The Sinclair Broadcast Group, an enormous right-wing media conglomerate, is trying to buy Tribune Media, which owns 42 television stations across the U.S. On its face, this is just another mega merger we can all ignore — no big deal, right? WRONG!
Sinclair’s “Must Run” Segments are Right-Wing Propaganda:
Sinclair forces its local news stations across the country to run ultra-conservative segments that some have called “propaganda.” If they are allowed to acquire Tribune media, they will continue to spread these must-run segments, featuring former Trump senior advisor Boris Epshteyn, to over 72% of households across America.
During this segment, top Sinclair propagandist, Boris Epshteyn spins the recent Tillerson-Trump fallout as a sign of strength for President, which is clear to any sensible American that this is untrue:http://komonews.com/news/bottom-line/opinion-trump-tillerson-using-coordinated-negotiation-tactics-toward-north-korea
In this segment, Mark Hyman attacks college students for caring about social justice:
Once again here is Mr. Ephsteyn covering for his former boss during a tumultuous time for the president’s press staff: http://komonews.com/news/bottom-line/opinion-personnel-shake-up-will-help-better-deliver-white-house-message
Where to begin? For starters, Boris Epshteyn is currently the Chief Political Analyst at Sinclair Broadcast Group. If you were to search his name you would likely see one of his “Bottom Line with Boris” segments that stations owned by Sinclair are forced to air. These videos are frequently filled with dog whistle comments about minorities, blatant partisan attacks or misleading and dishonest statements on President Trump’s actions. Where does this deceptive language come from? Well, prior to becoming a mainstay at Sinclair, he was a senior advisor to President Trump during the 2016 campaign. OH — and he was brought in to testify before Congress as part of their Russia probe. Our guess is that a man this close to Trump isn’t going to be a beacon of fair and honest journalism. Unfortunately, he is one of Sinclair’s biggest stars.
The merger is pending before the FCC, but if it prevails we can pretty much say goodbye to free and fair local news. Sinclair has openly admitted that it wants to control every local news station in the country and if the FCC approves the merger, they will be on their way to reaching that goal.
Things are currently looking dreary for those who believe in a free and fair press. There have yet to be any public hearings on the merger, therefore keeping widespread public knowledge suppressed. Meanwhile, Sinclair executives have been cozying up to the FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (an unapologetic Trump lackey), making inroads on their deal.
But there is hope! The FCC is undertaking a 180 day review of the merger, and they have already stopped the clock once to take a closer look after Sinclair failed to answer their questions.
Think you can just rely on the FCC to do its job and stop this shady merger? Nope! Sinclair Chairman David Smith seems to have the ear of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, so it’s no wonder many are worried that Smith has Pai in his pocket. Don’t believe it? Pai has been on a deregulation spree, relaxing regulations on everything from advertising revenue to how many TV stations a broadcaster can hold. All these changes make it even easier for Sinclair to take over Tribune. One thing is for sure, this Pai-Smith merger doesn’t look good for free and fair local news.