Over the weekend, a mash-up video of local news anchors around the country reading from the same Trumpian script dictated by their conservative corporate owners, Sinclair Broadcast Group, went viral:
How America's largest local TV owner turned its news anchors into soldiers in Trump's war on the media:… https://t.co/6PJdQRO2EA— Deadspin (@Deadspin) 1522527089.0
On Monday, Dan Rather, former CBS News anchor, and activist for integrity in the media, took to Twitter and Facebook to call Sinclair Broadcast Group out.
He tweeted that this behavior by a news outlet:
"isn't journalism, it's propaganda, it's Orwellian. A slippery slope to how despots wrest power, silence dissent, oppress the masses."
News anchors looking into camera and reading a script handed down by a corporate overlord, words meant to obscure t… https://t.co/Z7HB6evFpo— Dan Rather (@Dan Rather) 1522698879.0
But he saved his longer rant for Facebook, adding:
"To those who say this rhetoric is hyperbolic, I submit that attacking the press as honest brokers of information has been one of the constants of this Administration and all those who normalize it. But this is not normal. This is not how the freedoms enshrined in our Constitution, that beloved First Amendment, is supposed to operate."
Rather went on to say that:
"It is incumbent for Americans of all political persuasions to say this is intolerable. Congress should hold hearings and call the executives of Sinclair to account, but one suspects that is highly unlikely in the current political environment. Will this spur citizens to elect representatives who recognize that this is a clear and present danger?"