Sinclair Broadcasting is striking back at critics saying they are lackeys of President Trump’s by launching an attack against CNN.
On Tuesday, public relations company 5WPR began circulating video attacking CNN “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter.
“The following is evidence of a major media company’s dishonesty and hypocrisy,” blares a promo in bold black letters. The heart of the spot is basically that it was hypocritical of Stelter to criticize Sinclair for asking its on-air talent to read messages attacking “fake news” when in fact he has done the very same thing on CNN in the past.
“Does CNN really think a warning about ‘fake news’ is Trump’s rhetoric,” the promo continued. “In 2016 and 2017, Brian Stelter and his CNN colleagues were publicly warning CNN’s viewers about “fake news.”
The ad proceeded to play the footage which was supposed to incriminate him. Stelter responded to the hit in his daily newsletter late Tuesday evening.
“I’ll leave it to others to address the substance of Sinclair’s complaint. I’m not trying to argue with anyone, I’m trying to report,” he said. “But here’s the important point: There’s a big difference between my coverage and Sinclair’s mandatory promos. No one tells me what to say. But these anchors were told exactly what to say.”
Sinclair continues to face an ongoing public relations nightmare after Deadspin revealed that the company was forcing local on-air talent at the nearly 200 stations they own to read scripted anti-media talking points.
— 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.”
Matters were not helped Wednesday when Sinclair chief David D. Smith revealed to The Guardian that he had met with Trump several times and on one occasion told the president that his company was ready to “deliver your message.”