Commentary, News

Opposition to controversial Sinclair Broadcasting’s latest expansion mounts

Washington, DC-based political news site The Hill reports that there is growing opposition to the proposed expansion of the controversial right-wing media company, Sinclair Broadcasting. This is from a story posted yesterday afternoon entitled “Groups join petition to delay Sinclair-Tribune merger review”:

“A growing number of groups are urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to delay its review of Sinclair Broadcast Group’s merger with Tribune Media, while a court weighs a recent agency move that would ease the deal’s approval.

The organizations joining the effort include the National Hispanic Media Coalition, the conservative outlet Newsmax and the telecom trade group NTCA — The Rural Broadband Association.

The groups joined a petition first filed in June by Public Knowledge and Common Cause to the FCC. That petition asked the agency to hold off on the Sinclair-Tribune proceeding while the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reviews the FCC’s order allowing broadcasters to buy up more local television stations….

Critics say that the $3.9 billion deal would give the company too much power over the local news market.

The opposition that has formed against the deal has created an unlikely alliance consisting of left-wing consumer groups, right-wing media outlets and cable companies, all worried about media consolidation.”

Meanwhile, a variety of groups are calling directly on their members and supporters to register their opposition to the merger directly with the FCC. This is from an alert posted by the ACLU that features a direct connection to the FCC comment page:

“If the merger succeeds, it would create the largest TV broadcasting conglomerate in United States history. Sinclair would control some 200 stations broadcasting throughout most of the country – and with that comes full, stranglehold-like control of the information we can access.

Earlier this year, a viral video from Deadspin exposed the way Sinclair repeatedly injects politically-charged segments into local news, which otherwise typically avoid ideological punditry. It shows local broadcasters reading a script imposed on them by a giant, nationwide conglomerate to convey a political message about – ironically – the importance of apolitical coverage and local control.

But this isn’t about Sinclair’s political ideology. The problem is that Sinclair’s attempt to acquire Tribune Media would virtually guarantee limits on the views that local news stations could express.

The First Amendment is supposed to give us the right to free speech and a free press. A news station being forced by the mega-corporation that owns it to parrot the same messages violates these freedoms. There’s nothing free about a scripted press – and there’s nothing free about a public with no other option for local news.”

Last month, Think Progress ran a disturbing story in which it explored directives from Sinclair headquarters that all of the company’s stations run a propaganda piece on the crisis involving immigrant children by Boris Epshteyn, a Sinclair spokesperson and former Trump staffer.

One Comment


  1. Chuck Tryon

    July 12, 2018 at 10:34 am

    They’re also planning a stand-alone streaming app that would compete with Fox News. I think their domination of local news is probably far more alarming, but I could see them leveraging the app to create a new conservative cable news network within 4-5 years using one of Tribune’s cable channel properties.

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