NEWSFLASH 2: Sinclair is Right-Wing Too!

Continuing our recent focus on exposés of super secret right-wing news organizations, Rolling Stone has a big profile of the Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcast Group. The article examines the openly conservative organization, its ties between disgraced pundit Armstrong Williams, the reporting techniques that brought a major advertiser boycott last fall, and the growth tactics that brought it fire from the FCC.

Author Eric Klineberg writes, “In the firmament of right-wing media outlets, Sinclair stands somewhere to the right of Fox News. Its archconservative politics may not be served up with Fox’s raw-meat bite, but what Sinclair lacks in flash, it makes up for in unabashed cheerleading for the Bush administration.”

As evidence, he points to controversial nightly editorials that the broadcaster forces all of its stations to carry, and the showing of the anti-Kerry show “Stolen Honor” that led to the firing/resignation of its Washington bureau chief, as well as profiling the colorful leaders Sinclair like top dog David Smith, whom he describes as “an overgrown frat boy who suddenly struck it rich.”

Our favorite detail was the Big Brotherly-ness of the newsroom environment:

“Employees report a pervasive climate of fear at Sinclair. Staffers worry that management is listening to their telephone calls, and a recent notice sent to all employees warns that the company is monitoring their e-mail and Internet use. “We know if you use e-mail to send jokes to your friends and co-workers,” the memo states. “We know if you view porn…. We know if you order parts for the car you are trying to restore…. We know how many people searched for Janet Jackson after the Super Bowl (97 searches).”

Leaving aside the fact that the staff only searched 97 times for Janet Jackson after the Super Bowl (We’re pretty sure Fishbowl’s apartment saw more searches than that), it sounds like Sinclair’s staff should all head over to the Washington Times. At least there they know that only Rev. Moon’s God will rain fire and brimstone down on their heads.