April 2, 2018

"Over the last week or so, local television news anchors across the the country have joined together to paradoxically warn viewers about the 'troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country.'"

"The identical, seemingly earnest editorial messages paid lip service to the importance of fact-checking and unbiased reporting, but they also complained about 'false news' and 'fake stories.' If that seems to echo the rhetoric of President Trump, it’s probably because the statement was written by one of his allies. The anchors were forced to read the so-called journalistic responsibility messages word for word by their employer, the conservative-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest owner of television stations in the country. The features were one of Sinclair’s now infamous 'must-run”' segments, consisting of conservative commentary that every Sinclair-owned station is required to air.... Deadspin’s Timothy Burke published... a.. terrifying version... which at one point shows 30 of the segments synced up in unison," writes New York Magazine, about this chillingly hilarious viral video:



ADDED: Trump responded on Twitter: "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."

AND: Scott Adams periscoped about it.

47 comments:

Gahrie said...

The anchors were forced to read the so-called journalistic responsibility messages word for word by their employer, the conservative-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest owner of television stations in the country.

Isn't that their job? You know...reading the teleprompter word for word?

Annie C said...

After eight years of treating the Obama White House press releases as the word of the lord to be spread far and wide, the MSM is now having issues?

Puh..lease.

Curious George said...

Brian Stelter has a penis head. Which is appropriate.

rehajm said...

Compare to the propaganda teams from the Obama administration pressuring movie and television producers to embed pro administration policy messages in shows and movies and cable news outlets promoting administration shills as unbiased experts.

I think the only reason Andrew Ross Sorkin has an on air job at CNBC is because Obama didn't like Joe Kernan's point of view.

Bob Boyd said...

I guess they didn't want their viewers to hear the actual message and judge for themselves.

Fernandistien said...

"STEPHEN Hawking left humanity with a harrowing Doomsday warning about how the world would end just weeks before he passed away."

I guess Hawking was wrong about the world ending a few weeks ago - does that make it fake news?

Ralph L said...

It would be funny if Sinclair produced the amalgamation themselves to reach a wider audience.

gspencer said...

"the conservative-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group"

Never hear of left-leaning,
ABC, CBS, PBS, NBC, Facebook, Google, et alia, and on and on.

I realize this point's been made countless times over the years; nevertheless the phrases conservative-leaning, right wing, reactionary, extremist and other descriptors really irritate me.

In the perverse political world that's handed to us daily, one observation escapes comment by the "left-leaning" MSM. Namely, most of its members live their lives following those conservative-leaning, right wing principles, principles of common sense that have served people well for 000s of years.

Unknown said...

More like the troubling trend of troubling trends, reported with amazing simultaneity across the country. -willie

Tommy Duncan said...

Sadly, this is the only way a conservative message will be broadcast.

Conservatives don't have Journolist to coordinate their narratives.

Tommy Duncan said...

Gravitas. Potatoe. Or more recently, collusion and obstruction.

rehajm said...

'Forced to read'? Some of those anchors are deplorables...

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

The Fake news all started as a way to cover for Hillary. Anything negative about HIllary is "fake news."
The local media is D-hack baby-sitting. Those over-lays display the D-hacks, not conservatives.

holdfast said...

Depending on your personal bias, you could interpret this as being anti-Left or anti-Right, since both sides have been tossing around the term “Fake News” so much.

AJ Lynch said...

Funny - I saw this at another blog and thought it was an anti-Trump message written by a bigwig at one of the librul networks.

Virgil Hilts said...

I saw this Conan clip I think in Instapundit comments - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TM8L7bdwVaA
It's not that unusual (or sinister) that these franchises (or whatever they are) read from the same scripts.

Levi Starks said...

in About 6 hours I’ll be going to work. It’s a physical job that often involves working on industrial objects.
There’s a good chance I may come home dirtier than when I left. I could find a job where I would stay clean, and make less money.
So could they. It’s interesting I think, that while my dirt is actual, and theirs is virtual, I can clean up and go to work just as fresh tomorrow as I will today.

Lewis Wetzel said...

It's an editorial piece. Jeez. Why do I keep having to explain how journalism works to journalists?
And CNN, which labels its editorials as straight news, thinks conservative editorials labeled as editorials are outrageous.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Something you will never hear on CNN:
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.

traditionalguy said...

Mind control first keeps the facts totally hidden so no thinking takes place. Only secondary does then mind control
method slip in mega confusion using false facts such as CO2 being a Greenhouse cause in the atmosphere.

