John Oliver calls Sinclair anchors 'members of a brainwashed cult'

John Oliver calls Sinclair anchors 'members of a brainwashed cult'

Kerry Wise
Апреля 4, 2018

Unfortunately, some members of the national media are using their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control "exactly what people think".

Among others, John Oliver skewered Sinclair's campaign during his HBO program, "Last Week Tonight", on Sunday.

Meanwhile, CNN's Jim Acosta was criticized by some conservative media outlets on Monday for shouting questions about immigration to Trump while the president and first lady were attending an Easter event on the grounds of the White House. The president singled out CNN and NBC. Sinclair-owned station and would ask other Democratic congressional candidates to refuse to buy campaign advertising from Sinclair stations. But we are human, and sometimes our reporting might fall short.

Fox 47 isn't the only station to be hesitant to run these kinds of canned, propaganda-like segments: on Monday, Fletcher Fischer, business manager and financial secretary of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1228, spoke to The Providence Journal and said that the anchors and journalists at stations like local NBC-affiliate WJAR were unhappy with the mandatory scripts, but were afraid to speak out.

Another late-night comic, Jimmy Kimmel, tweeted a link to the Deadspin video and commented, "This is extremely unsafe to our democracy" - an ironic echo of a line from Sinclair's promotional script and one that Burke repeated in his video.

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The controversy comes at a critical time for Sinclair.

Sinclair maintains that the warnings from anchors are created to warn viewers about the scourge of made-up news stories and partisan-skewed information that spreads via social media. If completed, the merger would give Sinclair direct access to about 70 percent of the TV households in the nation, by far the most by one company. In the United States, where Fake News and concerns over the phenomenon have been gaining traction ever since 2016's presidential election, news anchors from the various stations owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group have come together to read out a scripted plea and pledge against Fake News in unison. Sinclair could end up controlling over 230 local stations if the deal is approved. "If the FCC allows this, there's nothing to stop [other companies] from getting bigger and editorializing on their local newscasts".

"It is ironic that we would be attacked for messages promoting our journalistic initiative for fair and objective reporting, and for specifically asking the public to hold our newsrooms accountable", he said. "It illustrates a story that in some cases can read like a conspiracy theory". Trump's Federal Communications Commission is simultaneously facing an investigation into whether it has improperly favored Sinclair in the merger review. That's the goal of these announcements: "to reiterate our commitment to reporting facts in the pursuit of truth".

The video reveals dozens of TV news anchors reciting the exact same script warning against "biased and false news".

Neither the station nor Sinclair responded to BuzzFeed News' request for more information, and the circumstances and extent of the station's refusal to air the message remained unclear Monday. He tweeted out the video, saying, "How America's largest local TV owner turned its news anchors into soldiers in Trump's war on the media".

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