Gene Policinski, President & COO of the Newseum Institute, opines on the Sinclair Publishing hostage scenario revealed by Deadspin in a video of news anchors all over the country spouting chillingly identical propaganda.
Policinski: Next time, just put your name to the message
Indise the First Amendment
April 7, 2018
Sinclair Broadcasting’s recent promotional message on the state of today’s news — delivered to its TV audiences nationwide — is as protected by the First Amendment as it was an oafish attempt to hide corporate messaging under the veneer of local news reporting.
In other words, it was commentary from a conservative company that has a First Amendment right to express its views, but it was also a shoddy tactic that undermined the very thing Sinclair’s leadership claimed to support: good journalism.
Deadspin — an online sports news site — put together a now widely shared video of news anchors from 45 Sinclair-owned American stations, all reading in synchrony from the same script. The video’s echo-chamber effect laid bare what many have described as an “Orwellian” attempt to deliver a persuasive message using trusted voices in local journalism.
Watch the video:
Sinclair’s Soldiers in Trump’s War on Media Video, by Deadspin
The mash-up of TV anchors, delivering the script with varying degrees of sincerity, prompted dire warnings from left-leaning cable news commentators about media consolidation and ulterior political motives.
President Trump tweeted a defense of Sinclair, using the controversy to take yet another swipe at the same mainstream news outlets he frequently attacks: “So funny to watch Fake News Networks, among the most dishonest groups of people I have ever dealt with, criticize Sinclair Broadcasting for being biased.”
Trump has it wrong — critics took aim at the method, not the message.
Let’s parse the actual effort… Read the rest of this article here.