Friday, May 26, 2017

Day 127

The Washington Post has a tag line that says "Democracy Dies in Darkness."  This is true.  Without a free press, how do we know what our politicians are doing?  The Pentagon Papers, Watergate, the NSA's scooping up of phone data; all brought to light by a free, hopefully unbiased, press. 

In the past, the FCC limited the number of television stations a company could own.  Under the current administration, these rules are being relaxed. Sinclair Broadcast Group is buying Tribune Media Company.  Currently, Sinclair reaches 38% of the country with its conservative broadcasting.  When the Tribune acquisition completes, they will cover 72% of the country.  Think about this, 72% of local news will be controlled by a right leaning company.  New York Times also did a piece on this, which can be found here.

After Greg Gianforte attacked the liberal reporter, a local Montana station being acquired by Sinclair did not not report on the incident Wednesday night.  KECI did not cover it.  Everyone else covered it, but not them.  After Twitter erupted, and the recordings of the assault were played on the Today show the next day, they finally put it on the air.

KOMO, a station in the very left leaning Seattle area was acquired by Sinclair in 2013.  Current rules say that a single owner may own two stations in an area, provided the two are not rated in the top four.  It appears that Sinclair is going to be allowed to buy KCPQ, which is also a top four rated station in the Seattle market. So now we have two right leaning, Republican boosting stations in a single market.

This is how bad it is.
They are called “must-runs,” and they arrive every day at television stations owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group — short video segments that are centrally produced by the company. Station managers around the country are directed to work them into the broadcast over a period of 24 or 48 hours.
Since November 2015, Sinclair has ordered its stations to run a daily segment from a “Terrorism Alert Desk” with updates on terrorism-related news around the world. During the election campaign last year, it sent out a package that suggested in part that voters should not support Hillary Clinton because the Democratic Party was historically pro-slavery. More recently, Sinclair asked stations to run a short segment in which Scott Livingston, the company’s vice president for news, accused the national news media of publishing “fake news stories.”
KOMO journalists were surprised in January when, at a morning planning meeting, they received what they considered an unusual request. The station’s news director, who normally avoided overtly political stories, instructed his staff to look into an online ad that seemed to be recruiting paid protesters for President Trump’s inauguration. Right-leaning media organizations had seized on the ad, which was later revealed as a hoax, as proof of coordinated efforts by the left to subvert Mr. Trump.
This is not unbiased reporting, this is fake news and it's going to be everywhere.  I consider Fox to be fake news, you may not, but I do, especially Hannity.  Now, local news is going to be controlled by an unabashedly conservative media group.  What could go wrong?

I find this to be extremely upsetting. 


  1. We are down the rabbit hole. I feel like a target in one of those old-fashioned shooting galleries, where one awful news story hits and I spin around in a different direction. Then another hits, and I spin again. And it just continues. I'm with you, Allison.

  2. This is indeed shocking and upsetting. Thank you for the education. I will look at local news with a jaundiced eye now.