Author Topic: Fake News is Old News.  (Read 555 times)

Offline Jon Banks

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Re: Fake News is Old News.
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2021, 03:43:21 AM »

Today on MSNBC, Chuck Todd was using the same right wing talking points that you hear on Faux. Chris Christie is getting a pro documentary series of himself on CNN to boost his political aspirations. On the ABC Evening News last night, the Infrastructure Bill wasn't even the lead story. CNN waited an entire hour to mention it during CNN prime time. So where is this "liberal bias" in the main stream media?     

CNN and MSNBC still spend an awful lot of time talking about Trump and the January 6th investigations. I don't think most rightwingers and independents care about the January 6th hearings as much as Democrats.

The Infrastructure Bill is a great policy win for Biden but he's got to go out and sell it himself to voters. Policy-stuff in DC doesn't drive ratings or get clicks so the news media isn't going to spend much time discussing the Bill.


Do you think the hosts at Faux actually believe all the COVID and vaccine lies they push when they themselves are vaccinated? ​Of course not. They need to gin up controversy and keep the sheep angry so they keep tuning in. It's entertainment and not news. And we all suffer because of it.

True but controversy and anger sells on the Left too.

NPR and C-Span do great work but they don't have as big an audience as the major news networks because they do straight news without the focus on contentious wedge issues and other political drama.


CNN, Politico, and the majority ABC, CBS, NBC local tv affiliates are owned by right wingers. Is anybody really going to claim that the right wingers who own these media outlets are going to promote a "liberal news bias" against their own interests?  :D             

Well we agree that there's no real "Liberal/Progressive" outlet in the mainstream media. While I maintain that most who work in the media are politically Liberal, the on-air content is not driven by stuff that advances Liberal or Democratic political agendas.

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Fake News is Old News.
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2021, 04:49:03 AM »
CNN and MSNBC still spend an awful lot of time talking about Trump and the January 6th investigations. I don't think most rightwingers and independents care about the January 6th hearings as much as Democrats.

They're supposed to report on a major domestic terrorist attack and coup attempt against the United States along with the anti American traitors behind it. That's real news that needs to be reported, not bogus right wing propaganda against Vice President Harris that CNN has been pushing. ​Independents do care about what happens to our democracy which Republicans are trying to replace with fascism. Republicans obviously don't care because that's what they want with Criminal Donald as their dictator. MAGA was trying to overthrow the US Government so it could happen. The right wing media constantly downplays the entire event and supports the terrorists involved in the coup.       

Reporting on the 1/6 insurrection isn't a "liberal bias". That's a domestic terrorist attack by MAGA and it needs to be reported as a major event on every media outlet. 

The Infrastructure Bill is a great policy win for Biden but he's got to go out and sell it himself to voters. Policy-stuff in DC doesn't drive ratings or get clicks so the news media isn't going to spend much time discussing the Bill.

President Biden is selling it to the voters. He was in New Hampshire today and will continue to go across the United States just like he's was doing for months when he was trying to get the bill passed. But when networks run Rittenhouse as the lead story over an historic Infrastructure accomplishment that no other President achieved of this magnitude, then nobody can claim a "liberal bias" when it's not the top story of the day. When Criminal Donald was in charge, the top story was of him making empty promises of infrastructure we never got. So he got the coverage while doing nothing, and when President Biden accomplished an historic goal, it's not even the 1st story of the night. There can't be a "liberal bias" when President Biden's Infrastructure Bill passage receives less coverage than Criminal Donald lying at a hate rally about his imagnary infrastructure plan he never even had.       ​ 

Chris Christie was on ABC yesterday. He was on CNN and MSNBC tonight. The New York Times just did a big interview with him today. He has his own pro documentary airing on CNN. What's their fascination with him? Seems like they are trying to repair his damaged image for a potential 2024 Presidential run. That's the same thing the media did for Donald Trump before he ran for office. These networks should be interviewing President Biden for his historic Infrastructure Bill. So, the President takes a backseat for a Trump stooge and some people still want to claim there's a "liberal media bias". What a joke.     

True but controversy and anger sells on the Left too.

Yes, which is why the MSM goes negative against Democrats and the current Democratic President at the time to get people on the left angry enough to tune in to drive up their ratings. It's all a ratings game. We've seen that with both CNN and MSNBC in the last few months with their biased coverage against President Biden and Democrats. Bill Mahr who's a self professed "liberal" is now pushing right wing talking points on his HBO show to get ratings. If the main stream media was so "liberally biased", there would never be one bad word spoken against Democrats like we see the pro Trump and GOP propaganda being pushed on Faux, Newsmax etc.

