View Full Version : Do you think it is extremely dangerous to our democracy to have one company

03-31-2018, 07:59 PM
own so many television stations. This is the Sinclair Group:


03-31-2018, 08:07 PM
All part of the plan. This is something that has been in the works for a long time. Trump & Co. made deals with Sinclair to become the unofficial propaganda arm back during his campaign, and the actions of both Sinclair, the FCC, and Trump just proves it.

11/16 Ajit Pai, Trump's pick to head the FCC, visits Sinclair station broadcasters, and executives, where he arranges a deal on a merger. http://variety.com/2017/politics/politics/fcc-sinclair-broadcast-group-merger-tribune-1202563578/
12/12/16 Kushner sets up a deal with Sinclair; they'll broadcast good things for Trump, for consideration of other matters later. First step in setting up state sanctioned media. https://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/trump-campaign-sinclair-broadcasting-jared-kushner-232764
1/5/17 Sinclair attacks Washington Post; calling them fake news. The first of Trumps propaganda pieces through them. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sinclair-responds-to-multiple-organizations-misleading-and-irresponsible-news-coverage-300389377.html
2/12/17 Trump bypasses established practices, conducts interview with only Sinclair media present. https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/curtis-houck/2017/02/13/trump-skips-establishment-networks-newspapers-trudeau-press
4/30/17 FCC plans to remove laws preventing companies from owning too many tv stations. A move backed by Sinclair. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/03/30/report-fcc-revise-broadcast-ownership-rule/99816092/
5/12/17 Sinclair orders their station managers to start tilting stories more towards the GOP line. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/12/business/media/sinclair-broadcast-komo-conservative-media.html
7/10/17 Sinclair begins pushing more Pro Trump propaganda. http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/07/sinclair-orders-stations-to-air-more-pro-trump-commentary.html
8/6/17 Trump urges FCC to allow Sinclair Media (a right wing media company) to expand beyond their current market, allowing them to broadcast to 70% of the country.
10/11/17 Sinclair begins attacking politifact, accusing them of spreading fake news. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2017/oct/11/sinclair-targeting-politifact-you-need-know-facts/
10/24/17 In a move that benefits Sinclair Media, the FCC rolls back rules requiring broadcast companies to have a studio in the area they're broadcasting in. http://www.tvtechnology.com/news/0002/fcc-eliminates-main-studio-rule/282128
November 9, 2017: Aji Pai wants to end regulations keeping tv stations from purchasing local newspapers. A move backed by Sinclair. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/09/opinion/ajit-pai-media-ownership.html
11/16/17 42 year old rules regarding media mergers are finally removed. This is a win for Sinclair, allowing them to monopolize news sources in small towns. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/11/16/the-fcc-just-repealed-decades-old-rules-blocking-broadcast-media-mergers/
2/26/18 FCC Comissioner: Policy custom built for Sinclair media. https://www.thedailybeast.com/fcc-commissioner-our-policy-is-custom-built-for-right-wing-sinclair-broadcasting

03-31-2018, 08:09 PM
Great, sourced write-up! I just want to expand on why everyone, including a FCC Commissioner, is very concerned with Sinclair Media Group;
For those that don't know who or what Sinclair Media Group is here is a great article that breaks it down.[1] (https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/aug/17/sinclair-news-media-fox-trump-white-house-circa-breitbart-news) Included in the Guardian's article is a John Oliver piece on Sinclair. The FCC, under the direction of Ajit Pai, are relaxing regulations in an attempt to allow a pro-Trump news organization to buy out local news stations across the country. Sinclair forces local stations to run pro-Trump news segments. A government organization that is meant to be impartial is tailoring policy to push right-wing propaganda.

Another cause for concern, and increased scrutiny, is what’s seen as the company’s pronounced political agenda. Sinclair forces its local stations to run pro-Trump “news” segments. In April, they hired Boris Epshteyn, a former Trump campaign spokesman and member of the White House press office, as its chief political analyst. His “must-run” 10-minute political commentary segments unsurprisingly hewed closely to the Trump administration’s message. The news and analysis website Slate, referring to Epshteyn’s contributions, said: “As far as propaganda goes, this is pure, industrial-strength stuff.”
Here is a great break down on why Ajit Pai allowing Sinclair Broadcasting to spend close to $4 billion to buy out local news stations is worrying. One of the FCC Commissioners called out Ajit Pai, the head of the FCC, for voting in favour of changes that are favourable for Sinclair Broadcasting.[2] (https://www.thedailybeast.com/fcc-commissioner-our-policy-is-custom-built-for-right-wing-sinclair-broadcasting)

