” or run-of-the-mill commentary. It’s propaganda and should be called out as such.

  • How Sinclair Broadcasting purchasing Tribune Media could help Trump get re-elected

    Blog ››› ››› DAYANITA RAMESH & JOHN KERR

    Local TV news conglomerate Sinclair Broadcast Group is purchasing Tribune Media Group. Sinclair and its affiliates have a history of airing far-right reporting and commentary, its executives have donated to Republicans, and Sinclair even hired former Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn as its chief political analyst. With all the Tribune media stations that are located in big cities and swing states, Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is about to get a big boost:

  • Echoing Limbaugh, Cal Thomas falsely claimed Obama has "no legislation he can point to that has his name on it"

    ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    In his nationally syndicated column, echoing Rush Limbaugh's assertion that "if you look" at Sen. Barack Obama's legislative record, "you won't find a Senate bill with this name on it," Cal Thomas wrote that Obama has "no legislation he can point to that has his name on it." In fact, Obama was the primary sponsor of a bill in the 109th Congress to "promote relief, security, and democracy in the Democratic Republic of Congo," signed into law by President Bush in December 2006, was a key co-sponsor of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, and has so far introduced 55 bills in the current session of Congress.