Who is always mostly booked on the major network Sunday morning shows? It's not Democrats or Biden Administration officials, it's right wing Republicans in Congress pushing their lies and talking points. And not one of the hosts ever pushes back against it. So, that right wing propaganda seeps into the main stream media and people who do watch the programs might be inclined to believe it. Then other outlets report on those lies. That's how right wing disinformation gets spread in the media. The only person who does a decent job of pushing back is Chris Wallace on Faux which is a surprise.           

NPR and C-Span do great work but they don't have as big an audience as the major news networks because they do straight news without the focus on contentious wedge issues and other political drama.

Yes, they do but their coverage is limited and the rest of the media should be the same without the propaganda. Except CSPAN still airs Criminal Donald's recent hate rallies which shouldn't even be broadcasted.         

Well we agree that there's no real "Liberal/Progressive" outlet in the mainstream media. While I maintain that most who work in the media are politically Liberal, the on-air content is not driven by stuff that advances Liberal or Democratic political agendas.

Yes, there in no "Liberal Media" in which right wingers continue to lie about each day.

When right wingers are buying up independent media outlets they aren't going to keep liberals on their staff. They are going to bring in right wingers who think just like them. And what a person's private political preference is doesn't matter, when the boss hands them a script of right wing talking points to say on the air they are going to say it or else they will lose their job.

It most definitely is driven by political agenda. After the buyout of CNN and Politico, the news on there has slanted right because the right wingers who owns them wants a right slanted content. 

When Sinclair Broadcasting buys up NBC, ABC, CBS tv affiliates they push far right wing propaganda into their local 4,5,6,11pm news broadcasts. That's politically driven right wing agenda being pushed into local media markets all over America. And that's more far right wing than Faux.     

So yes, it is politically driven because the right wingers that own these media outlets want their right wing agenda broadcasted. That's why they are buying up everything so more right wing disinformation can be pushed on people. They sure as hell aren't going to be pushing "liberal news" on people. :D       
« Last Edit: November 17, 2021, 06:42:01 AM by Rick Plant »

Offline Richard Smith

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Re: Fake News is Old News.
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2021, 03:40:16 PM »
CNN and MSNBC still spend an awful lot of time talking about Trump and the January 6th investigations. I don't think most rightwingers and independents care about the January 6th hearings as much as Democrats.

The Infrastructure Bill is a great policy win for Biden but he's got to go out and sell it himself to voters. Policy-stuff in DC doesn't drive ratings or get clicks so the news media isn't going to spend much time discussing the Bill.



And by "spend an awful lot of time talking about Trump and January 6th" you mean run that almost continuously.  No one can question that CNN and MSNBC are biased to the point of being a propaganda arm of the DNC obsessed with Trump and fearful of 2024. 

Offline Steve M. Galbraith

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Re: Fake News is Old News.
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2021, 04:58:07 PM »
And by "spend an awful lot of time talking about Trump and January 6th" you mean run that almost continuously.  No one can question that CNN and MSNBC are biased to the point of being a propaganda arm of the DNC obsessed with Trump and fearful of 2024.
Almost all of cable news is worthless. It's all "team" reporting. CNN used to be the least bad; but they've gone full Trump resistance and with that anything goes. The media critic for the Washington Post, Erik Wemple, asked the network about retracting some of their Trump collusion claims, specifically those in the Steele Dossier. They refused to respond.

MSNBC is the worst, Fox second worst, CNN third worst. But all are serving the country poorly.

Offline Richard Smith

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Re: Fake News is Old News.
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2021, 05:35:58 PM »
Almost all of cable news is worthless. It's all "team" reporting. CNN used to be the least bad; but they've gone full Trump resistance and with that anything goes. The media critic for the Washington Post, Erik Wemple, asked the network about retracting some of their Trump collusion claims, specifically those in the Steele Dossier. They refused to respond.

MSNBC is the worst, Fox second worst, CNN third worst. But all are serving the country poorly.

Yes, I agree.  The news media used to report the news story and let the viewers form their own opinions.  Now they are mostly designed to influence the opinion of viewers.  They selectively decide which stories to run and instead of reporting the facts, they provide endless commentary of the events.  The distinction between Fox and the liberal outlets, is that Fox does at least exercise some independent judgment on the viewpoints they promote.  Fox does not automatically promote every position of the Republican party.  In fact, in many instances they are downright antagonistic to establishment republicans.  Agree with their opinions or not, it's often more of a populist perspective.  CNN and MSNBC, however, are a complete tool of the DNC.  You can often see that when they start using the exact same buzz words as the Dem politicians.   Their stories and messages are coordinated directly with the DNC and Dem politicians to promote the desired narrative.  It is basically a state-operated propaganda network like something from Communist China or the old USSR.  And the laundry list of debunked conspiracy theories they promoted, including most notoriously the "Russian collusion" theory, that they ran with for years demonstrates that they have no concern for the truth.  They will be sued again after this Rittenhouse trial concludes for promoting another fake narrative.  Biden will also be sued for his defamatory remarks. 

