The New York Times this week took on Sinclair Broadcasting for instructing its affiliates around the country to warn viewers about the “fake news.”
The report’s news hook suggested some newscasters at affiliates were “uncomfortable” reading the script. I wonder why.
It seemed like a perfectly reasonable warning.
Judge for yourself:
“Hi, I’m (A) ____________, and I’m (B) _________________ …
(B) Our greatest responsibility is to serve our Northwest communities. We are extremely proud of the quality, balanced journalism that KOMO News produces.
(A) But we’re concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country. The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media.
(B) More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories … stories that just aren’t true, without checking facts first.
(A) 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 dangerous to a democracy.
(B) At (name of affiliate) it’s our responsibility to pursue and report the truth. We understand Truth is neither politically ‘left nor right.’ Our commitment to factual reporting is the foundation of our credibility, now more than ever.
(A) But we are human and sometimes our reporting might fall short. If you believe our coverage is unfair, please reach out to us by going to (affiliate website) and clicking on CONTENT CONCERNS. We value your comments. We will respond back to you.
(B) We work very hard to seek the truth and strive to be fair, balanced and factual. … We consider it our honor, our privilege to responsibly deliver the news every day.
(A) Thank you for watching and we appreciate your feedback.”
What’s all the hub-bub? Isn’t everyone concerned about “fake news” spread on social media?
Isn’t it good to have fair and balanced coverage that actually sticks to the facts and makes the effort to seek the truth?
Shouldn’t the fact that the nation’s largest broadcast network is actually making a determined effort to keep its affiliates on the straight and narrow be celebrated by the industry?
Apparently not at the New York Times, which snidely reported: “Although it is the country’s largest broadcaster, Sinclair is not a household name, and viewers may be unaware of who owns their local news station. Critics have accused the company of using its stations to advance a mostly right-leaning agenda.”
What have critics said about the New York Times? Doesn’t it stand accused of promoting an entirely left-leaning agenda? Hasn’t it been guilty of publishing some of the most egregious “fake news” in American history – from Walter Duranty to Janet Cooke and Jason Blair? (Look ’em up.) What about the rest of the media? Isn’t it a good thing when a network takes the high ground and lets its news staff and its viewers know where it stands and how it is committed to seeking the truth?
I could say I don’t get it, but I do. And you do.
I’ve been in the media for over 40 years. I know what this is all about, and so do you. But let’s state it plainly.
The major media, with few exceptions, are the ones reporting “fake news.” And, increasingly, they wince at the use of the “fake news” label because President Trump has effectively pinned the label on them – from the New York Times to CNN to the Washington Post and others. The attack on Sinclair is evidence they simply cannot stand competition. I don’t mean business competition, I mean ideological competition – competing worldviews, competing standards.
I don’t know why Sinclair execs are even defensive about what they are doing. It’s commendable. There should be more of it. Any media organization not wholeheartedly committed to such standards will, through mere momentum, drift left along with the rest of the media culture. The journalist pool is dominated by the left. It has been for many decades. So, if a network seeks to swim against that tide, it must swim hard, consistently, make its standards clear, choose its employees carefully.
I make no apologies as the founder, chief executive officer and editor of WND. We will continue to swim hard against that overwhelming media tide of knee-jerk leftism that dominates our industry. Kudos to Sinclair for doing what it does.
It’s the New York Times and the rest of the media wolf pack who are being dishonest.