Scott Adams explains it all.

Inga said...

They hired Boris Epstein?

LOL.

Michael said...

OMG! Sinclair has standards. Burn the witch!

traditionalguy said...

Practice Tip: labeling news as a Conspiracy Theory is a Media Conspiracy to censor that news from seeing the light of day using shame.

Bruce Hayden said...

I found the whole scandal hilarious. CNN, probably the most anti-Trump network, with apparently over 90% negative coverage of Trump, is butt hurt that Sinclair is essentially calling them out for Fake News. Of course, one difference is that you can always s turn the dial or turn off the radio, whereas you have to put up with CNN if you fly almost anywhere these days, since they have like no term contracts with most of the airports in the country.

And there is a lot of Fake News these days. Over at Volokh, of all places, I was essentially called out for being a conspiracy theorist because I pointed to the unfolding scandal at the tops of the DoJ and FBI, and their national security organizations. Never mind that the #1 and #2 at the FBI have been fired, the latter for cause, days before retirement, and has a GoFundMe page that has raised over $500k for his criminal defense, despite him not having been indicted yet for anything, even jaywalking. Plus another half dozen or so so top level resignations, most short of full retirement, and a like number of reassignments to meaningless posts. Instead,I am lectured about Mueller's next indictments. Wake up - the original Flynn judge was recused, apparently for cause, and his replacement is requiring that the Mueller team fully disclose exonerating evidence, and seems more likely right now to dismiss than sentence, some 4 months after the guilty plea. But Mueller did indict those 13 Russian hackers. Must give him that. The point is that over at CNN, MSN, etc, the Schiff response memo was devastating, Trump is ready to be indicted, impeached, or sued for having had an affair decades ago, but don't think of looking at the declining unemployment rates around the country under Trump, esp with critical Dem party constituencies, or that companies around the country are giving bonuses and hiring like crazy. The world is going to end, and Trump is the cause.

Bay Area Guy said...

Shorter CNN: we're not fake news, you are!!!'

Birches said...

The lack of self awareness from Brian Stelter and his guest is hilarious.

Freeman Hunt said...

Just have them look at the camera and say, "This is all bullshit," at the top of every hour. Truth in journalism!

Henry said...

I find it funny that the first sentence in the post could have seamlessly lead to some kind of conservative warning against journalist-style group-think.

The only thing worse than Trump generating fake news is Trump warning against fake news.

* * *

Sinclair news always make me think of that dinosaur. It is hard to take a dinosaur seriously.

EDH said...

Isn't it basically a corporate mission statement meant to differentiate the quality of Sinclair news broadcasts from the competition in order to increase market share?

What's wrong with that?

Heck, the endless celebrity parroting of NBC's "Must see TV" slogan was much more Orwellian and intimidating.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Trump is approaching a 50% positive popularity rating.I subscribe to my small town paper. It gets syndicated editorials from the NY Times & WaPo. Since the day Trump was elected they have never printed a pro-Trump, or even neutral-Trump editorial. Every editorial mentions Trump, though. My paper gives us a steady diet of anti-Trumpers Milbank & Krugman on the left, and anti-Trumpers Will & Parker on the right. This is journalistic malpractice, far worse than anything Sinclair has done.

Ralph L said...

What's wrong with that?

And since they don't have a national spokesmodel, they use their locals. Cheaper and more effective.

Lewis Wetzel said...

The Sinclair editorial is certainly not groupthink. It was written by one or two people, even if read by 30 people. The uncoordinated but uniform anti-Trump reporting by virtually everyone else in the MSM? That is groupthink.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

When YOU do it it's propaganda.
When WE do it's just that we all happen to be on the right side of history.
When YOU do it it's goose-stepping conformity.
When WE do it it's nothing more than a universal embrace of the nice, correct, loving position--it's Progress and we all know Progress has only one path!

Diversity is for skin color not for opinions. A media group publishing their editorial opinion through their local affiliates is wrong & scary but the Media having uniform opinions (pushed to local affiliates via AP, CNN feeds, etc) is just fine.

How dare that Roseanne lady have ONE show were some characters in some way approve of Trump?!

Breezy said...

I dunno - the MSM is doing a fine job repeating the Sinclair message - give thanks.

becauseIdbefired said...

From the video, the dangers of "centralized messaging."

I thought that was one of the reasons the internet didn't help newspapers. Most had the same story.

Let's see how the Clinton meme "dark and dangerous" for Trump worked out.

