STOP THE SINCLAIR MERGER AND THE POLITICIZATION OF LOCAL NEWS
Last week Deadspin produced a chilling video showing news anchors at stations owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group reading identical promotional statements. These promos decry “fake stories” from national news outlets — echoing Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric about “fake news.”
The resulting outcry about the Sinclair-mandated propaganda focused new attention on the pending Sinclair-Tribune Media merger, which will enable Sinclair’s content to reach 72% of US households. The DOJ’s anti-trust probe has temporarily stalled the merger, and the FCC’s Inspector General is investigating allegations that FCC Chair Pai coordinated with Sinclair on regulatory actions benefiting the merger.
Sinclair puts its news outlets under great pressure. It:
• Forces stations to air segments by former Trump advisor, Boris Epshteyn, including a recent one praising Trump’s ruinous trade policy
• Ordered its employees at Portland’s KATU not to talk
• Deters its employees from quitting through extreme, unusual contractual restrictions
Despite the coercion, some employees have quit and some anchors, including two at Sinclair’s Eugene affiliate, have refused to read the promo.
The Sinclair-Tribune merger would reduce competition and give Sinclair even greater power to politicize local TV news. Congress must speak out and hold hearings to investigate this merger before it is too late.
Stop the Sinclair/Tribune Merger!
**ACTION 1: Call Complicit Greg Walden and our Senators**
(Leave a message if you can’t get through.)
SAMPLE SCRIPT for Senators Merkley and Wyden:
“My name is [–] and I’m a constituent and voter from [city], Oregon [zip code]. I am calling because I oppose the Sinclair-Tribune merger. Sinclair’s potential control over 72% of the local TV market and their coercive and misleading tactics to deliver right-wing propaganda are extremely worrisome. Questions about both Sinclair’s politicized market power and the conduct of FCC Chair Ajit Pai must be investigated. Please ask the Senator to speak out against this merger and demand anti-trust and FCC oversight hearings on this topic. Thank you.”
SAMPLE SCRIPT for Telecom Lobbyist Greg Walden:
“My name is [–] and I’m a constituent and voter from [city], Oregon [zip code]. I am calling because I oppose the Sinclair-Tribune merger. Sinclair’s potential control over 72% of the local TV market and their coercive and misleading tactics to deliver right-wing propaganda are extremely worrisome. Questions about both Sinclair’s politicized market power and the conduct of FCC Chair Ajit Pai must be investigated. Will Mr. Walden put country and a free press before party and agree to push for hearings before the anti-trust subcommittee in your chamber? As the Chair of the House Commerce Committee, will he also push for hearings in the FCC oversight sub-committee? He must stand up for his constituents. Thank you.”
**ACTION 2: Join us at noon on Tuesday, April 10 for our Second Tuesday of the Month Rally**
This month we will gather at the KTVL Studios, 1440 Rossanley Drive, Medford to protest the influence of Sinclair Broadcast Group on our local media.
**ACTION 3: Share with Friends and Family**
Share this post with friends and family. Help them leave messages for their Members of Congress asking them to speak out against the Sinclair-Tribune merger and demand anti-trust and FCC oversight hearings on this topic. Thank you.
TELECOM LOBBYIST GREG WALDEN
DC (202) 225-6730, Medford: (541) 776-4646,
Bend (541) 389-4408, La Grande (541) 624-2400
Portland: (503) 326-3386, DC: (202) 224-3753
Salem: (503) 362-8102, Eugene: (541) 465-6750
Medford: (541) 608-9102, Bend: (541) 318-1298
Pendleton: (541) 278-1129
Portland: (503) 326-7525, DC: (202) 224-5244
Salem: (503) 589-4555, Eugene: (541) 431-0229
Medford: (541) 858-5122, Bend: (541) 330-9142
La Grande: (541) 960-7691
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