Sinclair Responds to Video Showing Dozens of Anchors Reading the Same Exact Script

By Chris Ariens 

CNN’s Brian Stelter got a hold of a memo he says is from Sinclair svp of news Scott Livingston, in which Livingston applauds employees for their award-winning work, while blasting Sinclair critics.

This news about TV news picked up steam over the weekend when Deadspin assembled a supercut showing dozens of local TV news anchors reading the same exact script, which was sent to them by Sinclair corporate. In it, the anchors call out “one-sided news stories,” and accuse “some media outlets” of publishing “fake stories without checking facts first.”

“I know many of you and your stations are now in the media spotlight after the launch of our corporate news journalistic responsibility promotional campaign,” Livingston writes. “There is a lot of noise out there about our company right now, and what is lacking in that analysis is something we constantly preach; context and perspective.”

One of points Livingston tries to make in his 1,100-word memo, is what some Sinclair critics seem to forget:

One thing the critics DO seem obsessed with is the roughly 8 minutes a week of clearly labelled commentary that Boris Epshteyn offers in our newscasts each week. The critics continue to say that his former affiliation with Republicans makes him a propagandist. But they never offer any perspective on Boris’ appearances. They never mention that ABC News Anchor George Stephanopoulos ran Bill Clinton’s Presidential campaign and served as a Senior Advisor to President Clinton for 4 years. Stephanopoulos now hosts an ABC political talk shows and co-anchors 10 hours of news a week for ABC. That is 10 hours of ‘must run’ content that all ABC affiliates must carry each week hosted by a former advisor to President Clinton. We have no problem with Mr. Stephanopoulos anchoring these newscasts, but think it is odd that Sinclair critics seem to express zero outrage over this. Critics never talk about Chris Matthews, who worked for prominent Washington Democrats, including President Carter, before becoming an NBC show host. Why don’t the critics of Boris’ at least offer this context? Why are they obsessed with the 8 minutes a week that Boris gets to offer clearly labelled commentary? Remember, no one is trying to hide Boris’ past political affiliations. We label him as a former Trump advisor. We are fully transparent about Boris.

Sinclair owns or operates 193 stations across the country, in mostly small and medium-sized markets. But it is in the process of acquiring Tribune Media which will add stations in the nation’s Top 7 markets.