Sinclair Broadcast Group owns a growing number of local TV stations across the US, and it's come under fire previously for newsroom tactics dictated by its Maryland headquarters. But criticism reached new heights over the weekend when Deadspin stitched together a video showing dozens of anchors reciting the same script in which they criticize the national media over bias and fake news. See another mashup here via ThinkProgress. Here's a look at background and reaction:
- The order: CNN reported last month that the conservative-leaning Sinclair ordered anchors at local affiliates to read what CNN media writer Brian Stelter describes as something akin to "pro-Trump propaganda." His story recounts how many anchors chafed at the mandate, with one saying he "felt like a POW recording a message."
- Sinclair's defense: This is standard stuff, says Sinclair VP Scott Livingston. "Promo messages, like the one you are referring to, are very common in our industry," he tells CNN. "This promo addresses the troubling trend of false stories on social media and distinguishes our trusted local stations as news destinations where we are committed to honest and accurate reporting."