Lets talk about Sinclair Broadcasting. Doesn’t that name itself have the elements of a regal dictator that wants to control you with pictograms and sky symbols? Sinclair sounds like a trust fund baby that thinks everything has a price tag on it that only he can buy, including information. “MMM, yes I’ll have all the news stations papa! Then when I ask the masses to jump, in unison they can reply how high!”
That might sound like an exaggeration but recently Sinclair Broadcasting has come under fire when Deadspin released a video of hundreds of local news anchors saying the same thing in almost the same inflection. It sounded like a choir concert produced by a tone deaf Mega Church. And of course corporate media had a say in how bad it was, when this is exactly what they do too! CNN, Fox News, MSNBC are in-debted to their advertisers and sponsors. Someone writes some copy for them and they spew it out to the masses and we are supposed to go along with it. And when CNN called out Sinclair, Sinclair counter called them out like a petty sibling rivalry! “But CNN did it too! How come no-one says anything to CNN!?” We do, you’re too busy on your throne to listen to us peons.
The Sinclair debacle was about fake news. And they make a point of just trusting news you see on social media. They also make a claim that it’s dangerous to our democracy. It’s a bit hyperbolic. But is this any different than, lets say, Washington Post who claims “Democracy Dies In The Dark”? Which just encourages people to keep their lights on all the time, which burns more fossil fuels and wastes energy and contributes to Climate Change! When the sun sets Communism lurks like the vampire that it is! But all cool stuff happens at nighttime. Concerts, Comedy Shows, the best drink specials, all those happen when its dark outside! Democracy doesn’t die in the dark, but rather when lies and propaganda are presented as news stories we should all believe. It dies when the richest man around owns the news, amongst everything else.
The hyperbole is like the kid that cried wolf. We cry democracy is dying, over and over again, and when it does, nobody will notice. And then we’ll all be ruled by a Lone Wolf and all of us will exclaim “How in the hell did that happen?” But what this boils down to is trust. Trust in today’s society is harder to find than the proof of God. Which Sinclair will claim they have in a few weeks.
This is about who we trust and what we choose to believe. According to a Pew Research, more people trust local news stations rather than the national ones. But that’s because of the mom and pop idea behind local news. It’s news about your neighborhood and communities from someone that might live there too. What Sinclair Broadcasting did by pushing local news anchors to say the same thing is attempt to make us all believe the same thing. And that’s how media works in an unfettered Capitalistic structure works. It’s competition on who gets to control the information. And it’s dogfight between the corporate television media, the shittiest version of Richie Rich, Jeff Bezos and unison sounds of freedom from Sinclair Broadcasting.
Journalism should be about an objective view on what the news is and not about what to think about this stuff. It should be encouraging critical thinking to arrive at educated conclusions instead of telling you what to think. Sinclair Broadcasting took that away from not only we the people but also the so-called journalists that work at these stations.
This sort of news detracts from trust in each other as well. There’s a flood of information in our society constantly. So when we hear from a friend or a relative about something they read or heard on the radio or saw on TV we tend to believe them. They’re your trusted source. But in reality we should be checking our sources and attempting to find truth in these things. And the truth about Sinclair is that they’re in competition to be the regal dictators of information.