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Fake News is Old News.
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2021, 11:30:35 PM »
And by "spend an awful lot of time talking about Trump and January 6th" you mean run that almost continuously.  No one can question that CNN and MSNBC are biased to the point of being a propaganda arm of the DNC obsessed with Trump and fearful of 2024.

:D :D :D

Once again this is absolutely false. AT&T owns CNN who also funded right wing pro Trump OAN. CNN has been pushing right wing talking points for months in order to boost their sagging ratings. Criminal Donald is under criminal investigations in 3 states plus he incited an insurrection attempting to steal an election he didn't win, so of course news outlets are going to report on it. It's the right wing media that dismisses it pushing their lies and propaganda instead. CNN is currently airing a pro Chris Christie propaganda documentary in prime time which is helping to promote him politically. You don't see CNN doing this currently for any Democrat. President Biden's historic Infrastructure Bill wasn't even mentioned in the first hour of CNN prime time and you're falsely claiming CNN is "an arm of the DNC". "Fearful of 2024" LOL. Trump lost by over 7 million votes and is even less popular today. He is on his way to being indicted for criminal election fraud in Georgia and finance fraud in New York.     

How AT&T helped build far-right One America News

One America News, the far-right network whose fortunes and viewership rose amid the triumph and tumult of the Trump administration, has flourished with support from a surprising source: AT&T Inc, the world's largest communications company.

A Reuters review of court records shows the role AT&T played in creating and funding OAN, a network that continues to spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and the COVID-19 pandemic.

OAN founder and chief executive Robert Herring Sr has testified that the inspiration to launch OAN in 2013 came from AT&T executives.

Dallas-based AT&T, a mobile-phone and Internet provider, also owns entertainment giant Warner Media, which includes CNN and HBO. AT&T acquired DirecTV in 2015 and in August spun off the satellite service, retaining a 70% share in the new, independently managed company. AT&T’s total U.S. television subscriber base, including satellite and streaming services, fell from 26 million in 2015 to 15.4 million as of August.

https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-oneamerica-att/

Yes, I agree.  The news media used to report the news story and let the viewers form their own opinions.  Now they are mostly designed to influence the opinion of viewers.  They selectively decide which stories to run and instead of reporting the facts, they provide endless commentary of the events.  The distinction between Fox and the liberal outlets, is that Fox does at least exercise some independent judgment on the viewpoints they promote.  Fox does not automatically promote every position of the Republican party.  In fact, in many instances they are downright antagonistic to establishment republicans.  Agree with their opinions or not, it's often more of a populist perspective.  CNN and MSNBC, however, are a complete tool of the DNC.  You can often see that when they start using the exact same buzz words as the Dem politicians.   Their stories and messages are coordinated directly with the DNC and Dem politicians to promote the desired narrative.  It is basically a state-operated propaganda network like something from Communist China or the old USSR.  And the laundry list of debunked conspiracy theories they promoted, including most notoriously the "Russian collusion" theory, that they ran with for years demonstrates that they have no concern for the truth.  They will be sued again after this Rittenhouse trial concludes for promoting another fake narrative.  Biden will also be sued for his defamatory remarks.

More nonsense and projection. Faux Propaganda is a pro Trump network and Sean Hannity was basically a Trump adviser. Ex Trump stooges all got jobs at the network. The only person at the network who has any credibility is Chris Wallace. The rest of them push pro Trump talking points and lied about COVID-19 right out of the gate. Now they graduated to lying about the vaccine which is why the sheep who watch won't get vaccinated. Name one host at any network who has access to President Biden like Hannity had to Trump? The answer is 0. Faux decided to push the imaginary "critical race theory" using that buzzword to anger old white right wingers to keep them tuned in. No surprise that the GOP is pushing this same nonsense as well.  So RNC propaganda is being pushed by all the right wing media outlets.     

