This Chilling Video Shows How Local TV Stations Across America Are Parroting Pro-Trump Propaganda

Sinclair Broadcasting is on its way to reaching three-quarters of US homes.

President Trump makes a speech during the Speaker's Lunch on Capitol Hill. Niall Carson/Zuma Press

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You might know Sinclair Broadcasting, the largest owner of local TV stations in the nation, from 2004, when it required its affiliates to air an anti-John Kerry propaganda film as a news segment and then fired one of its employees who spoke against it. Or from last year, when Last Week Tonight‘s John Oliver bludgeoned it in an 18-minute segment. Or from earlier this month, when CNN’s Brian Stelter discovered that it would be forcing its anchors to record “media bashing” promos that parallel President Donald Trump’s incendiary complaints about the “fake news” media—”a promotional campaign,” as Stelter puts it, “that sounds like pro-Trump propaganda.”

As Mother Jones‘ Andy Kroll has reported, Sinclair Broadcasting is well on its way to reaching three-quarters of all American homes. “The most important force shaping public opinion continues to be local, over-the-air television,” Andrew Jay Schwartzman, a senior attorney at Georgetown’s Communications and Technology Law Clinic, told Kroll last year.

Now, the media-bashing promos are in, and Deadspin put together a terrifying 98-second video that shows how far Sinclair Broadcasting is willing to go to bring right-wing propaganda into your living room. Take a look:

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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