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By Miriam Raftery

April 4, 2018 (San Diego) – Free press advocates and some anchors at Sinclair Broadcast Group are raising objections to Orwellian scripts that Sinclair is forcing its news anchors nationwide to read, including scripts denouncing “false news” that “national media outlets are publishing.”

The issue had been reported on national media outlets including a chilling mashup by the sports site Deadspin showing over 30 Sinclair anchors reading the prepared script in unison. View it here:

Sinclair is owned by a family of wealthy Republican donors.  The company already owns 193 stations in over 100 U.S. television markets.  If the Trump administration approves its proposed merger with Tribune Media, Sinclair would own 230 stations with the ability to reach 70 percent of households across America.

During the 2016 campaign, Sinclair forced all of its stations to air, unedited, segments praising Donald Trump and criticizing Hillary Clinton, including broadcasts with views of Sinclair’s chief political analyst, former Trump campaign spokesman Boris Ephshteyn. 

Since then it has forced stations to air pieces from former Trump advisors warning of a “deep state” effort to undermine Trump and other unsubstantiated claims. 

Sinclair has issued a statement calling it “ironic” for critics to attack its messages on the media, claiming “Our local stations keep our audiences’ trust by staying focused on fact-based reporting and clearly identifying commentary.”

Except that it didn’t, since its stations broadcast the media-bashing statements without disclosing that they were written by a former Trump spokesman now allied with Sinclair.

Free Press, an organization devoted to protecting media independence and exposing media bias, urges citizens to contact the FCC and ask it t block Sinclair from acquiring more stations to, in the words of Free Press, “spread propaganda and their reactionary political agenda.” 

But blocking the merger seems unlikely, given Trump’s appointment of Ajit Pai to head the FCC. Pai has been rolling back rules that would previously have blocked one company from owning so many stations.  Sinclair has hinted that it may, however, divest itself of some Tribune stations to win approval for its merger, and that divestiture could include selling Fox 5 in San Diego to Fox News. The station is currently owned by Tribune Media.

Dan Rather, former CBS Evening News anchorman, denounced Sinclair for forcing news anchors to read propaganda pieces. On Twitter, Rather posted, “News anchors looking into camera and reading a script handed down by a corporate overlord, words meant to obscure the truth not elucidate it, isn’t journalism. It’s propaganda. It’s Orwellian.” Rather calls the action, “A slippery slope to how despots wrest power, silence dissent, and oppress the masses.”

Some Sinclair journalists have voiced objections to being forced to read scripts bashing reputable media outlets. One said he felt “like a POW” while another revealed that Sinclair’s contract allows it to levy financial penalties on employees who quit early, making it difficult for journalists to resist participating in actions they view as unethical.

But President Trump defended Sinclair. On Twitter, he wrote, “Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC” and accused “fake news networks” of being “Worried about the competition and quality of Sinclair Broadcast.”

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Lets shoot for 100%. Trump approval rating up to 51%. Way above O Bummer at this time in his "Presidency".


Obviously I made my point. Miriam's article highlights what is found on many other news sources, so I figure it's not "FAKE NEWS" or "LIES" as is suggested. Although those words are indeed quotes from POTUS. I suggest to anyone: if you don't like what you see, read, or hear - change the channel.

Fake headline and lies

Did you bother to read the script? Quoting dan rather, a known liar, is insulting to your readers.
In fact if you gave a rodent's behind about the truth you would print the script. Too bad the truth and honesty are not part of this sites MO.

The script , it is NOT Orwellian or scary to a sane human being, exactly the opposite.

Hi, I’m(A) ____________, and I’m (B) _________________…

(B) Our greatest responsibility is to serve our Northwest communities. We are extremely proud of the quality, balanced journalism that KOMO News produces.

(A) But we’re concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country. The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media.

(B) More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories… stories that just aren’t true, without checking facts first.

(A) Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think’…This is extremely dangerous to a democracy.

(B) At KOMO it’s our responsibility to pursue and report the truth. We understand Truth is neither politically ‘left nor right.’ Our commitment to factual reporting is the foundation of our credibility, now more than ever.

(A) But we are human and sometimes our reporting might fall short. If you believe our coverage is unfair please reach out to us by going to and clicking on CONTENT CONCERNS. We value your comments. We will respond back to you.

(B) We work very hard to seek the truth and strive to be fair, balanced and factual… We consider it our honor, our privilege to responsibly deliver the news every day.

(A) Thank you for watching and we appreciate your feedback.

It was Sinclair that aired

It was Sinclair that aired the Swift Boat attack ad’s against John Kerry. In spite of several Medals for Valor in Vietnam. George Bush famously ran from Vietnam. So did Donald Trump, Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, all those Chicken Hawks in the Republican Party, all Oligarchs that have used the blood of others to enrich themselves. To actually serve along with the rest? No way!

The problem with Sinclair

in this script is that they pretend to be unbiased when in fact by any objective standard they are further to the right than Fox news.

They regularly have scripts written by a Trump campaign guy, many of which direclty promote White House policies with no critical or objective  analysis. That is not news. That is reading propaganda. 

