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.”
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.
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.”