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CBS 2 and Fox 28 featured in viral video of local news anchors reciting pro-Trump talking points

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Video of still of CBS 2/Fox 28 anchor Jeneé Ryan reciting Sinclair corporate script in a supercut published by Deadspin.

Update: The original Deadspin video was removed from YouTube by the user. The CNN segment below contains a clip of the viral video.

Local TV news anchors Jeneé Ryan and Mitch Fick appear in a video that has gone viral, but neither one is likely to be happy about it. The pair, who appear on Cedar Rapids stations KGAN (CBS 2) and KXFA (Fox 28), are featured in a supercut of news anchors from stations owned by Sinclair Broadcasting Group all reading from the same script, denouncing other networks for reporting “fake news.”

On Saturday, Timothy Burke of Deadspin published the video of the promo spots with Sinclair anchors, including Ryan and Fick, reading the script. There was no shortage to choose from, because Sinclair is the largest owner of local television stations in the county.

CNN broke the news of the mandate from Sinclair executives requiring local stations to produce the promos written at the corporate headquarters. It was just the latest effort by Sinclair to inject content that echoes statements from the Trump White House into its news programs. Unlike other media companies that own local TV stations, Sinclair requires its stations to broadcast certain news show segments. The segments, which are known as “must-runs,” uniformly follow right-wing political talking points,

CNN obtained a memo Sinclair executives sent to stations along with the promo script. It stated the scripts had to be read “exactly as they are written.” It even specified how the new anchors should dress: “Talent should dress in jewel tones — however they should not look political in their dress or attire.”

The Maryland-based corporation is owned by politically conservative members of the Sinclair family, and has been supportive of Donald Trump since he was a candidate. Following the election, Jared Kushner boasted during a speech to business executives that the Trump campaign, which Kushner helped run, struck a deal with Sinclair executives to guarantee favorable news coverage on its stations. In return, Sinclair stations would receive exclusive sit-down interviews with Trump. Sinclair executives denied any deal was struck, but its stations did provide favorable coverage, and the interviews did occur.

Little Village emailed Becky Lutgen Gardner, the news director for both KGAN, which Sinclair owns, and KXFA, which Sinclair operates, for comment on the participation of both stations in mass recitation of the corporate script, but has not received a reply.

The Deadspin video has received wide attention on social media, and on Monday, the nation’s leading tweeter felt the need to comment.

Sinclair currently owns or operates 173 local TV stations, and is in the process of buying most of the 42 stations owned by Tribune Media. The combined Sinclair and Tribune stations would reach approximately 72 percent of American households.

The Federal Communications Commission has not yet given final approval to the sale.

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Comments:

  1. We watched KGAN all the time, not anymore! So sad you are allowing Sinclair to do this to you! Time to fight back!

  2. I’ve watched the anchors on many different stations reciting the Sinclair message and quite frankly I think people are blowing it way out of proportion.

    What is wrong with news stations saying that they will report the news without ideological bent to them basically just the facts and let the viewers make their decisions on their own.

    When you watch the national broadcast and you see how they report the news and utilization of few words that can make a whole different interpretation of what the facts of a story are.

    A great example is this from ABC Nightly News . “Unarmed man shot 20 times in his grandmother’s backyard.”

    If you’re based your knowledge of the story based on that tease alone you get the wrong idea of what transpired.

    Furthermore upon watching the story you’d be poorly informed as to the facts surrounding that incident as reported on ABC News.

    Luckily my local news paper had more information. It gave me more insight into that incident. From ABC’s reporting and almost seems like they want to instigate anger and rioting. As another innocent African American man was senselessly Gunned down by the police.

  3. I’ve watched the anchors on many different stations reciting the Sinclair message and quite frankly I think people are

    When you watch the national broadcast and you see how they report the news and utilization of few words that can make a whole different interpretation of what the facts of a story are.

    A great example is this from ABC Nightly News . “Unarmed man shot 20 times in his grandmother’s backyard.”

    If you’re based your knowledge of the story based on that tease alone you get the wrong idea of what transpired.

    Furthermore upon watching the story you’d be poorly informed as to the facts surrounding that incident as reported on ABC News.

    Luckily my local news paper had more information. It gave me more insight into that incident. From ABC’s reporting and almost seems like they want to instigate anger and rioting. As another innocent African American man was senselessly Gunned down by the police.

  4. Journalists today are out for viewership only. They do not report objectively or do the actual legwork it takes to report on an event fully. How many times have we watched “breaking news” which was incomplete and never mentioned again in a follow up? Yellow journalism is the norm and it’s a shame. I don’t watch the news anymore because all sources are propagandist and taint their content based on the bias of who feeds them the most money.

  5. What’s wrong is that they are being told what to say. The stations are not allowed together and report news without having it approved. This is like a dictatorship. The Sinclair conglomerate is attempting to become the only news Outlet. The stations are parroting only one point of view.

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