Sometime this spring, the Federal Communications Commission is expected to take a step without precedent in the history of U.S. communications policy. Once upon a time a watchdog agency, the FCC is going to approve a near-$4 billion merger between two companies that will result in the parent company’s programming—and probably not coincidentally, its right-wing politics—being broadcast into 72 percent of American homes.
...The merger would eviscerate the principles the FCC was created to uphold and defend—principles such as diversity of ownership to foster competition, diversity of viewpoints to foster public debate, and localism to foster service to the community. All three have been perched precariously on the sill since the Reagan administration. But once this is approved, out the window and down to the sidewalk they’ll tumble.
Sinclair has been in a battle with antitrust officials from the Justice Department, the officials state that Sinclair cannot own so many channels as the merger with Tribune will harm competition in cities.[3] (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/27/business/sinclair-tribune-merger-antitrust.html) Sinclair is attempting to get around these stipulations by selling stations to owners that are friendly to Sinclair. In their FCC filings they indicate that Sinclair will enter into “option and services” agreements with the buyer of the stations, but does not provide specific details of the agreements.[4] (http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/columnists/reed/ct-biz-sinclair-wgn-tricky-deal-robert-reed-0301-story.html)
1) The Guardian - This is Sinclair, 'the most dangerous US company you've never heard of' (https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/aug/17/sinclair-news-media-fox-trump-white-house-circa-breitbart-news)
2) The Daily Beast - FCC Commissioner: Our Policy Is ‘Custom Built’ for Right-Wing Sinclair Broadcasting (https://www.thedailybeast.com/fcc-commissioner-our-policy-is-custom-built-for-right-wing-sinclair-broadcasting)
3) New York Times - Sinclair Deal With Tribune Hits Complications in Washington (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/27/business/sinclair-tribune-merger-antitrust.html)
4) Chicago Tribune - Sinclair's WGN fig leaf could seal its controversial Tribune Media pact. That's too bad. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/columnists/reed/ct-biz-sinclair-wgn-tricky-deal-robert-reed-0301-story.html)
P.S. please don't gild me. Instead donate to your time and money towards a goal that is more conducive in creating a better world. It can be anything from helping out an elderly neighbour to donating to a charity. Every little bit helps! You can make a difference and don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise! Remember to register to vote for the upcoming midterms.

03-31-2018, 09:25 PM
They've certainly infected our local stations. I noticed something was up way before I found that Sinclair was behind it.

04-01-2018, 02:30 AM
Yes. These parts we have laws to limit them but they keep trying.

04-01-2018, 04:23 AM
Yes, but political donations speak very loudly, and it's all free speech of course.

04-01-2018, 11:09 AM
That is Trump TV... and Disgusting.
A good article in the New Yorker about it a year or two ago.

04-01-2018, 12:19 PM
Are you not entertained?

john welsford
04-01-2018, 02:38 PM
Its interesting to see whats happening in the media world in terms of where people get their entertainment, conventional viewing patterns of TV are heading downward in favour of on line, view on demand, so much so that the tv companies are panicking. "Control" of political content there is much harder, so the "problem" above may be a relatively short term one.

John Welsford

John of Phoenix
04-02-2018, 09:45 AM
The merger would eviscerate the principles the FCC was created to uphold and defend...Just add this to the growing list of eviscerated agencies.

Remember this old one? "We are a nation of laws, not of men."

Forget it. We are now ruled by "Drown it in a bathtub."

John Smith
04-02-2018, 10:19 AM
Yes, but political donations speak very loudly, and it's all free speech of course.

THAT, IMO, IS THE PROBLEM. Lying for political gain should be viewed as the fraud that it is. Fraud is not free speech, but a crime. The definition of 'fraud' is the misrepresentation of matters of fact for gain.

"NEWS" outlets, politicians, political ads, etc. should be required by law to get matters of fact accurate. Opinions and bias are one thing, but making up facts to support those opinions is NOT free speech, and we ought not accept it as such.

Would it not be interesting to see who would stand on the floors of congress and argue FOR the right to lie to voters?

It should be illegal for Trump, for example, to say he had the biggest electoral college victory since Reagan.

Some here will remember FOX promoting a couple of marches on Washington, then getting caught using video from other marches to show a crowd much larger than actually turned up. They got caught by someone who noticed a building missing from one march, and the trees were out of season for the other march. This was intentional distortion of facts by a 'news' outlet, and it should be a crime.

John Smith
04-02-2018, 10:25 AM
Anyone remember this: https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&p=fox+news+gas+prices+bush+and+obama#id=3&vid=5f686a833859a4673728953173d6734b&action=view

Sinclair if Fox on steroids

04-02-2018, 02:31 PM
Are you not entertained?

Excellent cultural reference!


04-02-2018, 03:51 PM
It's hit the news here, re Trump support and fake news.

04-03-2018, 12:26 AM
Just had some people from Chicago here to help with a job.
They were amazed at the variety of eateries nearby. Where they work in the city center in Chicago the nearest places to eat were all MacDonalds and other chain restuarants (according to them).

This might be an outrageous generalisation, but the big business focus, where big money wins over community almost everytime, gravitates toward homogeneity.

One TV channel is a threat to democracy, but the fact that it is happening means the threat is bigger - and elsewhere.