Sinclair Broadcast Group aired an ad criticizing its own conservative bias and propaganda in four of the local stations it owns, but also paired it with short segments defending the company before and after the ad.
The critical 30-second message was commissioned by Allied Progress, a liberal consumer watchdog group. The group claims it paid a six-figure sum for the ad.
The clip starts out with the words, “What happens when your local news isn’t local? This.” It then included footage of Sinclair anchors reciting an identical speech warning viewers about the danger of fake news and the spread of false information on social media.
“Sinclair owns this station and nearly 200 others. It forced dozens of anchors to recite the same political message, word for word,” says a voiceover. “Now Sinclair is trying to control local news stations in 72% of American homes. Tell the FCC to stop the Sinclair merger.”
Sinclair is currently attempting to buy a number of local stations owned by Tribune Media.
Following the ad, the Sinclair stations broadcasted a message stating, “The misleading ad you just saw focused on a brief promotional message that simply said we’re a source for truthful news. It ignored thousands of hours of local news we produce each year to keep you informed. The ad was purchased by a group known for its liberal bias, and we hope you won’t buy into the hysteria and hype.”