The Left's Bad Faith Frenzy Over Sinclair | NTK Network The Left’s Bad Faith Frenzy Over Sinclair

The Left’s Bad Faith Frenzy Over Sinclair

CNN's Brian Stelter has given similar monologues about biased news on social media. Why is it unacceptable now that Sinclair is discussing the same trends?

By NTK Staff | 04.02.2018 @1:00pm
The Left’s Bad Faith Frenzy Over Sinclair

Over the weekend, a compilation of Sinclair-owned television networks repeating a script about biased news, put together by left-wing site Deadspin, went viral. Liberals and members of the mainstream media, believing it was targeted toward them, tweeted warnings about encroaching tyranny in America.

Sinclair, a media company that owns local news stations around the company, recently ordered its local affiliates to read a script about scores of biased and false news stories spreading over social media like wild fire. But the media and liberals interpreted the segment as a front for President Trump’s assaults on “fake news” outlets.

Here’s the Deadspin compilation of local outlets reading the same script:

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted that Sinclair stations are “state run media”:

And CNN’s Brian Stelter, the mainstream media’s biggest defender in the age of Trump, wrote a story about the Sinclair segment. The media reporter wrote that it “echoes President Donald Trump’s anti-media rhetoric.”

Stelter cited commentators attacking the feature:

But some outsiders see it as irresponsible. In a sign of Sinclair’s controversial stature, Deadspin’s compilation of the promos — making the anchors in various markets sound like robots — went viral on Saturday. It has been picked up by political activists, journalists and comedians, among others.

“This is extremely dangerous to our democracy,” late night host Jimmy Kimmel tweeted Sunday.

Media investor Peter Chernin, who held high-ranking positions at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation for two decades, tweeted, “This is insidious. The first key to stopping it is to call on advertisers who support this propaganda and express your objections.”

But were the issues raised in the Sinclair feature’s clip “dangerous to our democracy” when Stelter raised them at CNN?

Soon after the 2016 election, Stelter criticized the proliferation of right-wing “fake news” in the American media environment, according to a transcript from Real Clear Politics. Here’s what he said on his show, “Reliable Sources,” at the time:

Now, to be clear, fake news infects the left and the right. I have seen Clinton supporters sharing fake links this week with election- related conspiracy theories.

But the evidence indicates that this is more of a problem on the right, among some, not all, but some Trump supporters.

The CNN media reporter also called for journalists to “restore our credibility” with the American people to help fight “bogus stories.”

Media literacy is part of the solution here. As a society, we need to help each other distinguish between reliable and bogus stories. The more media-literate you are, the less likely you will be tricked by propaganda.

And that’s what it is, propaganda. Journalism is also a big part of the solution. As an industry, we have to redouble our efforts to restore our credibility.

The Sinclair script, which you can read in its entirety here, echoes Stelter’s previous comments more than Trump’s daily assaults on the media. In fact, nowhere in the script do anchors cite President Trump’s favorite insult of “fake news,” and the segment never mentions the “mainstream media.”

“The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media. More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories, stories that just aren’t true, without checking facts first,” the news anchors caution.

How is this any different from Stelter’s concern regarding false stories on social media and journalists’ need “to restore our credibility?”

The only discernible difference is that Sinclair does not point the finger directly at conservatives.

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