On Tuesday, President Trump called “foul” on the Federal Communications Commission for rejecting the merger of Tribune Media with Sinclair Broadcast Group. According to The Donald, the decision was just plain “sad and unfair.”
“So sad and unfair that the FCC wouldn’t approve the Sinclair Broadcast merger with Tribune. This would have been a great and much needed Conservative voice for and of the People. Liberal Fake News NBC and Comcast gets approved, much bigger, but not Sinclair. Disgraceful!”
So sad and unfair that the FCC wouldn’t approve the Sinclair Broadcast merger with Tribune. This would have been a great and much needed Conservative voice for and of the People. Liberal Fake News NBC and Comcast gets approved, much bigger, but not Sinclair. Disgraceful!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2018
[Speaking of fake news, don’t miss the unbelievable quote from Brian Stelter at the end of the CNN video below this article.]
The FCC voted 4-0 to pass the deal — worth $3.9 billion — to a judge, who is likely to kill it.
Ajit Pai, chair of the communications organization, expressed “serious concerns” regarding the legal basis for the union, due to the fact that Sinclair plans to sell some of the television stations it owns while maintaining major control over those stations’ programming and operations.
“The evidence we’ve received suggests that certain station divestitures that have been proposed to the FCC would allow Sinclair to control those stations in practice, even if not in name, in violation of the law.”
Sinclair provided a plan in which to tackle some of those issues, yet the FCC was not impressed.
So 4-0, and tell it to the judge.
As it stands now, Sinclair is the largest television station owner in the country, in terms of coverage and also number of stations owned.
Trump has called Sinclair “far superior to CNN.”
Not everyone agrees. Take it from Vox:
“This month, the 193 local TV affiliates owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group began running a series of promotional segments, warning of a scourge of ‘fake news’ promoted by ‘members of the media [who] use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control “exactly what people think.”‘
“The segments, which echo the Trump administration’s anti-media rhetoric, are eerily uniform across all Sinclair affiliates, so much so that Deadspin’s Timothy Burke was able to edit them together into a supercut showing dozens of Sinclair anchors saying the exact same words.”
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) March 31, 2018
As for the video above, Vox had this to say:
“The video is just the most recent example of Sinclair stations’ strong partisan tilt. A recent paper by Emory University political scientists Gregory Martin and Josh McCrain found that when Sinclair buys a local station, its local news program begin to cover more national and less local politics, the coverage becomes more conservative, and viewership actually falls — suggesting that the rightward tilt isn’t enacted as a strategy to win more viewers but as part of a persuasion effort.”
No! Not more conservative coverage! Run for the hills!
I’m afraid so:
“A report from the Pew Research Center last year found that 37 percent of Americans say they frequently rely on local TV for news — not far behind the 45 percent of Americans who say they get news from Facebook, and ahead of the 33 percent who say they look at news websites and apps, the 28 percent who watch cable news, the 26 percent who watch national nightly news, and the 18 percent who still read print newspapers.
“That makes the partisan tilt of the hundreds of local TV stations that Sinclair owns concerning, especially since the company’s channels reach 40 percent of Americans.”
Tribune media owns 37 television stations and the cable channel WGN. The Bozo Show!
If you’re too young to know what that is (it stopped airing 17 years ago), thank you for reading.
For something totally different, please check out my articles on the end of guns as an issue, the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, and Hillary Clinton’s claim that we’ll be back to the days of slavery in no time.
Find all my RedState work here.