Trump trashes CNN, NBC, ABC, and CBS while defending allegedly pro-Trump local news corporate owner

  • President Donald Trump continued his offensive on Tuesday against CNN, NBC, ABC, and CBS while defending Sinclair Broadcast Group, which many see as pushing a pro-Trump narrative.
  • Sinclair Broadcast Group was the subject of a viral video that showed it had forced 200 anchors on local news TV stations repeating the same speech about "false news," one of Trump's pet causes.
  • Sinclair since defended itself, saying it didn't target any specific media outlets as being pushers of fake news, but instead was addressing conspiracy theories and outright falsehoods, like the "Pizzagate" controversy. 

President Donald Trump continued his offensive on Tuesday against CNN, NBC, ABC, and CBS while defending Sinclair Broadcast Group, which was recently revealed to have forced anchors at local news stations to have read a speech about "false news," one of Trump's pet causes.

"The Fake News Networks, those that knowingly have a sick and biased AGENDA, are worried about the competition and quality of Sinclair Broadcast," Trump tweeted, saying that CNN, NBC, ABC, and CBS "have done so much dishonest reporting that they should only be allowed to get awards for fiction!"

"Check out the fact that you can’t get a job at ratings challenged @CNN unless you state that you are totally anti-Trump?" Trump continued. He then referred to CNN's owner, Jeff Zucker as "Little Jeff Zuker, whose job is in jeopardy."

"They should clean up and strengthen CNN and get back to honest reporting!" Trump concluded.

Trump has taken up defending Sinclair since a report in Deadspin exposed the group, which is the largest owner of local news TV stations, as having forced 200 anchors to repeat almost verbatim a speech about "false news."

"Sinclair's fake-news zombies should terrify you" an editorial at CNN read responding to the news, likening the event to George Orwell's cautionary tale of dystopia and state-controlled media, 1984. The editorial described the anchors as "echoing President Trump's dishonest attacks on the media."

But Sinclair's address didn't target any specific media outlets or stories. In an internal memo discussing the media group's practices obtained by CNN Money, Scott Livingston, a Sinclair senior vice president said the company's message was targeting unsubstantiated stories like the pope endorsing Trump or the "Pizzagate" controversy — two that circulated on social media before the 2016 US presidential election.

12 PHOTOS
Social media users react to Sinclair Broadcast Group's 'false news' script
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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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CNN itself has acknowledged that fake news is a problem, and sought to distance itself from falsehoods in reporting with an ad campaign that emphasized the importance of simple facts

Additionally, the practice of Sinclair, the mother company, distributing identical scripts to a local news anchors is not a new practice.

In 2012, the Conan show uncovered a similar trend about a seemingly innocuous story, wherein dozens of anchors repeated the same intro to a story about ice cream phone apps, saying "I scream, you scream, well, you know the rest."

But the viral speech about "false news" seems to have struck a chord as it echoed one of Trump's main concerns and talking points, that the media is biased. 

NOW WATCH: Harvard professor Steven Pinker explains the disturbing truth behind Trump's 2 favorite phrases

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SEE ALSO: Sinclair calls out critics and defends its decision to force news anchors to recite 'false news' speech after video goes viral

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