Sinclair Broadcast Group, the media empire responsible for the vast majority of pro-Trump propaganda you’ve seen on television for more than a year, is finally being rewarded by the Grifter-in-Chief. The FCC, now headed by Republican Trump-appointee Ajit Pai, has allowed the $3.9 billion purchase of Tribune Media by Sinclair. Along with the name, Sinclair now owns the 42 television stations Tribune had in its portfolio to add to Sinclair’s own, which already numbered over 170 stations.
But this isn’t any ordinary merger of two large companies.
Sinclair actually made a deal with Trump to give him favorable coverage in order for this purchase to be approved. And it was a win-win deal — for everyone but consumers. Sinclair got to increase their stranglehold on American media, and in return, Trump gets to see his interests advanced on all of their stations.
Sinclair has been forcing the stations it already owned to air “must-run” segments of commentary by Boris Epshteyn, a Russia-born former Trump official. In July, Sinclair increased the number of Epshteyn commentaries it would require its stations to air from three per week to nine, and added “interviews” with pro-Trump politicos in Washington. These are centrally-produced conservative editorials that, among other things, call mainstream coverage of events “fake news” and put out scaremongering “terrorism alerts,” which managers at Sinclair-owned stations are required to work into their broadcast schedules.
Are you picking up what I’m throwing down yet? This is straight-up state propaganda television, like you might see in Russia or China.
If you don’t think it can affect you with a paltry number like 223 total stations, consider this. One such station is my local ABC affiliate, KOMO. At 64 years old, the station is now owned since 2013 by Sinclair. Prior to its sale, KOMO was the last major locally-owned television station in the Seattle area. KOMO absolutely dominates viewership for both morning and mid-day news, and is the local station that carries the Emmy Awards. The complaints of reporters at the station that the “must-run” segments they were being forced to air looked like real news (and therefore made them look like they were endorsing it) fell on deaf ears.
The stations themselves don’t want this, and they can’t stop it.
Trump is creating a network of stations that promote him and his agenda, all while decrying anything Americans are used to as “fake news.”
Who’s fake now?
- BREAKING: Another Member Of Trump’s Administration Resigns After Only 3 Months On The Job
- George Takei Just Lasered Trump With Some Perfectly Timed Expert Advice (TWEET)
- Trump Working Hard While On Vacation? Not According To His Schedule (IMAGE)
Featured image via William Thomas Cain/Getty Images