Revealed: Trump Made a Deal With Sinclair Broadcasting For ‘Favorable’ Media Coverage
Sinclair Broadcasting company, the nation’s largest owner of local television stations, is facing widespread backlash for pushing pro-Trump propaganda against the news media.
The right-wing broadcaster, which owns more than 200 local news stations across the country, came under fire after a viral clip highlighting a mandatory promo that echoes President Donald Trump’s rhetoric against the press was released by Deadspin.com
Deadspin’s story followed a report from CNN last month that said the right-leaning Sinclair is mandating its local affiliates read aloud a promotional campaign that condemns other news outlets for pushing “fake stories.” Echoing President Donald Trump’s derision of the mainstream media, the anchors warn millions of unsuspecting viewers that “This is extremely dangerous to our democracy.”
It turns out, Donald Trump’s campaign struck a deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group during the campaign to secure “positive” media coverage, according to an article published by Politico shortly after the 2016 election.
During a meeting in Manhattan, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner told business executives that the agreement with Sinclair gave them more access to Trump and the campaign, Politico reported, citing according to six people who heard his remarks.
In exchange, Sinclair would broadcast their Trump interviews across the country without commentary, Kushner said. Kushner highlighted that Sinclair, in states like Ohio, reaches a much wider audience — around 250,000 listeners — than networks like CNN, which reach somewhere around 30,000.
“It’s math,” Kushner said according to multiple attendees, according to the report.
Trump spokesman said the deal included the interviews running across every affiliate but that no money was exchanged between the network and the campaign. The spokesman said the campaign also worked with other media outlets that had affiliates to try and spread their message.
During the Obama administration, Sinclair directed its local stations to air “must run” stories produced by Sinclair’s Washington bureau that were generally critical of President Obama, and offered perspectives primarily from conservative think tanks, The Washington Post reported in 2014.
President Trump on Monday praised the conservative network, calling it “far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC.”
“So funny to watch Fake News Networks, among the most dishonest groups of people I have ever dealt with, criticize Sinclair Broadcasting for being biased,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a Political Dig request for comment.