The left-leaning anti-Trump media is in an uproar over Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest owner of television stations in the U.S., having its anchors read a journalistic responsibility message on air.
Some reports exclaim that the conservative-leaning broadcast company “forced” its anchors to perform the task, which is to speak of a “troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country,” with an emphasis on how some media outlets publish “fake stories” first run on social media.
Of course, it’s the use of the phrase “fake stories” that prompted many of these same media outlets that “use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think,'” as the message dictates, to cry out.
Outlets like CNN, with host Brian Stelter reporting Sunday on “Reliable Sources” that some anchors are “rankled” at being required to read the message.
But President Donald Trump is getting a kick out of the reaction, as seen in a tweet Monday morning that takes CNN, which he described as the “Fake News Network,” to task, along with “Fake NBC.”
The president tweeted: “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.”
Sinclair owns or operates 193 stations across more than 100 U.S. television markets, according to NY Magazine, and is looking to add to that number if a proposed merger with Tribune Media goes through.
Because Sinclair’s owners have a relationship with Trump — that and the use of the term “fake” — the left is assuming the message is pro-Trump.
Weeping Jimmy Kimmel leading the charge in responding to a breathless Deadspin article that declares: “How America’s largest local TV owner turned its news anchors into soldiers in Trump’s war on the media.”
“[T]his is extremely dangerous to our democracy,” the liberal ideologue tweeted… though someone should inform Kimmel that we have a republic form of government.
MSNBC “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough compared the message to what was seen in Soviet block countries during the Cold War and, given the left’s success in targeting advertisers to silence conservative thought, he suggested that advertisers should intervene.
“There has to be, from within Sinclair or from outside from advertisers, there has to be an understanding that this Pravda-style propaganda has to stop,” he said.
Conservative editor Ben Shapiro called the message “utterly anodyne,” suggesting if CNN’s Stelter read it on air word for word, “nobody would have any problem with it.”
“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,” he wrote.
For the record, a new Monmouth University poll shows that a majority of Americans agree with Trump that mainstream news outlets report “fake news,” with more than three in four saying they believe this to be true.
The entire transcript, as provided by Deadspin, is seen here:
Hi, I’m(A) ____________, and I’m (B) _________________…
(B) Our greatest responsibility is to serve our [local] communities. We are extremely proud of the quality, balanced journalism that [station] 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 [station] 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.
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