Eric Bolling, host of a show on the Sinclair Broadcast Group, said he disagreed with his network’s decision last year to force its anchors to read a script about “biased and false news.”
In spring 2018, Sinclair, which owns or operates 193 television stations, instructed anchors to read a script expressing their concern “about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country,” which was widely seen as echoing of President Trump’s criticism of the media.
Bolling, who hosts America This Week on Sinclair, said the network’s mandate was a misstep and wondered who was behind it. “It was an unfortunate … I would call it a mistake,” Bolling, 56, said in an interview with the Washington Examiner. He speculated that the script could have played a role in Sinclair’s failed attempt to acquire Tribune Media. The deal would have extended Sinclair’s reach to 72% of households with a television set in the United States.
“It’s not like David [Smith, Sinclair’s executive chairman]. It’s almost like someone gave him an idea to do it,” he added. “He may have signed off on it because the guy has never once told me where I should be on something. It was odd. But again, that’s the local broadcast mentality of ‘Okay, [we] own all the stations, I’m gonna send this all out, and you guys will all run it and read the script.'”
Bolling also said that he’s never been told what to say by anyone at Sinclair or at any of the other networks he’s worked at previously.
While Sinclair’s script triggered a backlash from employees and the media, Trump defended it on Twitter: “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,” he tweeted on April 2, 2018. “Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke.”
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. Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
April 2, 2018
Scott Livingston, Sinclair’s senior vice president of news, responded at the time: “We aren’t sure of the motivation for the criticism, but find it curious that we would be attacked for asking our news people to remind their audiences that unsubstantiated stories exist on social media, which result in an ill-informed public with potentially dangerous consequences.”
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