After ignoring three January 6 hearings, Sinclair is airing national segments on them again

Media Matters previously reported that Sinclair neglected to cover damning evidence and testimony presented by the January 6 committee

Following weeks of Sinclair Broadcast Group's national segments ignoring the public hearings from the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the United States Capitol, Sinclair national correspondent Scott Thuman covered the July 12 hearing in a prerecorded segment which aired across the country on newscasts from Sinclair-owned or -operated television stations.

Previously, Media Matters reviewed these prerecorded segments from Sinclair’s national correspondents and found that none of them covered the January 6 committee’s hearings on June 21, 23, and 28. The damning testimony and evidence presented in those three hearings detailed the extent to which former President Donald Trump and his allies were involved in efforts to illegally change the election results. On June 28, the committee presented witness testimony from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson detailing Trump’s erratic and dangerous behavior on the day of the insurrection, including his insistence that armed supporters be allowed in his presence and to be able to march to the Capitol.

Although Thuman’s July 12 report did cover some of the themes from that day’s hearing, it failed to include additional new evidence that Trump and his co-conspirators planned in advance to encourage his supporters to march on the Capitol. Thuman also included part of a misleading statement from Trump attacking the committee’s members.

Video file

Citation From a July 12, 2022, Sinclair Broadcast Group national segment

SCOTT THUMAN (SINCLAIR CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT): Well, the committee spent much of the day laying out examples of how many people in the president's inner circle felt he needed to concede the election and stop trying to overturn it. 

Meanwhile, there was another camp encouraging the president to fight on. Witness testimony, for example, cited at one point a heated six-hour-long meeting with screaming and name-calling, described by participants as “unhinged.” It was not long after that President Trump pushed for a protest to oppose Congress certifying the vote and sent out that now-infamous tweet telling his supporters, “Be there, will be wild.” Critics say that he intentionally, knowingly summoned an angry mob, and one member of that mob agreed.

THUMAN: The committee alleged Trump edited and ad-libbed his speech to further inflame an already furious crowd. 

Former President Trump preemptively posted online Tuesday morning calling the committee members “political hacks and thugs,” saying, they are, quote, “the same lunatics that drove the country crazy with their lies and made-up stories like Russia, Russia, Russia.” 

There is at least one more committee hearing expected.