Update (7/17/19): This piece has been updated with additional information about where the segment has aired.
On July 14, President Donald Trump tweeted a racist diatribe directed at four progressive congresswomen of color, saying they should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
In the days since, the mainstream press has largely covered Trump’s vile remarks with necessary context about their racist origins (though many outlets initially hesitated or declined to accurately label them as overtly racist), and the tweets have been widely condemned by public figures, elected Democrats, and some Republicans. At this point, the main defenders of the racist tweets targeted at Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), llhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) are the Trump administration itself, a handful of GOP loyalists, and the president’s unofficial advisers in the right-wing media echo chamber.
Now, the conservative local news behemoth Sinclair Broadcast Group has joined them. The latest “must-run” commentary segment from Sinclair’s chief political commentator Boris Epshteyn -- a former Trump aide -- characterized the president’s racist comments as simply standing up to “radical, far-left Democrats” who “consistently bad-mouth the United States.” Epshteyn went on to claim, “The wrongful, knee-jerk conclusion that the president is somehow racist for criticizing those who denigrate America is reflective of a liberal ideology that is obsessed with identity politics.”
He concluded, “For those who believe that the American system is not for them, unlike the people in communist North Korea or socialist Venezuela, you are free to go.”
Dozens of Sinclair-controlled local news stations across the country are required to air Epshteyn’s short commentary segments almost every weekday. (In recent months, the segments have also been accompanied by a rebuttal from liberal commentator Ameshia Cross.)
By the morning of July 17, the segment had already aired on at least 50 local news stations in 27 states and the District of Columbia, according to the iQ media database.
Here is the full “Bottom Line with Boris” segment:
BORIS EPSHTEYN: President Trump has spoken out against radical, far-left Democrats, code-named “the squad,” who consistently bad-mouth the United States. My family and I came to America as Jewish refugees. As an immigrant, I know how blessed I am to live in these United States. We could have gone to a different country, but we came to America because of what it stands for: freedom, opportunity, and the pursuit of happiness.
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a member of “the squad,” and her family also chose the United States. Yet she has decided to use her freedom to spew hateful anti-Semitism, join the radical left in its efforts to tear our country apart, and most recently, to not condemn the terrorist group Al Qaeda which carried out the barbaric September 11 terrorist attacks on our soil.
The wrongful, knee-jerk conclusion that the president is somehow racist for criticizing those who denigrate America is reflective of a liberal ideology that is obsessed with identity politics.
Here’s the bottom line: For those who believe that the American system is not for them, unlike the people in communist North Korea or socialist Venezuela, you are free to go. We are all more than the color of our skin, the religion we choose to observe, or the country we come from. Together we are Americans. Love it or leave it.
To find Sinclair-owned or operated local news stations near you, visit FindSinclair.com.