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.
How America's largest local TV owner turned its news anchors into soldiers in Trump's war on the media: https://t.co/iLVtKRQycL pic.twitter.com/dMdSGellH3
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) March 31, 2018
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.