It's simply NOT true that they pursue truth.  They don't, or at best only one side of the issues. That's not fair, or balanced. They should just label it as a conservative talk show and not try to label it news. By the standards of professional journalism it doesn't pass muster. Read the SPJ (Society of Professoinal Journalists) ethical standards or the teachings at any journalism school or journalism books. No journalist is ever supposed to parrot the words of any administration ver batim as though it's the gospel truth. 

Dan Rather is not a "known liar."  His one flaw in a long and illustrious journalism career was not checking sourcing thoroughly enough on a single story involving papers tied to President George W. Bush's miiltary deferments.  There is a big difference between lying and being duped by a source who lied to a journalist.

Rather, a Texan who followed in the footsteps of Walter Cronkite, the most "trusted man in America" as anchor of CBS news, was highly respected in the journalism world and still is, despite that one mistake in an otherwise sterling career.

You may be confusing him with an NBC anchor who was found to have embellished many personal stories about himself and drubbed off a news show a few years ago.

CNN, the San Diego Union-Tribune, Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, Money Magazine, the international press and countless other media outlets have all reported on the Sinclair controversy and criticized this script specifically as have professional journalism organizations that actually understand the standards to which journalists are supposed to adhere. Read the Society for Professional Journalists ethics guidelines here and see how many of them Sinclair regularly and flagrantly violates: 




"They regularly have scripts

"They regularly have scripts written by a Trump campaign guy, many of which direclty promote White House policies with no critical or objective analysis."

Prove that statement with fact and not speculation or opinion from the new york times , cnn or washington post.

Show us a document sourced directly from the unknown person "Trump campaign guy,"

Prove this one too

"It's simply NOT true that they pursue truth."

You can't

Otherwise an honest person would retract that statement or label it as opinion

Boris Ephshteyn is the Trump campaign guy, as our article states

clearly. The newspapers you mention and other media outlets have many links and documentations of this, and even Sinclair has not disputed that he writes many of the scripts that they force their newspeople to read. In fact, Ephsteyn himself has admitted it in an interview on Fox News.  His authorship of the scripts is not in question. Only the appropriateness of the content and whether or not news anchors should be forced to read opinion pieces without being allowed any critical commentary of the assertions raised in those pieces,.

Not wasting my time further on these unfounded attacks by someone who seems to think everything is a conspiracy theory.  I trust the maor media outlets far more than a campaign propagandist.

Did you know that Ephshteyn was born in Moscow, Russia.  Yes, we have a Russian scripting what Sinclair broadcasters read.  Why knows, maybe even a spy.  Why are you not bothered by a Russian writing political opinion pieces for the network that owns the most TV stations in the U.S.?  Wake up and smell the coffee, or maybe, vodka, comrade.


Time for fresh air

Time for fresh air
There is a huge difference between news and commentary , sadly the the mainstream and this site do not understand that. A script of commentary is just that.

the obama admin was spun by the mainstream and don't forget the Rhodes brothers, one worked for barky and the other the pres of cbs news, but of course the people you like are pure as snow. lots of other dems are also married and related to mainstreams liars and on air left wing propogandists
And little barky O never said to tell Vlad he would have more flexibility after the election

Turn back the clock to the clintons ties to china, oh wait can't tell the truth about the clintons
The russia russia russia obsession is a sign of imbalance. Maybe time to get a check up.

Some examples of media "collusion"

Some examples of the "media" parroting the same lines . Sinclair is not evil and people have the freedom to go on line or change the channel. If the news readers, which is what they are, don't like it they can go elsewhere and see what their talent is worth.
I do not watch tv news and when I do it is business news or from a foreign source, NHK has more news than any US source with facts and no opinion from the presenter. For the record talk radio is a wasteland also. It is no different than 99.99% of cable and the web. One side saying why the other is bad with half truth, zero truth and opinion. The idea that news should be 100% fact and zero speculation or opinion is no longer in vogue.

And they wonder why they are treated with contempt.

The idea that news should be 100% fact and zero speculation

is the very definition of "news."  If it's speculation, that's opinion and should be labeled as such. The only people trying to make this notion out of "vogue" is the current administration and the followers they are brainwashing.

It is a tactic of dicatorships to convince the people to distrust their media, media that criticizes the regime.  That's wrong whether it's the Soviets or some banana Republic dictator, or the President of the United States

Some of the links you cite above are examples of news organizations interviewing so-called political experts who are citing "talking points" put out by political parties. This is another troubling trend.  They interview people from the two parties, or supposed political analysts, who have agendas of their own and parrot various poiints.  At least that's not presented as fact generally, but as political opinions.  But the similarities of what people all across the country are going out on media and saying, on marching orders from some higher organization, is another form of propaganda. The anchors are not always willing participants; they may not know what was in that day's talking points put out by parties or conservative or liberal organizations.


I'd guess that Donald Trump isn't shouting "FAKE NEWS" when it comes to the Sinclair Broadcasting Group spewing propaganda which is beneficial to him and his lackeys!