Can Broadcasting Become Dangerous?

Sinclair Media Group is the owner of the largest number of TV stations in America. Most Americans don’t know it exists. Yet, Michael Copps, the George W. Bush-appointed former chairman of Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the top US broadcast regulator said, “Sinclair’s probably the most dangerous company most people have never heard of.” Sinclair’s close associations to Trump have allowed the company to skirt market regulations. Already the biggest broadcaster in the country, Sinclair is poised to make its biggest move yet. If the FCC approves Sinclair’s $3.9bn purchase of additional 42 stations, it would reach into the homes of almost three-quarters of Americans. Sinclair forces its local stations to run pro-Trump “news” segments. In April, they hired Boris Epshteyn, a former Trump campaign spokesman and member of the White House press office, as its chief political analyst. His “must-run” 10-minute political commentary segments unsurprisingly hewed closely to the Trump administration’s message. “As far as propaganda goes, this is pure, industrial-strength stuff.” Says the news and analysis website Slate, referring to Epshteyn’s contributions. Lucia Graves, a Washington-based writer for The Guardian joins the next edition of Life Elsewhere to talk about her recent revealing article on Sinclair and why it’s partisan politics and connections to the White House are raising concerns.

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