local news it's mostly known for informative and hard-hitting segments like this one police say one of the mass suspects armed with a handgun got out of his car walked up to the victims window pointed the gun right at her face and told her he wanted her purse her money and her cell phone holy you have got to hand it to him that is a great way to make people pay attention to a story they may not be interested in and with that in mind our main story tonight concerns of potential problems in corporate consolidation of local news so if you dare change the channel national cable news gets a lot of attention with their big budgets and their fancy graphics packages meanwhile local news often have to do a lot more with a lot less the black bear was roaming through teen American's backyard tina was too stunned to get a picture but this is what the bear probably looked like except real this recreation identifies how witnesses say the bear escaped into the wood know what whoever is hiding behind that tiny bear cutout deserves a Pulitzer oh sure sure he could have stood up straight and just walked the bear across the garden it would have been exactly as convincing but he didn't do that he hunched down because he cares that man is a journalist look it's easy to make fun but local news fills an important role finding stories that the national news is missing this show uses local news all the time our civil forfeiture piece used outstanding reporting from Tennessee's newsChannel five and our piece on problems with 9-1-1 use great work from Atlanta's 11alive in fact a Pew study last year found that local news is trusted more than national news people absolutely love it so yes when you watch local news you may see something something silly but you also may see something great and there's actually a third option because in some parts of the country you might see this I've got a message for certain students listen up closely snowflake yes I'm talking to you you the social justice warrior who wins for trigger warnings and safe spaces not grown up enough to deal with the facts then hunker down in your room and snapchat the day away with other social justice warriors college isn't a babysitting service it's time to grow up snowflake now that man is Mark Hyman with one in what I presume is a series featuring titles like wake up live Todd cuts much a little beta baby and knock-knock sheeple it's me truth with Mark Hyman Holman is a commentator and former executive at Sinclair Broadcast Group and Sinclair maybe the most influential media company that you've never heard of not only are they the largest owner of local TV stations in the country they could soon get even bigger sinclair will pay about four billion dollars for tribune media and it's 42 local stations the combined companies will create the largest single group of television stations in the nation Wow it is a little disconcerting to learn that something you've only just heard of is throwing around four billion dollars if I finding out that ExxonMobil just got bought and it was by the little twerp who plays the new spider-man what how how's that possible how does fiber twerp have the resources to do that I only just found out he existed now this acquisition still need regulatory approval but it is widely assumed that that will happen at which point Sinclair's reach could expand dramatically we did some math and we found out that when you combine the most-watched nightly newscasts on Sinclair and Tribune stations in some of their largest markets you get an average total viewership of 2.2 million households and that is a lot it's more than any current primetime show on Fox News including five idiots have the most intolerable dinner party ever and that guy from college everyone hated has a talk show now the suck is Alton and the Fox News parallels don't stop there because Sinclair's content tilts noticeably conservative remember that snowflake guy Sinclair produces those segments and sends them to their affiliates and that in itself is already unusual as best we can tell no other major owner of TV stations distributed own commentary segments to run during local news and Highlands opinions hew hard right we are threatened by a nasty cancer epidemic it's a danger to our nation it is political correctness and multiculturalism words that were once acceptable and play conversation are no longer handicapped and retarded are now off-limits there is one step that's proven to dramatically reduce domestic violence marriage I am now a proud Washington Redskins fan and the opinion that only black people can legitimately have an afro someone should tell that to American folk singer Art Garfunkel what are you talking about as I believe Paul Simon once said have no need to involve Art Garfunkel in any of this and I think it Taemin is not see Claire's only conservative voice just recently they're hot they hired a man named Boris Epstein a former Trump adviser who you may remember from multiple TV appearances last year where he made wild claims like this one Barack Obama wanted 2008 North Carolina due to illegal voter projects art or its work where are you getting that from Barack Obama won in North Carolina because of voter fraud 5% of voting in North Carolina made them by people who are non-citizens who should not have been voting and sworn North Carolina to mr. Obama now obviously that is nothing even resembling a fact the claim he's making received a pants on fire from PolitiFact and even if it were true which again it isn't Obama still would have beat McCain by 162 electoral votes which raises the question do Trump surrogates even know why they are lying or are they driven by some vague instinct like when a cat sits inside a box why are you doing that I have no idea there's just something inside me that tells me I should and yes and yet Epstein is now Sinclair's chief political analyst and has a regular segment called