Sen. Durbin Questions Sinclair’s Editorial Decisions

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Amber Athey Podcast Columnist
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Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin demanded in a Wednesday letter that Sinclair Broadcasting justify its editorial decisions.

Sinclair came under fire after a montage video showed local anchors all reading the same editorial script warning viewers about “biased” and “false news.” Media members warned that Sinclair was engaging in pro-Trump “propaganda” and questioned the network’s credibility. (RELATED: Montage: Establishment Media Very ‘Concerned’ About Sinclair’s ‘Propaganda’)

Durbin sent a letter to Sinclair’s executive asking them to explain why anchors were delivering “scripted promotional message[s]” on public broadcast stations.

“Not only is this practice concerning, it contradicts representations of Sinclair’s policies made to my staff…in a November 2017 meeting,” he wrote. “The requirement that local news anchors deliver a a scripted promotional message on-air is inconsistent with these representations.”

“Please confirm what Sinclair’s policy is regarding Sinclair-produced mandated content for local news anchors. Further, please clarify whether there will be employment consequences for personnel at local stations who refuse to deliver the scripted promotional message,” Durbin concluded.

Durbin’s letter has sparked a debate on Twitter on whether asking a media organization to explain its editorial decisions is an overreach of congressional authority.

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