Fox News' Sean Hannity 'Basically Has a Desk' at White House As President's Most Influential Counselor: Trump Adviser
https://www.newsweek.com/sean-hannity-white-house-desk-counselor-donald-trump-1457917

And even more nonsense. There was Russian collusion but Criminal Donald covered it up. The Senate Intelligence Committee issued a Bipartisan report confirming Russian collusion but you continue to ignore it. Also, last July Russia admitted they were actively helping Trump. And why was criminal Paul Manafort giving Trump internal polling data to the Russians? Also, every criminal in the Trump administration has ties to the Russians. Rudy was taking dirty Russian money and got raided by the FBI. The GOP takes illegal Russian money for their campaigns. Lots of Russian collusion below.

U.S. Senate report goes beyond Mueller to lay bare Trump campaign's Russia links

Bipartisan intelligence panel says that Russian who worked on Trump’s 2016 bid was career spy, amid a stunning range of contacts
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/18/donald-trump-us-senate-report-russia-campaign

US intelligence warned House members Russia is working to get Trump re-elected – reports
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/feb/20/russian-interference-2020-house-warned

Kremlin papers appear to show Putin’s plot to put Trump in White House

Exclusive: Documents suggest Russia launched secret multi-agency effort to interfere in US democracy
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/15/kremlin-papers-appear-to-show-putins-plot-to-put-trump-in-white-house

US says Russia was given Trump campaign polling data in 2016
https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-paul-manafort-russia-campaigns-konstantin-kilimnik-d2fdefdb37077e28eba135e21fce6ebf

All of Trump’s Russia Ties, in 7 Charts
https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/03/connections-trump-putin-russia-ties-chart-flynn-page-manafort-sessions-214868/

GOP Led Senate Panel Details Ties Between 2016 Trump Campaign and Russia

A nearly 1,000-page report confirmed the special counsel’s findings at a moment when President Trump’s allies have sought to undermine that inquiry.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/18/us/politics/senate-intelligence-russian-interference-report.html

Giuliani, Parnas and 'Russian Money': The Other Scandal Rocking Trump World

U.S. prosecutors claim Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas concealed information about his finances, including a $1 million payment he had received from an account in Russia in September
https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/giuliani-parnas-and-russian-money-the-other-scandal-rocking-trump-world-1.8293470

How Putin's oligarchs funneled millions into GOP campaigns

Campaign finance reports show troubling connections between a group of wealthy donors with ties to Russia and their political contributions to Trump and top Republican leaders
https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2018/05/08/how-putin-s-oligarchs-funneled-millions-into-gop-campaigns/

« Last Edit: November 18, 2021, 04:13:48 AM by Rick Plant »

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Fake News is Old News.
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2021, 11:50:09 PM »
Tell me how there is a "liberal media bias" when the media is owned and bought up by the far right pushing pro Trump right wing propaganda all over America on local NBC, ABC, CBS 4,5,6,11pm news broadcasts owned by Sinclair Broadcasting that reaches 72% of the country.

Pro-Trump Sinclair Media Poised for National Expansion by 2020

April 23, 2019

Sinclair Broadcasting Group is the largest owner of local television news stations in the United States. It currently airs original programming on 193 channels throughout the country, enough to reach 39 percent of all American homes.

The company is also owned by a longtime Republican donor, and proudly operates as a platform for conservative propaganda. Sinclair formally promised to provide favorable coverage to Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign (in exchange for access to the GOP nominee). Since the mogul’s election, the media giant has ordered all of its affiliates to air commentary that advances White House talking points, and coerced their own anchors into personally reporting that the mainstream news media is biased against the president.

Given the warm relations between Sinclair and the Trump administration, many observers expected the FCC to rubber-stamp the broadcaster’s proposed purchase of Tribune media last year — a merger that would have enabled Sinclair to broadcast local news to 72 percent of American households. But then Sinclair tried to subvert the lenient ownership rules that the administration had set for it, and, in a rare outburst scrupulous governance, FCC chair Ajit Pai flagged the issue, and the deal ended up falling through.

But Sinclair never gave up on its dreams of expansion. Earlier this year, it launched an ad-free streaming channel called STIRR that aims to deliver local TV news and other entertainment to cord-cutters coast to coast. The broadcaster proceeded to stock up on the best damaged-goods conservatives cable news had to offer — hiring former Fox News anchors Eric Bolling and James Rosen (both of whom left Fox amid allegations of sexual harassment), along with Sebastian Gorka and former CBS News anchor Lara Logan. These heavyweights will ostensibly produce conservative agit-prop for syndication on Sinclair’s local news channels and STIRR. Meanwhile, Sinclair also bought itself a piece of YES, the New York Yankees broadcast network, and is currently the top bidder for a package of regional sports networks that the Walt Disney Company is auctioning off.

