Over the weekend we reported that Sinclair Broadcasting Group (Sinclair) was forcing its news anchors to read scripts that were nothing more than pro-Trump and pro-Russian propaganda pieces. The pre-written scripts talked about Trump’s favorite conspiracy theories: “fake news” and the “Deep State.”
Sinclair is the nation’s largest owner of television stations — they own 193 stations and are able to reach into fully 75% of American homes. Sinclair is also extremely right-wing and the company has benefited from favorable legislation by Republicans in Washington that has helped them grow.
Today the MSNBC show Morning Joe had a panel that discussed the growing controversy that arose after Sinclair’s actions were reported in the FREE press. In fact they played an entire video of the promos that went viral over the past two days.
— Raw Story (@RawStory) April 2, 2018
“A national broadcasting system that is shoving propaganda down local anchor’s throats, straight from the pen of somebody who is a Trump acolyte, is really chilling,” co-host Joe Scarborough said during the broadcast.
“It’s kind of beyond chilling, right?” Pulitzer Prize winner Jon Meacham said. “It’s state media, essentially. It’s one of the things that we’ve always, as a country, prided ourselves on a free and raucous press.”
“It looks like something we would mock the Russians for in the days of Pravda,” Scarborough added. “You combine this with Donald Trump attacking actually respectable news outlets that actually fight hard everyday to get it right, while Donald Trump in his White House and his allies are churning up their own fake news.”
“They’re lying to the American people throughout the weekend, over the past year, year and a half, but they’re trying to discredit those who are actually calling them out on their lies and now they’re using an entire broadcast system — and I’m not sure who advertises on these stations — but they’re basically advertising for America’s new Pravda.”
Sinclair is a threat to American democracy. We in the free press must continue to call them out on their attempts to force pro-Trump propaganda down the throats of Americans.