Deven Alexis / Flickr Why Ajit Pai Cancelled his Appearance...
Deven Alexis / Flickr

Employees at Seattle’s KOMO-TV, the local Sinclair-owned affiliate, are joining national colleagues in trashing the promos they are forced to recite by the station’s ownership.

The promos, which began airing on the station last week, are part of a Sinclair campaign that forces local anchors to read Sinclair-written scripts warning of the dangers of “one-sided news stories plaguing our country.”

The KOMO segments feature several different pairs of anchors sticking word-for-word to a Sinclair script they were required to read.

“They’re certainly not happy about it,” a KOMO newsroom employee told SeattlePI. “It’s certainly a forced thing.” […]

“Our day-to-day news judgement and coverage isn’t affected at all,” one employee told SeattlePI. “What they’re making the anchors say, we’re not feeling any of that in daily news decisions.”

The SeattlePI points out how not balanced the reports the station has been airing are, including “the one about the ‘Deep State’ that ran during KOMO’s 6 p.m. newscast last week” in which “former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka parroted a Trump talking point regarding the existence of a ‘Deep State’ attempting to undermine the U.S. government,” and “segments from Boris Epshteyn, a Russian-born former Trump adviser who now serves as Sinclair’s chief political analyst.” And that the Gorka segment was “produced by Sinclair’s Kristine Frazao, who before coming to Sinclair was a reporter and anchor for the Russian-government funded news network RT, described as ‘the Kremlin’s propaganda outlet’ by the Columbia Journalism Review.”

The PI also points out this: “The FCC has emphasized Sinclair-friendly deregulation during the Trump presidency, with Chairman Ajit Pai helping to ease the rules on owning multiple TV and radio stations in the same market.” Under Pai, says FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, “[a]ll of our media policy decisions [are] custom built for the business plans of Sinclair Broadcasting.” That includes Pai’s refusal to recuse himself from the agency’s review of Sinclair’s proposed $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune, which would increase the number of local stations it owns from 193 to 233, despite the fact that he is under investigation by the FCC’s inspector general for apparent “improper coordination” with Sinclair.

Just your regular reminder that the guy charged with regulating the public airwaves is helping push propaganda that might or might not be influenced by the Kremlin.

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