It is unclear whether Sinclair will force regional baseball announcers to deliver “terrorism alerts”  between batters. But even if the broadcaster leaves its sports stations well enough alone, those stations should still provide Sinclair with a healthy source of revenue for funding its propaganda operations; Wall Street analysts are bullish on SBG’s stock.

And that’s probably bad news for Democrats. It is hard to overstate how much the conservative movement has benefited from its associated billionaires’ investments in mass media. A 2017 study from researchers at Emory and Stanford estimated that Fox News increased the Republican Party’s share of the two-party vote in 2004 and 2008 by 3.59 and 6.34 percentage points respectively. Just this month, a study using the same methodology found that counties where Fox News has a low channel number (and thus, slightly higher viewership) tend to have more conservative fiscal policies as a result.

If liberal billionaires like Tom Steyer want to get more bang for their political bucks, they should consider taking a note from Rupert Murdoch and friends: Buying up media outlets and then sprinkling ideological propaganda into their regular programming is an effective way to influence political outcomes while turning a profit!

If the left had a better class of ideological billionaires,  “Here’s How Republicans Are Trying to Poison Your Children to Please Their Corporate Overlords This Week” segments would already be a staple of local TV news.

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/04/sinclair-broadcast-group-national-expansion-2020-sports-networks.html


This is Sinclair, 'the most dangerous US company you've never heard of'

Sinclair is the largest broadcast company in America. But its partisan politics – and connections to the White House – are raising concerns

August 17, 2017

Most Americans don’t know it exists. Primetime US news refers to it as an “under-the-radar company”. Unlike Fox News and Rupert Murdoch, virtually no one outside of business circles could name its CEO. And yet, Sinclair Media Group is the owner of the largest number of TV stations in America.

“Sinclair’s probably the most dangerous company most people have never heard of,” said Michael Copps, the George W Bush-appointed former chairman of Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the top US broadcast regulator.

John Oliver – host of HBO’s weekly satirical show Last Week Tonight – used a similar line when he introduced an 18-minute segment on Sinclair last month by referring to it as “maybe the most influential media company you never heard of”.

But that is beginning to change. Sinclair’s size, rightwing politics and close connections to Donald Trump’s White House are starting to attract attention. Democrats are wading in to the fray and demanding answers over Sinclair’s close ties to the Trump administration, which, they say, could mean the group is getting preferential treatment.

The New York Times refers to the group as a “conservative giant” that, since the Bush presidency, has used its 173 television stations “to advance a mostly right-leaning agenda”. The Washington Post describes it as a “company with a long history of favoring conservative causes and candidates on its stations’ newscasts”.

More recently, Sinclair has added a website, Circa, to its portfolio. But not any old website. Circa has been described as “the new Breitbart” and a favorite among White House aides who wish to platform news to a friendly source (a process otherwise known as “leaking”). As the US news site the Root put it: “What if Breitbart and Fox News had a couple of babies? What if they grew up to be a cool, slicker version of their parents and started becoming more powerful? Meet Sinclair and Circa –Donald Trump’s new besties.”

The growing anxiety in America over the rise of Sinclair stems from the belief the company’s close connections to Trump have allowed it to skirt market regulations. Already the biggest broadcaster in the country, Sinclair is poised to make its biggest move yet. If the FCC approves Sinclair’s $3.9bn purchase of an additional 42 stations, it would reach into the homes of almost three-quarters of Americans.

Another cause for concern, and increased scrutiny, is what’s seen as the company’s pronounced political agenda. Sinclair forces its local stations to run pro-Trump “news” segments. In April, they hired Boris Epshteyn, a former Trump campaign spokesman and member of the White House press office, as its chief political analyst. His “must-run” 10-minute political commentary segments unsurprisingly hewed closely to the Trump administration’s message. The news and analysis website Slate, referring to Epshteyn’s contributions, said: “As far as propaganda goes, this is pure, industrial-strength stuff."

But Sinclair’s politics isn’t restricted to Epshteyn’s contributions. It has a long history of airing material which has often been controversial, and for which it has been sanctioned in the past – all the while purporting to simply report the “news”.

While it doesn’t have the cultural cachet of major conservative networks like Fox News, Sinclair’s influence is more subtle. Unlike Fox News, which brands itself clearly and proudly, most viewers of Sinclair’s local stations have no idea who owns them since they are not branded as part of the Sinclair network.

But it is their intended purchase of a collection of new stations owned by Tribune Media – the former owners of the illustrious Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times – that has thrust them into the national spotlight unlike ever before.

“It used to be a few years ago there were some mergers that were unthinkable,” Copps, now with the DC-based watchdog group Common Cause, told the Guardian. “We’re in a period now when everything’s so wild that nothing is unthinkable.”