bottom line with Boris let me show you a recent one concerning a retracted story on CNN the bottom line is this CNN along with other cable news networks is struggling to stick to the facts and to be impartial and covering politics in general and this president specifically oh come on that could not be more pot calling the kettle black if he said the bottom line is CNN is a rejected extra from The Sopranos in a JC Penney's tie whose voice sounds like Sylvester Stallone with a mouth full of bees but but Sinclair doesn't just lean right with its commentators even its add brakes sometimes put a thumb on the scale in 2010 Sinclair's Pittsburgh affiliate called a 30 second Democratic ad off the air after they received a complaint and found that some claims in the ad were unsubstantiated and look that's a good thing it is good that they were willing to take a stand to ensure nothing inaccurate made its way on air although just a few months later that exact same station and multiple other Sinclair outlets and a 25 minute attack ad on Democrats featuring assertions like this during his presidential election he wound up with a record shattering 750 million dollars in his campaign to this day he refuses to report from whence it came one reason might be that some of it originated from the terrorist group Hamas oh my God look if you are going to make up scary donors to the Obama campaign why stop with Hamas just keep going he won't say where the money came from one reason may be that it originated with this gang of coyotes that has made billions selling human babies to other hungrier coyotes and look if the opinions were confined just to the commentary or to the ad breaks that would be one thing but Sinclair can sometimes dictate the content of your local newscast as well and in contrast to Fox News a clearly conservative outlet way you basically know what you're getting with Sinclair they are injecting Foxworthy content into the mouths of your local news anchors the two people who you know and who you trust and who's on-screen chemistry can usually best be described as two people and the thing is you may not realize it's happening because Sinclair and its Digital new subsidiary circuit not only produce and send packages to their stations they even write scripts that local anchors can use to introduce the pieces for example which is this Tuesday night and because of Sinclair stations all over the country introduced a story about Michael Flynn like this did the FBI have a personal vendetta in pursuing the Russia investigation of president Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn did the FBI have a personal vendetta and pursuing the Russia investigation of president Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn did the FBI have a personal vendetta and pursuing the Russia investigation of president Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flint did the FBI have a personal vendetta and pursuing the investigation it could very well be true yeah but you could say it could very well be true about anything are all peanut M&Ms just snake eggs painted different colors to Fox's walk on their hind legs when no one is looking is there really only one awesome twin who's moving back and forth that could be human sleep to trick me human eyes are seeing two of them all of those things could very well be true and aside from that one about the Olsen twins none of them are now the story they were teasing was that Michael Flynn had apparently spoken up on behalf of a former FBI agent and a gender discrimination suit against the agency but it is a huge stretch to get from there to an agency-wide conspiracy to bring him down but the problem is there is real power in hearing your trusted local newscasters using FBI and personal vendetta in a sentence if those same news car somehow use the words Daniel Stern and explosive ejaculation in the same sentence you could never watch home alone the same way again and think less content can often not be optional they regularly send out what are called must runs segments that station managers are directed to work into their broadcasts both Boris Epstein and Mark Hyman segments are must runs and so are some new segments in fact let me give you a taste of a must run story that ran just a month before last year's election how can Americans especially blacks and Latinos in America support Calibri Clinton it's a surprising message coming from a black pastor but evangelical bishop Aubrey shines is spreading a message of why he believes Hillary Clinton's Democratic Party isn't good for black Americans party that gave this country slavery the KKK Jim Crow laws whoa whoa whoa hold on huh just just hold on a second air kiss first Democrats gave this country slavery it's a little more complicated than that sure someone gave me this haircut but I'm accountable for being comfortable with it lighting it and keeping it around for a morally repugnant amount of time look I knew it you can maybe maybe see why that could be news in Florida Tampa pasta makes crazy video but that piece ran in Columbus El Paso Omaha Syracuse Seattle Green Bay Tulsa and stations all over the country and to be fair Sinclair didn't let all that pastors and Surgeons go go by completely unchecked they did have the brief appearance of balance by bringing in this political scientist who fact check the video but he was given far less screen time than the pasta and the voice-over undercut him at every turn Bullock says that shines cherry-picked is history but if you have the whole context of history and where these things are mentioned where they actually miss peaceless then you would not be personally persuaded at all so about that history when it comes to the KKK historians generally agree it was created in post-civil war reconstruction by Democrat and later Southern Democrats were behind the Jim Crow laws yes that was the party of the south and as I