Trump blasts news media as 'fakers', defends Sinclair

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The president came to the company's defense Monday, since they're a big cheerleader for him.

President Donald Trump criticized the major television networks on Tuesday as "fakers".

Sinclair Broadcasting owns more than 190 stations nationwide, and is awaiting government approval to buy even more, expanding their reach from 40 percent to over 70 percent of the nation's households.

The Sinclair Broadcast Group is facing criticism for a message they are having their local news anchors deliver on the air in markets across the country.

Progressive consumer watchdog group Allied Progress is trying to place a six-figure ad buy on Sinclair Broadcasting stations across the country - to run anti-Sinclair ads suggesting the huge "local" news giant is "extremely unsafe to our democracy". "[US President Donald] Trump had been tweeting in favor of Sinclair because it has a tendency to take a lot of his talking points, such as fake news, and putting them out over its network of local stations".

In a statement, a Sinclair news executive said: "It is ironic that we would be attacked for messages promoting our journalistic initiative for fair and objective reporting, and for specifically asking the public to hold our newsrooms accountable".

In 2016, Politico reported that Trump had struck a deal with Sinclair for straighter coverage in return for more access during the 2016 Presidential election.

The company, which owns almost 200 stations in the USA, has reportedly been forcing its affiliates to run conservative commentary segments, including those by former advisers of President Donald Trump.

The Federal Communications Commission has allowed Sinclair to keep consolidating and centralizing their power.

"We are concerned about a troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country", the anchors say in the script.

Sinclair, the country's largest broadcaster, has been accused of pushing for pro-Trump content to run on its stations.

"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 unsafe to a democracy".

Sinclair Broadcast group is in the process of acquiring Chicago-based Tribune Media.

National Public Radio's David Folkenflik anticipated Sinclair stations moving in a more conservative direction last Spring, "If history is any guide". It's the local news version of Sean Hannity or Tucker Carlson complaining that the "mainstream media" is lying to Americans.

Justin Simmons, a morning TV producer at a Nebraska station owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, announced on Twitter Wednesday that he has left his post.

CNN and others reported that some anchors from inside Sinclair stations were uncomfortable with the top down decision. The initial merger would have given Sinclair more than 39 percent of the market, which is against national television ownership rules.

Journalists at Sinclair stations have been forced to run right-leaning segments for years. Sinclair employs Boris Ephshteyn, a former Trump aide, as its chief political analyst.

After CNN's initial story in early March, others expressed concern and frustration.

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