For an unsettling portent of what an authoritarian media looks like, check out the newly surfaced video compilation of dozens of well-coiffed, witless local TV "news" anchors around the country all repeating the same zombie-like Trumpian warnings about "false news" and "fake stories," courtesy of their right-wing mother ship Sinclair Broadcast Group. The largest owner of television stations in the U.S. - if it adds its newly proposed 40 stations, it will own or operate over 200 stations with access to 70% of American homes - Sinclair regularly sends its stations "must-runs," short earnest videos of conservative talking points that each station is required to air as part of its broadcast.
Sinclair has committed plenty of earlier crimes against journalism - its deal with the Trump campaign, savaging of the Clinton campaign, fearmongering "Terrorism Alert Desk,” white-nationalist-flavored "Behind the Headlines" pieces, Deep-State-themed Sebastian Gorka segment. But nothing comes close to the Orwellian creepiness of scores of lobotomized Manchurian Candidates simultaneously spewing the same drivel: "Quality, balanced journalism... the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories...biased and false news....fake stories (that) just aren't true... personal bias and agenda." The compilation has sparked revulsion, boycott calls, invites to whistleblowers, on-point insults - if you watch Sinclair you're a rube, if you work there you're a whore - and an eerie agreement with Sinclair's refrain, meant in precisely the wrong way, that, "This is extremely dangerous to a democracy."
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
Never Miss a Beat.
Get our best delivered to your inbox.
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) March 31, 2018