mentioned over time those parties have actually shifted in terms of what their membership basis I absolutely loved his frustration and he tries to explain that now is not 100 years ago you almost expected to say I'll prove it neither of us are wearing bowler hats and that woman over there has a job all of which supports my theory that as I've mentioned now is not 100 years ago and here's the thing the must runs are not just individual pieces they are also recurring features like poll questions which can range from benign to pretty leading what did you think of today's call me testimony do you think it was all about substance or theater do you think enough is being done to battle street gangs in the US do you trust information from unnamed sources in the Washington Post stories why are cable news channels airing so much coverage of the Trump Russia story so here are the options its bias against the president for higher ratings or it's a really important story okay there is a clear slant to those questions and answers I can't wait for the inevitable poll how would you describe the way Donald Trump looks in athletic wear a Adonis like me Herculean see striking from a man of his age or D not my thing but I'd still hit it so perhaps the most troubling thing of all is that Sinclair has a daily must run segment called the terrorism alert desk that is right they report on terrorism every single day whether there is something major to report on or not which means that sometimes the updates contain things like this the company in charge of security for the Wimbledon tennis tournament says the ringleader of the London Bridge attack did apply for a job now he was not interviewed and no interview was scheduled he just filled out in online application an Isis flag was found hanging in a neighborhood in New Hampshire it was taken down and police are looking and who put it there from the terrorism alert desk in Washington I'm lindsey mastis in other alerts my grandma heard a loud noise a man with a beard asked me when the next bus is coming and Iran still exists from the terrorism alert desk in Washington I am just about done with this I look look there is no doubt that the terror alert desk has also featured some truly terrifying stories Isis has carried out a gruesome public execution in Iraq they slice 19 in half with a chainsaw now that caught our attention because it feels like the sort of thing we'd have seen reported elsewhere so we try to track down that story and it originated with an anonymously sourced report on something called Iraqi news we weren't able to find any outlet that it independently verified it and even when it was picked up by British tabloids and Breitbart they were careful to distance themselves with language like it has been claimed and reportedly and I did not know it was possible to dip beneath the journalistic standards of Breitbart that's not being too bad a chef to work at a carnival food cart look your throat ham is unimaginative and bland and we cannot have that where uncle stickies discount ham wagon look they reported it like it was a fact and what was perhaps even weirder about that chainsaw segment was the story that closed it out and mayor's in 22 French towns are ignoring a high court's ruling that says banning bikinis is illegal more than 30 towns initially outlaw the swim swimwear worn mostly by Muslim women from the terrorism alert desk I'm Michelle Marsh what oh that is not about terrorism it's just about Muslims by that definition terrorism is anything unloose loomed us tonight Marcia Lally on the cover of GQ Kareem abdul-jabbar sneezed in an airport and happy birthday to Fareed Zakaria this has been your terrorism alert yes now now to their credit in the face of all of this some Sinclair stations are fighting back against their parent company for instance their station in Seattle KOMO has engaged in clever acts of rebellion like airing lust runs at times of low viewership in fact they're only airing of the story about the New Hampshire Isis flag was at 4:54 a.m. so is basically only seen by people in hospital waiting rooms customers at 24-hour 7-eleven and Craig just go to bed crave get your together and go to bed but the truth is if you work at a Sinclair station there is only so much that you can do and should this Tribune acquisition go through there are going to be even more good journalists having to see their hard work placed alongside Tara desk nonsense just as there'll be even more unsuspecting audience members who'll be getting a heaping dose of Sinclair's content possibly without realizing it so you should find out who owns your local stations and bear that in mind as you watch and for any Tribune station that could soon be taken over we produced a little video so you can alert your viewers don't think of it as a must run think of it more as a probably should run take a look hello i'm steve Schirripa from The Sopranos and I'm probably not the last guy with an accent we're in a cheap Thai standing in front of a green screen that you're going to see on this channel and I'll tell you what this station could soon be owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group so you might see this guy with this logo or this desk and if you do just know that wasn't produced by this station because the people at this station know that local news should never be about cheap scaremongering or advancing a political agenda it should only be about whether sports I team investigations and human interest stories featuring cute animals like this pops le Fay look at it some guys keep called pork chop anyway I've seen sheriffin telling you if this becomes a Sinclair station good luck with that [Applause]
Sinclair Broadcast Group is the largest owner of local TV stations in the country. That’s alarming considering that they often inject political views into local news.
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