President Trump makes a speech during the Speaker’s Lunch on Capitol Hill. Niall Carson/Zuma Press
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You might know Sinclair Broadcasting, the largest owner of local TV stations in the nation, from 2004, when it required its affiliates to air an anti-John Kerry propaganda film as a news segment and then fired one of its employees who spoke against it. Or from last year, when Last Week Tonight‘s John Oliver bludgeoned it in an 18-minute segment. Or from earlier this month, when CNN’s Brian Stelter discovered that it would be forcing its anchors to record “media bashing” promos that parallel President Donald Trump’s incendiary complaints about the “fake news” media—”a promotional campaign,” as Stelter puts it, “that sounds like pro-Trump propaganda.”
As Mother Jones‘ Andy Kroll has reported, Sinclair Broadcasting is well on its way to reaching three-quarters of all American homes. “The most important force shaping public opinion continues to be local, over-the-air television,” Andrew Jay Schwartzman, a senior attorney at Georgetown’s Communications and Technology Law Clinic, told Kroll last year.
Now, the media-bashing promos are in, and Deadspin put together a terrifying 98-second video that shows how far Sinclair Broadcasting is willing to go to bring right-wing propaganda into your living room. Take a look:
How America’s largest local TV owner turned its news anchors into soldiers in Trump’s war on the media: https://t.co/iLVtKRQycL pic.twitter.com/dMdSGellH3
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) March 31, 2018