Congressional candidate Amy McGrath is no longer going to advertise on a Sinclair-owned television station in Kentucky after hosts were required to read a Trumpian script about “fake news” last week, the Democrat announced Monday.
“Sinclair’s corporate-mandated ‘must-read’ right-wing script on its nearly 200 television stations about ‘fake news’ is itself an extreme danger to our Democracy and eerily mimics the propaganda efforts that authoritarian regimes often use to control the media in their own country,” McGrath said in a statement.
The script McGrath refers to is one that anchors were mandated to read last week, which read, in part, “We’re concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country. The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media.”
The script went on, saying, “More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories… stories that just aren’t true, without checking facts first. Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think’…This is extremely dangerous to a democracy.”
The promos are part of pattern of Sinclair-mandated propaganda, including alarmist “terrorism reports” and right-wing opinion pieces packaged as news reports from former Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn and former Sinclair Vice President Mark Hyman.
In the release, McGrath touted the “nearly 20,000 grassroots donors” who have contributed to her progressive campaign, saying they “should have the expectation that their financial support will never be used to enrich these chilling right-wing efforts to stifle the critical role of local journalism to advance their narrow political agenda.”
McGrath, the first female marine to fly in an F/A-18 on a combat mission, is running in Kentucky’s 6th district. She shot onto the scene with a viral announcement video last summer, and on Monday, she called on her fellow Democratic candidates to stop purchasing ads on Sinclair-owned stations.
“Though the power of a boycott, and how we use our supporters’ contributions, we can stand up to this threat to our independent media,” she said in the statement, “and send a firm message that these actions will not be tolerated in a nation where the freedom of the press is vital.”