Trump defends conservative media company after it orders anchors to bash 'biased' news

President Donald Trump on Monday defended Sinclair Broadcasting Group amid reports that the conservative telecommunications company ordered local news anchors to recite a script condemning other media outlets.

“Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke,” Trump tweeted. 

Sinclair, which owns or operates more than 170 TV stations across the U.S., has come under fire in recent weeks for directing dozens of anchors to read from the same strongly worded script during on-air broadcasts.

“The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media,” the script read. “Some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias. ... This is extremely dangerous to our democracy.”

Deadspin created a supercut of anchors reading the script. ThinkProgress shared a similar clip that showed newscasters reciting the identical lines: 

Scott Livingston, the company’s senior vice president of news, told The Baltimore Sun that the script was a way for Sinclair to reiterate its “commitment to reporting facts.”

“We are focused on fact-based reporting,” Livingston told the Sun. “That’s our commitment to our communities. That’s the goal of these announcements: to reiterate our commitment to reporting facts in a pursuit of truth.”

See reactions to the viral clip on social media: 

12 PHOTOS
Social media users react to Sinclair Broadcast Group's 'false news' script
See Gallery
Social media users react to Sinclair Broadcast Group's 'false news' script
Sinclair Media is one small step above the type of state-run propaganda used by dictators. We must protect our fre… https://t.co/CtOWsqmE65
Actually, this isn't funny at all. None of it. When media giants gobble up local news stations, there are repercu… https://t.co/1ztiAuR4p6
News anchors looking into camera and reading a script handed down by a corporate overlord, words meant to obscure t… https://t.co/Z7HB6evFpo
We are calling for a strike against Sinclair Broadcasting on May 15th. This calls on the employees of Sinclair-run… https://t.co/S0jvxzeHcs
With today's tweets about Amazon and Sinclair Broadcasting, President Trump has told the country that he doesn't de… https://t.co/vZqa3xtdfP
Dear Sinclair: As a scholar of democracy & authoritarianism, I can assure you that your top-down, scripted attack o… https://t.co/yNfyiUW0F2
BOOM!! Political candidate Amy McGrath has just pulled all of her ads from Sinclair Broadcasting.… https://t.co/obTomtIqzk
A lot of people are curious about this, so a former Sinclair journalist sent me a Sinclair contract. Here are the p… https://t.co/5dw5SI5cpC
Every local station that competes with Sinclair should do a story on them using the exact same script.
John Oliver compares Sinclair news anchors to “members of a brainwashed cult” https://t.co/X8xGi5jwad https://t.co/aRhiapjGCh
Another former Sinclair journalist: https://t.co/USgXTNRCtm
I believe we need a regulation that bans owners of local news stations from centrally dictating content. If Sincla… https://t.co/UUGjktGspB
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Sinclair, the country’s largest broadcaster, has been accused of pushing for pro-Trump content to run on its stations. It’s not uncommon for the company to send its stations “must-run” video segments that feature positive commentary about Trump, The New York Times reports.

The broadcasting groups is currently in the process of purchasing Tribune Media, which would allow Sinclair to reach 72 percent of U.S. households.  

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

 

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