The most anti-media president in the history of the country is once again attacking the free press. Donald Trump spent Monday morning posting racist tweets filled with lies about immigration and DACA, but that’s another story. In the midst of his tantrum he couldn’t help inserting a tweet reaffirming his aversion to the press and propping up a media enterprise that rivals Fox News for its sycophantic propagandizing.
The tweet in question was utterly devoid of any factual information. It was wholly an effort to defend Sinclair Broadcasting, a right-wing tool of the administration and the GOP. Sinclair recently distributed a script to its nearly 200 stations nationwide that they forced their anchors to recite. And the folks at Deadspin put together a video collage of the groupthink editorial that went ultra-viral (video below). So of course Trump had to drop whatever he was doing (golfing? tweeting? Watching Fox News? Certainly not working) and come to Sinclair’s defense. He tweeted:
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
Yeah, it was hysterical. It’s always a laugh riot to see what happens when fascist media outlets order their employees to read Goebbels-inspired, Trump-approved doctrine against their will. Many of the Sinclair anchors were repulsed by the mandatory script, but fearing retribution, could only say so anonymously. One troubled reporter did however make his displeasure known in a tweet:
I worked for Sinclair during most of my time in El Paso. They were awful & I would never work for them again. What they’re doing now is ridiculous propaganda and it’s an embarrassment to the profession. I feel for my former colleagues being forced to read this garbage. https://t.co/hnqIU2EfW7
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) March 31, 2018
In case you didn’t notice, that’s a reporter from a local station in Los Angeles that’s owned by Fox News. Let that sink in. A Fox News reporter is disgusted by Sinclair for pushing biased garbage. That’s how low Sinclair has sunk with their latest homage to Dear Leader Trump. It isn’t exactly a tribute to the First Amendment. Or as comedian John Oliver says:
“Nothing says we value independent media like dozens of reporters forced to repeat the same message over and over again like members of a brainwashed cult.”
The President’s tweet may aim to support Sinclair’s journalistic integrity, but it’s actually additional proof that Sinclair is a mouthpiece for the administration. Any reputable news enterprise would find it distinctly uncomfortable to be hailed for their supplication to a political leader. That’s not their job. Real journalists are dedicated to covering government aggressively to root out corruption and self-dealing. Fox News has made a name for itself as the nation’s top Trump-fluffer and, consquently, isn’t taken seriously by their journalistic peers. Sinclair is now attempting to challenge Fox to see who adores the President more.
What’s peculiar about Trump’s tweet (besides everything about it) is that it indicates that he watches a significant amount of what he calls “fake” news. He explicitly says that watching CNN and NBC News is “funny” to him. But he still has time available to watch Sinclair broadcasts which he praises as “superior.” Which raises questions about his remarks earlier this year wherein he insisted that:
“Believe it or not, even when I’m in Washington or New York, I do not watch much television. People that don’t know me, they like to say I watch television — people with fake sources. You know, fake reporters, fake sources. But I don’t get to watch much television. Primarily because of documents. I’m reading documents. A lot.”
That contradicts what White House insiders told The New York Times. They say that Trump spends at least four hours a day watching TV, and sometimes as much as eight hours. The evidence of that is often demonstrated by Trump’s Twitter feed. It is full of instances where he’s tweeting about something that he just watched on Fox and Friends. Plus, he is in frequent communication with Fox News shills like Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro. And that’s not even counting the Fox yakkers who Trump has appointed to White House jobs.
UPDATE: Trump continued his tantrum on Tuesday with another unhinged tweet:
The Fake News Networks, those that knowingly have a sick and biased AGENDA, are worried about the competition and quality of Sinclair Broadcast. The “Fakers” at CNN, NBC, ABC & CBS have done so much dishonest reporting that they should only be allowed to get awards for fiction!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 3, 2018
Says the Liar-In-Chief. Honest observers of the media know that the only fake news networks that “knowingly have a sick and biased AGENDA” are Fox News, Sinclair, and their ilk. But it’s typical of Trump to accuse others of what he and his pals are guilty.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
For your viewing pleasure via Deadspin: How America’s largest local TV owner turned its news anchors into soldiers in Trump’s war on the media.