John Oliver Tears Into Sinclair Broadcasting, the Trump-Loving Local News Giant

Over the weekend, a video featuring dozens of local news reporters reciting the same, “fake news”-bashing script went viral, with many comparing the chilling supercut to something of a hostage video. The clip demonstrated the rise of Sinclair Broadcasting—the media giant few may know by name but have likely encountered—and the company’s conservative takeover of local news outlets.

On Sunday, John Oliver went further to unpack some of the alarming ways the Trump-friendly media group twists viewers’ trust in their local news reporters to parrot highly misleading, right-wing messaging. That content can range from mandatory “Terrorism Alert Desks” to deceptive features on the “deep state.”

The HBO host also slammed the “fake news” script: “When you see just how many local stations were forced to read it and you watch them together, as many have been doing online in the last couple of days, you begin to realize the true effect of Sinclair’s reach and power.”

For more, don’t miss Mother Jones‘ deep-dive investigation into Sinclair and its ties to the Trump administration, including the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=241&v=kCkuuzDOKwE

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate