Day after day, Sinclair Broadcasting is under attack — for running a news network. Sinclair is a public company, the largest television station operator in the United States. The company’s affiliates are across the board, including 43 Fox News Stations, 33 ABC Stations, 27 CBS Stations, 22 NBC Stations, and a smattering of others. Their programs reach 40 percent of the United States via local television programs.
In other words, Sinclair is not “part of the mainstream.” Sinclair is the mainstream. And where the practice on on-air personalities following a script is not unique to Sinclair, the blowback it receives for doing so certainly is.
I venture to say that many that are joining the mob against Sinclair have not read the text of what was read by the anchors on air. I think it’s important so I’ve included it, in full, below.
“Our greatest responsibility is to serve our [communities.] We are extremely proud of the quality, balanced journalism that [station] produces. But we are concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country. The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media. More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories without checking facts first.
Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control exactly what people think. This is extremely dangerous to our democracy. At [station], it’s our responsibility to report and pursue the truth. We understand truth is neither politically left or right. Our commitment to factual reporting is the foundation of our credibility. Now more than ever.
But we are human and sometimes our reporting might fall short. If you believe our coverage is unfair, please reach out to [our website]. We value your comments; we will respond back to you. We work very hard to seek the truth and strive to be fair, balanced and factual. We consider our honor – privilege – to responsibly deliver the news every day. Thank you for watching and we appreciate your feedback.”
Now imagine this was the script of a promo for Fox News, MSNBC, CBS, ABC or NBC. We would not be talking about it here today. It would just be more of the same.
Part of the attacks come against Boris Epshteyn, Sinclair’s head of political commentary. Two recent attack comes via the Daily Beast, which referred to Epshteyn as Trump’s “toady,” and the Los Angeles Times, which attacked his “must-run” commentary. Simple Google searches reveal countless attacks against Sinclair for the Epshteyn segments.
These critics are simply obsessed with the roughly eight minutes a week of clearly labeled commentary that Boris Epshteyn offers in Sinclair newscasts weekly. This so-called “mainstream” media claims his former affiliation with the Trump White House makes him a propagandist.
Yet, if that’s how they feel, curiously I couldn’t find criticisms in those same publications of the fact that ABC News Anchor George Stephanopoulos ran Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign and served as a senior adviser to President Clinton for four years. Stephanopoulos now hosts an ABC political talk show and co-anchors 10 hours of news a week for ABC. That is 10 hours of “must run” content that all ABC affiliates must carry each week hosted by a former advisor to President Clinton.
Why do Sinclair critics not express outrage over that fact?
Sinclair critics don’t seem to mention the fact that Chris Matthews worked for prominent Washington Democrats, including President Jimmy Carter and long-time Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill before becoming an NBC show host. Why don’t the critics of Epshteyn at least offer this context? Why are they obsessed with the eight minutes a week that Boris gets to offer clearly labeled commentary?
Sinclair clearly identifies Epshteyn’s past political affiliations, including the moniker of former Advisor to President Trump. Apples should be compared to apples — unless, of course, there’s bias in media outlets like the Los Angeles Times and Daily Beast.=
Ronn Torossian is a public relations executive.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.