The United States’ largest owner of television stations, Sinclair Broadcasting, is now forcing each of its local new stations to run a news segment that was created by a former reporter for RT, the Russian propaganda outlet, according to a report in Newsweek Magazine.
Sinclair is a right-wing media company that owns 193 local television stations throughout the United States. It has long been thought that the owners and executives of the company have an agenda of spreading their conservative (some might say extreme) viewpoints in cities of all sizes across the country, reaching millions of voters in every state.
Now it appears that this is indeed true: the company is requiring every one of the channels it owns to carry the same “news” items. These are called “must-run” conservative commentary segments, and they are turning into a threat to our democracy.
One of the segments shown on Seattle newscasts featured notorious right-wing Trump supporter Sebastian Gorka decrying the “deep state,” which is a right-wing conspiracy theory created by people trying to undo our liberal democracy. The “deep state” has been discussed incessantly on Fox News and in Breitbart News, both of whom are turning more into Trump and Russian propaganda outlets than true news companies.
According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
That segment was produced by Sinclair’s Kristine Frazao, who before coming to Sinclair was a reporter and anchor for the Russian-government funded news network RT, described as “the Kremlin’s propaganda outlet.”
In addition to the “must run” pieces they are also providing a new script to anchors who must read the provided language before every newscast. The script discusses “the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country.”
At least that is what has happened at a Seattle local news station.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that all anchors were reading the same exact script when they introduced their programs. The statements were discussing that the network was committed to “responsible journalism in an era of fake news.”
“The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media,” the anchors read before every program began. “More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories… stories that just aren’t true, without checking facts first.”
Based on these reports it appears that there is a direct connection between the Kremlin and Sinclair Broadcasting, which is now spewing right-wing propaganda into 193 media markets and calling it “news.”
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.