For the Trump administration, Sinclair has obvious appeal

The figure that looms large behind Sinclair is David Smith, whose father founded the company in the Nixon era. Smith recently ended his 28-year reign as CEO, and along with his brothers maintains what an industry publication called “iron-clad control” of the billion-dollar media empire as well as the company’s majority financial interest.

The Smith family, based in and around Baltimore, likes to keep a low profile – they give few interviews and David Smith has no Wikipedia page. “We would tend to maintain as much anonymity as we can,” he told the Baltimore Sun in 1995, one of the rare times he’s spoken to the press.

Their political agenda is somewhat less mysterious. Campaign finance records show the Smith brothers have historically donated overwhelmingly to Republicans. And a Washington Post analysis of the company’s 2016 presidential election coverage found Sinclair stations were unusually favorable towards Trump and negative towards Hillary Clinton.

During last year’s presidential campaign, Sinclair conducted zero interviews with Clinton. But it touted 15 “exclusive” ones with Trump, which aired mostly in critical swing states in the final months of the election and without any commentary, despite the copious fact-checking Trump interviews tend to require. Sinclair has insisted it had no special arrangement with the Trump campaign and that Clinton simply did not make herself available to them. Clinton campaign officials say they spurned Sinclair for a reason, though her vice-presidential nominee, Tim Kaine, gave a handful interviews to Sinclair stations.

According to Politico, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner told a room full of Manhattan business executives that the campaign had struck a deal with Sinclair to secure better coverage in the states where they needed spots most.

The manner in which Sinclair looks set to expand – specifically, with Trump paving the way – is causing widespread anxiety throughout media and political circles. The focus of the concern is Ajit Pai, the man Trump appointed as head of the country’s top broadcasting regulator, the FCC.

Since he began work in January, Pai has been busy relaxing the protections for local broadcasting that had previously limited Sinclair’s expansion.

Trump’s new-look FCC has moved swiftly to clear the hurdles for Sinclair’s proposed takeover of Tribune. A day before Trump was inaugurated, Smith invited Pai to a meeting at the Washington-area headquarters of the company’s ABC affiliate. Within 10 days of taking over the FCC, a New York Times investigation found, Pai had already relaxed a restriction on TV stations’ sharing of resources, including ad revenue – precisely the topic Smith had met with Pai about.

Since January, the Times report found, “Pai has undertaken a deregulatory blitz enacting or proposing a wishlist of fundamental policy changes advocated by Mr Smith and his company.”

Tom Wheeler, Pai’s predecessor at the FCC, who is now at the Brookings Institution, said: “What’s surprising is how fast the Trump FCC moved and how they moved without any real opportunity for public comment and without any following of procedural due process ... So you look at that kind of behavior and scratch your head.”

To better understand such behavior and where it’s leading, it helps to consider where Sinclair began.

David Smith’s father, Julian Sinclair Smith, described by the company’s official history as “patriarch to the Smith brothers”, founded the company in 1971, and kept a hand in the business until his death, following a battle with Parkinson’s, in 1993. But the company’s greatest evolutionary changes began around 1990, when the brothers bought up the remainder of their parents’ stock, kicking off an extended buying spree that would last decades.

As Sinclair grew, so did the scrutiny. And increasingly, the Smith brothers found themselves not just the broadcasters, but the subject of the news.

In 1996, David Smith was arrested on suspicion of soliciting a prostitute who performed what the police called “unnatural and per**rted s*x on him” in a Mercedes owned by Sinclair. More disturbing to critics than the misdemeanor s*x offense, though, was the unusual way he got out of doing the court-ordered community service that resulted from his plea bargain in the case: by having his broadcasting company do what amounted to publicity hits for local drug counseling programs, packaged as news.

LuAnne Canipe, a former reporter for Sinclair, said the incident was also indicative of a broader culture of office sexism. “Let’s just say the arrest of the CEO was part of a sexual atmosphere that trickled down to different levels in the company,” said Canipe, who left Sinclair in 1998. “There was an improper work environment. I think that because of what he did, there was a feeling that everything was fair game.”

One person concerned by Sinclair’s growth: Rupert Murdoch

The growth of Sinclair may have passed below the radar, but not past another media mogul – Rupert Murdoch, chairman and acting CEO of Fox News.

Although Sinclair has insisted it has no interest in competing with national cable news platforms like Murdoch’s, industry observers say the mogul is already planning a strategy to combat the rise of a potential rival. After a failed attempt to outbid Sinclair for Tribune, Murdoch is threatening a switch of Fox’s broadcast affiliates from Sinclair-owned stations to those of a smaller independent broadcaster.

