Once upon a time, your local news stations were a reliable bastion of independent journalism. Chance are good that isn’t the case now.
If your local station is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, then it is required to run certain news and opinion pieces produced by Sinclair, not by any local journalist. It is required to air a daily “Terrorism Alert Desk” segment — also produced by Sinclair — regardless of any actual alert or danger. It is required to read transcripts written by Sinclair. Those programs and transcripts serve a political agenda.
This brilliant video demonstrating the power of Sinclair’s propaganda machine is just 1:38 minutes long and might freeze your blood.
If the word “Orwellian” just popped into your head, you are not alone.
An excellent Guardian article delves into Sinclair and its newfound power under the Trump administration, which is busily relaxing regulations that had previously limited Sinclair’s reach. Michael Copps, a former FCC chairman appointed by George W Bush, calls Sinclair “probably the most dangerous company most people have never heard of.”
John Oliver ran an informative and darkly humorous segment on Sinclair as well — if you don’t want to dig into the Guardian article, watch it below.
Wikipedia has a list of stations owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group. I checked it to see which Oregon stations are under its thumb, and found that Sinclair has a strong hold on Oregon broadcasting:
- KVAL and KMTR in Eugene, the CBS and NBC affiliates (which also air in Coos Bay and Roseburg on four satellite stations).
- KTVL in Medford.
- KATU and KUNP in Portland, the ABC and Univision affiliates.
Between those five stations and their four satellites, Sinclair can reach the majority of Oregon households. The only major city it doesn’t cover is Salem.
Frightening. And very likely to get worse.