Watch Donald Trump's Dark, Fear-Mongering RNC Speech, rolling stones, 7/16
A dark debate: Trump and Clinton spend 90 minutes on the attack, WAPO 8/16
His disregard for the values that make our country great is profoundly dangerous,” Clinton said, speaking at a community college in Reno, Nevada. “A man with a long history of racial discrimination, who traffics in dark conspiracy theories...", The Guardian 8/16

Several other protesters removed during the course of her speech. “I am sick and tired of the negative, dark, divisive, dangerous vision and behavior from people who support Donald Trump,” Clinton, Reuters, 11/1/16
In acceptance speech, Trump's America is a dark and desperate place, WAPO, 7/16
Obama rejects Trump's dark America, Politico 7/16

Atamanuik, by contrast, is nonchalantly ghoulish—an uncensored peek into the dark heart of the Trump id, The Atlantic, 10/16


Donald Trump & Vladimir Putin: A dangerous duo, New York Daily News, 7/16

"Donald Trump Is the World's Most Dangerous Man" and "The Dark Side of Trump's Narcissism", Der Spiegel, 2/16


Hits for Trump Dark Dangerous under google news: 993,000.

It was everywhere (it would be interesting to observe how the "dark and dangerous" Clinton meme spread through news organizations, if I had the time to figure out how to do that).

Most of the news sites already are giving a consistent message. Now *that* is dangerous.

The speed with which "dark and dangerous" spread makes me wonder if "Journolist" is in operation again, only in a way that is more difficult to detect.

Mark said...

If my side does it, of course it's not Orwellian.

Down with Eastasia and their tariffs!

Bruce Hayden said...

Via Instapundit:
“There are companies that have tried to cram down particular viewpoints on hosts. That’s awful. But this isn’t that. Again, this message is utterly anodyne. The leftist media’s universal rush to condemn Sinclair for the message is actually more lockstep political than Sinclair’s message, which is lockstep but not political. Kimmel’s tweet is actually more telling than it looks: all the statements about Sinclair being “dangerous for our democracy” are just as collectivized and unanimous, and far more political, than Sinclair’s top-down edict to read an apolitical message on air.”

And:

“The big four broadcast networks, ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, have around 200 affiliates each, but they’re pikers compared to CNN’s Newsource, which goes out to more than 800 stations across the country. That wide distribution practically guarantees a story will get decent play. The Newsource story about e-mail aired on at least 225 stations, according to Matthew Koll, chairman of the software company that was featured.

Like the networks, CNN makes it easy for local stations to run these stories by providing scripted introductions for local anchors to read. And read them they do, even when they don’t make much sense.

“The final days of a campaign can get a little salty,” parroted one anchor after another in November, whatever that was supposed to mean. The line provided by Newsource set up a story about election-themed drinks and food, and it earned a dozen local anchors a starring role in another Conan montage.”

cubanbob said...

The Communist News Network complaining about Sinclair's conservative bent. I'm sure that is very convincing to the consumers of Communist news. To those who aren't Communists, not so much.

Dave Schuler said...

When you can fake sincerity, you've got it made.

Chuck said...


Does Scott Adams make any money off me if I watch his periscopes?

mccullough said...

Does anyone take TV news seriously?

Larry J said...

I've read about studies that state 93% of all news stories about Trump have been negative, with Fox being about 45-50% negative. It's rather hard to believe the news outlets are being unbiased when over 90% of their stories are negative.

Jim at said...

One of our local stations - KOMO News - is owned by Sinclair and just started these 'warnings' about a week ago.

Thing is - and it depends upon which newscast - they can be over-the-top on their Trump hatred and bias.

I mean, yeah. It's Seattle. But I watch the local news for local news and weather - not BREAKING NEWS that Trump may or may not have called places shithole countries.

Bill Peschel said...

Meanwhile, it's perfectly all right for newspapers across the country to parrot the New York Times and the Washington Post (with occasional help from the LA Times) by printing their stories instead of hiring reporters to write their own hot takes.

Robert Cook said...

"Meanwhile, it's perfectly all right for newspapers across the country to parrot the New York Times and the Washington Post (with occasional help from the LA Times) by printing their stories instead of hiring reporters to write their own hot takes."

That has nothing to do with ideological slant and everything to do with not paying for their own original reporting. It's freeze-dried news!

DavidD said...

As I recall, Rush used to do these echo chamber segments on the MSM talking heads all the time.

Howard said...

DavidD: Yeah, I still chuckle about the gravitas meme when the MSM was walking point for Gore against Bush in 2000.