President Donald Trump came to Sinclair's defense in a pair of tweets, one of which said: "The Fake News Networks, those that knowingly have a sick and biased AGENDA, are anxious about the competition and quality of Sinclair Broadcast".
Sinclair has become a hot-button topic as it seeks approval to reach over 70 percent US households after its mega-merger with Tribune Broadcasting. If the deal goes through, Sinclair will extend its reach to approximately 70 percent of American networks, according to the Washington Post.
Trump's tweet was referring specifically to a recent controversy where Sinclair, the country's largest broadcaster with 193 owned or operated TV stations, required some of its anchors to read a script warning of biased news. They all say they are "concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country".
"We aren't sure of the motivation for the criticism, but find it curious that we would be attacked for asking our news people to remind their audiences that unsubstantiated stories exist on social media, which result in an ill-informed public with potentially unsafe consequences". "More alarming, some media outlets are publishing these same fake stories without checking facts first". As anchors pledged "very hard to seek the truth and strive to be fair, balanced, and factual", viewers are finding those words hard to believe. "We consider it our honor, our privilege to responsibly deliver the news every day".
The senior director also pointed out that while it might not require stations to advertise its ownership, they do mandate that stations broadcast "must-run commentary".
The video appeared over the weekend and was the talk of lawmakers, celebrities and news consumers who wondered why one message was so widespread across so many stations and what it means for local news nationwide.
Rebels free five prisoners in Syria's eastern Ghouta
The government's key ally Russian Federation announced on Sunday that Jaysh al-Islam had agreed to an evacuation. Syrian forces had carried out a six-week long air and ground offensive.
They have been required to run segments by former Trump advisers, a practice which was criticized by comedian John Oliver on "Last Week Tonight" a year ago. Sinclair stations also provided a friendly forum for Trump interviews during the campaign.
National Public Radio's David Folkenflik anticipated Sinclair stations moving in a more conservative direction last Spring, "If history is any guide".
"I no longer work at NTV News". At a time when trust in media is eroding, the Sinclair promo not only told viewers to trust media less because of partisan bias; it allows them to cry "fake news" at anything they disagree with. "I have no problem with conservative-slanted news or liberal-slanted news - but own it", Weiss said. Last year, the Federal Communications Committee slapped Sinclair with a $13.4 million fine for not properly identifying some content as ads, including news stories on a cancer foundation that were paid for by the foundation.
Sinclair's attempt to purchase Tribune has faced a number of setbacks from the FCC and Justice Department because of antitrust and public interest issues.
The viral video was released after multiple media outlets spent weeks reporting on Sinclair's use of the scripts.