Maybe cable news isn’t so bad, after all.
John Oliver took a deep dive into local news on Sunday night, focusing on station-owning giant Sinclair Broadcast Group, which is about to become even bigger. Sinclair is in the process of purchasing Tribune Media for $4 billion, an acquisition that will tighten the new parent’s stranglehold on the industry. There are just a few problems with that.
For starters, “Sinclair’s content tilts noticeably conservative,” the “Last Week Tonight” host said.
Sinclair pushes scripts and segments on its owned-and-operated stations, including “Behind the Headlines” from former company executive Mark Hyman, which is delivered as a “must run.” Those packages skew “hard right,” in Oliver’s words, and they’re not exactly labeled appropriately.
“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,” Oliver said. “And in contrast to Fox News — a clearly conservative outlet where you basically know what you’re getting — with Sinclair, they’re injecting Fox-worthy content into the mouths of your local news anchors.”
Bottom-line: “You should find out who owns your local stations, and bear that in mind as you watch,” the “Daily Show” alum advised.
Watch the video above.