Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Sinclair's latest must-run segment comes amid growing outrage over its efforts to impose right-wing ideology on local news coverage that reaches tens of millions of Americans by forcing local anchors to read what have been characterized as propaganda scripts. (Photo: Sinclair Broadcast Group/Screenshot)

To Defend Policy of 'Must-Run' Commentaries, Sinclair Forces Stations to Use 'Must-Run' Commentary by Former Trump Aide

Boris Epshteyn, Sinclair's chief political analyst, defends the company's injection of pro-Trump "analysis" into news segments that reach millions of American households

Jake Johnson

Facing a flood of external criticism and internal dissent over its efforts to force news anchors to recite scripts bashing the media, Sinclair Broadcast Group doubled down on Wednesday by feeding its news stations yet another must-run clip in which the company's chief political analyst and former Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn defends Sinclair's attempts to inject right-wing commentary into local news segments.

"In terms of my analysis playing during your local news, as you see, my segments are very clearly marked as commentary," Epshteyn notes in a new segment that was internally titled "MEDIA BASHING OF THE SINCLAIR BROADCASTING GROUP."

"Here's the bottom line: I am proud to be the chief political analyst at Sinclair," Epshteyn adds. "My goal with every segment is to tell you facts which you may not already know, and then my take on those facts. I am thrilled to keep sharing the truth and my perspective with you, day in and day out."

Watch:

Contrary to Epshteyn's claim that he and Sinclair are always quick to draw a distinction between news coverage and analysis, his segments have not always been accompanied by a "commentary" label.

Matt Pearce of the Los Angeles Times—who first reported on the segment Wednesday—highlighted one mash-up of Epshteyn clips in which he offers his take on "tax reform," North Korea, and the debt ceiling.

The word "commentary" is notably absent from the segment's logo.

Sinclair's latest must-run segment comes amid growing outrage over its efforts to impose right-wing ideology on local news coverage that reaches tens of millions of Americans by forcing local anchors to read what have been characterized as propaganda scripts.

Due to threats of retaliation from the company and the massive costs of quitting, many Sinclair employees have either remained silent or expressed their outrage to media outlets anonymously.

As Common Dreams reported on Wednesday, Justin Simmons—a producer at a Sinclair-owned station in Nebraska—resigned as a result of the right-wing media giant's practices, saying, "I didn't go into news to give people biased information."

"Resigning seemed like the least I could do," he added. "I wish there was more."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Dems Threaten to Subpoena FTI Consulting Over 'Blanket Refusal' to Provide Info on Fossil Fuel Work

"FTI's refusal to cooperate with this congressional inquiry shows that they have something to hide, which will reveal the dangerous ways agencies like theirs have promoted fossil fuel greenwash and misinformation," said the Clean Creatives campaign's leader.

Jessica Corbett ·


Bad Day for DeSantis as 'Stop WOKE Act' Hit With Injunction, Lawsuit

"If Florida truly believes we live in a post-racial society, then let it make its case," a federal judge wrote in blocking part of the controversial law. "But it cannot win the argument by muzzling its opponents."

Brett Wilkins ·


US Judge Says Mar-a-Lago Affidavit 'Can Be Unsealed' With Redactions

"This is going to be a considered, careful process, where everybody's rights, the government's and the media's, will be protected," declared U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart.

Jessica Corbett ·


Federal Judge Orders Starbucks to Rehire Fired Union Organizers in Memphis

"It was a ruling in favor of what's right," said one member of the Memphis Seven. "We knew from day one that we were going to win this, it just took time."

Brett Wilkins ·


Activists Arrested While Protesting 'Dirty Pipeline Deal' Outside Schumer's Office

"Sen. Schumer is sacrificing frontline communities and our clean energy future, all to placate a coal baron," said one organizer, referring to the majority leader's side agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo