Update (2/2/21): Bolling’s segment with Steve Cortes criticized in this article aired on at least 38 Sinclair-owned or -operated stations in 31 states, according to a Kinetiq transcript search.
Sinclair Broadcast Group is set to air a final episode of Eric Bolling’s America This Week that pushes the Big Lie about the 2020 presidential election, which led to the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters attempting to prevent President Joe Biden from taking office.
America This Week has already been canceled by Sinclair, but this week’s episode -- which is already available online -- will still air on its huge network of local TV stations nationwide. (The program typically airs on dozens of Sinclair-owned or -operated stations during weekends and is also available for streaming on Sinclair station websites each Wednesday.) The program usually includes a plethora of conservative misinformation from its host and guests, especially about the COVID-19 pandemic and the presidential election.
The final hour-long episode of Bolling’s Sinclair program was no exception. During a panel discussion about the unprecedented second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump for inciting an insurrection with his repeated lies about the election, guest Steve Cortes repeated these lies. Bolling failed to push back against the lies and instead changed the topic.
Trump’s lies about his election loss, which were also spread widely by right-wing media, culminated in the deadly January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Bolling himself used his Sinclair platform to host conspiracy theories about the election and the origins of the pro-Trump riot, as well as other dangerous misinformation over the past year.
In fact, there have been two instances before in which Media Matters’ reporting on dangerous misinformation from Bolling’s program led Sinclair to remove the material that was most likely to lead to additional deaths.
In July, Media Matters reported that America This Week was set to air an interview with Judy Mikovits, the COVID-19 conspiracy theorist behind the video Plandemic, and her lawyer Larry Klayman. The reporting sparked widespread backlash against Sinclair, which led the network to first delay and then cancel the airing of the interview -- after it had already aired on at least one station.
A few months later, following additional reporting by Media Matters, Sinclair removed portions of one of Bolling’s monologues in which he claimed that masks and lockdown precautions do not help to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Sinclair again has a chance to remove dangerous misinformation from America This Week before it will air on Sinclair’s network of local TV stations this upcoming weekend -- misinformation which has already inspired a democracy-threatening insurrection that led to multiple deaths. Will Sinclair do the right thing this time? Or will Sinclair allow Bolling to bolster a dangerous lie across its airwaves one final time?