A few weeks ago, CNN’s Brian Stelter reported that Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest owner of local television stations in the world, would be directing their stations to read a specific “anti-media” promo to air at a later time. Those promos have since aired and over the weekend, Deadspin compiled an Orwellian-nightmare video montage of every station they could find that aired the same exact promo. Guess who made the cut!
SUBTLE! If you’ll notice, the first segment actually features former Channel 4 staple and talking kettlebell, Ryan Wolf with Valley Central KGBT taking up 0:11 – 0:17. Valley Central’s Nicole Hickl (who anchors KGBT’s Primetime slot), Marybel Gonzalez (who has a Master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of Journalism), and Dan Joseph (whose Twitter handle spells “dank” and who is seen pictured here with a Zoloft-out Ozzie the Ocelot) all read the script on primetime. As we have posted in the past, ValleyCentral is far from a beacon of great journalism, but this is just a brand new low.
If you have no idea who Sinclair Broadcast Group is, they’re an immensely large media conglomerate who own and operate hundreds of local television stations around the country. They’ve been chastised for forcing their stations to run content that is pretty “unbalanced” and leans heavily right. Here’s a primer into the most influential corporation you’ve probably never heard of: (Via Last Week Tonight with John Oliver)
As mentioned in the above video, some news stations have quietly rebelled against Sinclair’s “must-runs” specifically KOMO in Seattle, who also leaked a copy of the promo script:
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 KOMOnews.com 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.
President Trump, (you know, the guy who thought China’s President Xi’s “president for life” was a good thing) of course, chimed in his support for both Sinclair and for basically dubbing every year from here on out “1984.”
So funny to watch Fake News Networks, among the most dishonest groups of people I have ever dealt with, criticize Sinclair Broadcasting for being biased. Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 2, 2018
We’ve reached out to the producers of KGBT ValleyCentral for comment:
So, why is Sinclair owning a bunch of local stations and airing what they want such a big deal? Local news, which is consumed by a substantial amount of viewers, does not have the resources to cover national news stories, so when they report on them, they’re often filtered by their parent structures set up by whoever owns them. In this case, Sinclair is simply a conduit to hundreds of local stations for reporting on national news. For unbiased, checked journalism, you couldn’t have a worse model because your news is drawn from the same exact source and videos like these are the result. Simply, one business, whether they skew left or right, owning ALL of your news is, and let’s say it all together now…
“extremely dangerous to our democracy.”