But it isn’t just Sinclair’s business interests that are a cause of creeping concern – its political affiliations could be, too.

Take the case the former congressman Bob Ehrlich, a Maryland Republican who later become governor. After pressing the FCC to fast-track Sinclair’s request to acquire more stations, Ehrlich enjoyed company perks like the frequent use of a Sinclair executive’s luxury helicopter, as the Baltimore Sun reported in 2002. By the time full details of the report emerged, Ehrlich had already won his gubernatorial election.

In 2004, Sinclair leadership reportedly ordered its local affiliate stations to air a documentary critical of the Democratic presidential nominee, John Kerry, based on allegations which later proved unfounded – that Kerry had exaggerated his record as a swift-boat officer in the Vietnam war.

A Washington DC bureau chief publicly resisted and was fired for the offense. The incident sent ripples through its stations, but Sinclair said media reports about the controversy exaggerated the issue.

Around the same time, as George W Bush faced criticism over the faltering war in Iraq, Sinclair ordered seven of its stations not to run an episode of Nightline in which host Ted Koppel read the names of every American soldier killed in the war, saying it “undermine[d] the efforts of the United States in Iraq”. The decision sparked a major backlash, including from the Republican senator John McCain, a Vietnam war veteran, who wrote a letter to David Smith calling the decision “unpatriotic” and “a gross disservice to the public, and to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces”. Other times, Sinclair’s influence has been more ambiguous. When the Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs  by the then US congressional candidate Greg Gianforte on the eve of his election in Montana, the local NBC affiliate, recently purchased by Sinclair, refused to air Jacobs’s audio recording of the incident, despite entreaties from NBC executives in New York. The local news director said she was not influenced by Sinclair, noting the purchase was not yet complete. Gianforte won the election, and, the day after the Montana Republican was charged with assault, Sinclair’s vice-president and director Fred Smith donated $1,000 to him.

Meanwhile, with its 2015 purchase of Circa, a mobile aggregated news app, Sinclair has control for the first time of a national text-based news outlet. Backed by a staff of 70, Sinclair transformed the app into conservative-leaning platform offering thinly sourced scoops – often written without any author byline other than “Circa staff” – that frequently seem to advance the Trump administration’s agenda du jour. Trump and his aides have returned the favor by linking to Circa’s content, and it’s become a favorite source of Sean Hannity, Fox News’s most obsequious Trump booster. (Sinclair denies Circa has any political orientation, noting that it does not carry op-eds.)

The rise of Sinclair has also recently stirred the Democrats in Washington, who have become increasingly vocal on the issue.

This summer, Senator Maria Cantwell led a group of colleagues in urging commerce and judiciary leaders to carefully examine the pending deal with Tribune, citing concern “about the level of media concentration this merger creates, and its impact on the public interest”, according to the lawmakers’ June letter.

And this week, House Democrats in top FCC oversight positions wrote directly to the FCC’s Pai expressing their dismay at what they perceive to be a “pattern” of preferential treatment toward Sinclair.

In addition to changes paving the way for Sinclair’s merger, Pai’s FCC has proposed eliminating one of its most fundamental rules, which requires local news stations to actually have a local studio where they broadcast the news. Now, the agency seems poised to do away with local broadcast protections, which would allow Sinclair and other broadcasters to save money by cutting local staff and to impose more editorial input from corporate headquarters.

And that means many more Americans will be hearing from the most dangerous company most people have never heard of – whether they know it or not.

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/aug/17/sinclair-news-media-fox-trump-white-house-circa-breitbart-news
« Last Edit: November 18, 2021, 04:29:45 AM by Rick Plant »

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Fake News is Old News.
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2021, 01:13:55 AM »
Sinclair Broadcasting Co. is right wing fake news. Where in America is there a broadcasting company that forces local tv news anchors to read a liberal news script? Once again, there isn't any. But Sinclair forces local tv news anchors to read right wing fake news scripts all over America. So much for the "liberal media bias". It doesn't exist. Right wing propaganda at it's finest.

Sinclair Made Dozens of Local News Anchors Recite the Same Script
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/02/business/media/sinclair-news-anchors-script.html

How America's Largest Local TV Owner Turned Its News Anchors Into Soldiers In Trump's War On The Media

CNN's Brian Stelter broke the news that Sinclair Broadcast Group, owner or operator of nearly 200 television stations in the U.S., would be forcing its news anchors to record a promo about “the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country.” The script, which parrots Donald Trump’s oft-declarations of developments negative to his presidency as “fake news,” brought upheaval to newsrooms already dismayed with Sinclair’s consistent interference to bring right-wing propaganda to local television broadcasts.

