What is it about the prospect of recognizing there is such a thing as fake news that gives journalists the willies? That aspect of the profession has come out as Sinclair Broadcasting is reacting to a compilation of many of their outlets reciting the same script on the air. There are anchors refusing to read a statement on fake news itself.
Three Sinclair Broadcast Group TV stations in Idaho are refusing to air the mandatory “fake news” warning being read at other Sinclair outlets across the country.
KLEW, KLEW-2 and KLEW-3 are not airing the controversial scripted segment denouncing “fake news” and slamming the national media that was mandated by the conservative national broadcasting chain, the Spokesman-Review reported Thursday.
“Our agenda is to serve our communities by sharing relevant information to alert, protect and empower our audiences,” KLEW General Manager David Praga told the Spokesman-Review. “[Our reporters] are committed to producing the best, most informative and accurate content for our viewers.”
Except that reading scripted content is what anchors do for a living regardless of their feelings of being held hostage to reporting on fake news.
The truth is that even among unrelated news organizations, wire service stories frequently are printed verbatim, and headlines use the same buzzwords for an echo chamber effect that feeds into the fake news frenzy when stories are either provably false or have a lack of named sources. (Happens all the time.)
Ironically, Sinclair Broadcasting is not one of the more egregious offenders when it comes to fake news. Their slant is not nearly as left as some other groups, that’s for sure.
President Trump also defended Sinclair on Monday, saying the broadcast company is “far superior” to networks such as CNN or NBC.
“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 tweeted. “Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke.”
An endorsement from the top is nothing to sneeze at.