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.

RELATED: Social media reacts to the Sinclair script

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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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“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.

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