You might remember Sinclair from its having been featured on John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight last year, or from its requiring in 2004 of affiliates to air anti-John Kerry propaganda, or perhaps because it’s your own local affiliate running inflammatory “Terrorism Alerts” or required editorials from former Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn, he of the famed Holocaust Remembrance Day statement that failed to mention Jewish people. (Sinclair also owns Ring of Honor wrestling, Tennis magazine, and the Tennis Channel.)

The net result of the company’s current mandate is dozens upon dozens of local news anchors looking like hostages in proof-of-life videos, trying their hardest to spit out words attacking the industry they’d chosen as a life vocation.

Not that any of it matters to Sinclair, which, with the help of a friendly federal government, is about to swallow up another 40 television stations—increasing its reach and its lead over competitors like Hearst and Scripps. The script, as transcribed by ThinkProgress based on the KOMO (Seattle) version, reads:

Hi, I’m (A) ____________, and I’m (B) _________________…

(B) Our greatest responsibility is to serve our Northwest communities. We are extremely proud of the quality, balanced journalism that KOMO News produces.

(A) But we’re concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country. The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media.

(B) More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories… stories that just aren’t true, without checking facts first.

(A) Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think’…This is extremely dangerous to a democracy.

(B) At KOMO it’s our responsibility to pursue and report the truth. We understand Truth is neither politically ‘left nor right.’ Our commitment to factual reporting is the foundation of our credibility, now more than ever.

(A) But we are human and sometimes our reporting might fall short. If you believe our coverage is unfair please reach out to us by going to KOMOnews.com and clicking on CONTENT CONCERNS. We value your comments. We will respond back to you.

(B) We work very hard to seek the truth and strive to be fair, balanced and factual… We consider it our honor, our privilege to responsibly deliver the news every day.

(A) Thank you for watching and we appreciate your feedback.

https://deadspin.com/how-americas-largest-local-tv-owner-turned-its-news-anc-1824233490


Offline Richard Smith

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Re: Fake News is Old News.
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2021, 02:25:27 AM »
Better late than never.  CNN is finally coming clean on the fake Russia collusion story that they ran with for four years:

A series of investigations and lawsuits have discredited many of its central allegations and exposed the unreliability of Steele's sources. They also raise serious questions about the political underpinnings of some key explosive claims about Trump by shedding new light on the involvement of some well-connected Democrats in the dossier, and separate efforts to prod the FBI to investigate ties between Trump's campaign and Russia.

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Fake News is Old News.
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2021, 03:58:27 AM »
Better late than never.  CNN is finally coming clean on the fake Russia collusion story that they ran with for four years:

A series of investigations and lawsuits have discredited many of its central allegations and exposed the unreliability of Steele's sources. They also raise serious questions about the political underpinnings of some key explosive claims about Trump by shedding new light on the involvement of some well-connected Democrats in the dossier, and separate efforts to prod the FBI to investigate ties between Trump's campaign and Russia.

 :D :D :D

How is it "fake" when our U.S. Intelligence documented Russian collusion? Are you calling them liars Mr. Smith? Even the Kremlin admitted it.

Once again, documented evidence Mr. Smith that Criminal Donald covered up.

U.S. Senate report goes beyond Mueller to lay bare Trump campaign's Russia links: Bipartisan intelligence panel says that Russian who worked on Trump’s 2016 bid was career spy, amid a stunning range of contacts
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/18/donald-trump-us-senate-report-russia-campaign

U.S. intelligence warned House members Russia is working to get Trump re-elected – reports
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/feb/20/russian-interference-2020-house-warned

Kremlin papers appear to show Putin’s plot to put Trump in White House: Exclusive Documents suggest Russia launched secret multi-agency effort to interfere in US democracy
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/15/kremlin-papers-appear-to-show-putins-plot-to-put-trump-in-white-house

U.S. says Russia was given Trump campaign polling data in 2016
https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-paul-manafort-russia-campaigns-konstantin-kilimnik-d2fdefdb37077e28eba135e21fce6ebf

All of Trump’s Russia Ties, in 7 Charts
https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/03/connections-trump-putin-russia-ties-chart-flynn-page-manafort-sessions-214868/

GOP Led Senate Panel Details Ties Between 2016 Trump Campaign and Russia: A nearly 1,000-page report confirmed the special counsel’s findings at a moment when President Trump’s allies have sought to undermine that inquiry
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/18/us/politics/senate-intelligence-russian-interference-report.html 

 

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