Sinclair producer resigns over company's 'obvious' political bias
A television producer at a Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned Nebraska station has resigned because of the company’s “obvious” political bias.
Justin Simmons, a former KHGI-TV producer, told CNN he was concerned about Sinclair’s corporate mandated segments and that the promos warning viewers of “fake news” prompted him to resign on March 26.
“This is almost forcing local news anchors to lie to their viewers,” Simmons told the network.
In his resignation letter, he wrote that he was required to produce segments that would make him uncomfortable. He had to work on segments such as the “Terrorism Alert Desk,” which are considered “must-runs” at Sinclair.
After Sinclair executives noticed the segments were not running, Simmons told CNN his boss got into trouble.
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“Making the local anchors do this was a big concern for me,” Simmons, who worked at KHGI for nearly four years, told the network. “I didn't go into news to give people biased information.”
Critics say the promos that recently went viral resemble President Trump’s bashing of “fake news.”
“We aren’t sure of the motivation for the criticism, but find it curious that we would be attacked for asking our news people to remind their audiences that unsubstantiated stories exist on social media, which result in an ill-informed public with potentially dangerous consequences,” said Scott Livingston, Sinclair’s Senior Vice President of News.
“It is ironic that we would be attacked for messages promoting our journalistic initiative for fair and objective reporting, and for specifically asking the public to hold our newsrooms accountable,” Livingston continued.