Sinclair Broadcast Group CEO David D. Smith met with Donald Trump at the White House, he told the Guardian in an interview. Smith told the British paper that he met with Trump sometime “last year” to pitch a new technology that could transmit administration broadcasts directly into the cell phones of Americans.
“I just wanted them to be aware of the technology,” Smith told the news outlet when queried. Smith also said that, in an earlier conversation, he told then candidate Donald Trump “we are here to deliver your message.”
Sinclair has been at the forefront in developing news sharing technology known as Next Gen TV. Reps for the White House and Sinclair did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap.
Sinclair, which operates nearly 200 local news stations around the country, has been facing sustained backlash after news emerged that the company forced their local news anchors to read scripted anti-media talking points.
Deadspin first drove the point home with this devastating viral video:
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) March 31, 2018
“We’re concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country. The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media,” the anchors read in unison.
“More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories… stories that just aren’t true, without checking facts first. Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think’…This is extremely dangerous to a democracy.”
Since the revelation, Sinclair has been denounced by professional organizations, like the National Press Photographers Association and the deans of more than a dozen prestigious journalism schools across the United States.