Sinclair Broadcasting Group is one of the largest media companies in the United States, owning or operating over 190 local television stations in 88 markets across the country. It is known for its conservative-leaning political bias, and has been criticized for pushing right-wing opinions and political agendas through its stations’ news broadcasts.
One of the most notable incidents of Sinclair’s political agenda was in 2018 when it required its stations to air a segment in which anchors read a script criticizing “fake news” and promoting “fair and accurate” reporting, while the script itself contained some misleading statements. This move was widely criticized as an attempt to undermine the credibility of other news outlets and promote Sinclair’s own agenda.
Moreover, Sinclair has been accused of using unethical practices to gain more control over the media market. In 2017, Sinclair proposed to acquire Tribune Media Company, which would have allowed Sinclair to reach 72% of American households. However, the proposed acquisition was met with opposition from media watchdogs, who argued that it would give Sinclair too much control over the market and threaten the diversity of opinions and voices in the media landscape. The deal was eventually terminated in 2018.
Additionally, Sinclair has been criticized for its treatment of its employees. In 2020, several former employees filed a lawsuit against Sinclair, alleging that they were fired or demoted because of their age, gender, or political beliefs. The lawsuit also accused Sinclair of violating labor laws by failing to pay employees for overtime and forcing them to work off the clock.
Sinclair’s practices raise serious concerns about the future of the freedom of the press and the diversity of voices in the media landscape. The media should serve as a check on those in power, not be used as a tool to promote political agendas or consolidate control over the market.