FAIR & BLANCED (ODT)
On February 5, President Donald Trump gave his 2019 State of the Union address. It was filled with misinformation and anti-immigrant bigotry, often sounding similar to Sean Hannity’s Fox News show. While mainstream news outlets fact-checked the many lies and misleading claims in the speech, Fox News figures heaped enthusiastic praise on Trump’s address, calling it “one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard in terms of reaching across the aisle,” gushing that “the president delivered, I think, a message of unity,” claiming “Trump is going to be recognized as one of the greatest presidents of our generation, if not the greatest,” and more:
However, the most important part of the story isn’t the question of partisan bias. It’s that a national station group is forcing content on local stations. To many, what Sinclair is doing is precisely what U.S. broadcast policy is supposed to protect against: a single company advancing an agenda to a majority of the country using the public good of broadcast spectrum.
The ConversationWith Sinclair’s pending purchase of Tribune Media’s 42 stations, the company’s reach is only poised to grow.
From all the recent hand-wringing about “fake news,” you would think that the hand-wringers had never stood in a supermarket checkout line, surrounded by 72-point headlines about alien abductions and miracle cures.