- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Sinclair Broadcasting is in the rhetorical crosshairs for “propaganda” by none other than Dan Rather.

The journalist who lost his job at CBS after the 2004 U.S. presidential election due to a story that included forged documents weighed in this week on “Orwellian” news. Mr. Rather spoke to nearly 4 million YouTube subscribers of “The Young Turks” regarding the dangers of “corporate” media.

The journalist’s message came after a weekend in which the website Deadspin showed a compilation of anchors from Sinclair-owned stations reciting a script on “balanced” reporting.

“Big media corporations are in bed with big government in Washington regardless of which party is in power for their mutual purposes,” Mr. Rather said Monday evening. “News anchors looking into the camera and reading a script handed down by a corporate overlord — a script meant to obscure the truth, not elucidate it — is not journalism. It is propaganda. It is Orwellian. It is on a slippery slope toward some of history’s most destructive forces.”

Mr. Rather said “these are the means by which despots wrest power” before blasting President Trump.

“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 those who normalize it,” Mr. Rather said.

The Sinclair script in question, however, did not mention Mr. Trump.

“We’re concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country,” the script reads in part. “The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media. More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories … stories that just aren’t true, without checking facts first. … It’s our responsibility to pursue and report the truth. We understand truth is neither politically ‘left nor right.’ Our commitment to factual reporting is the foundation of our credibility, now more than ever.”

Mr. Rather lost a $70 million lawsuit in 2009 against CBS and Viacom over his infamous story on former President George W. Bush’s military record. The journalist claimed that he was a scapegoat for an inaccurate script he delivered during an election-season broadcast.

CBS and Viacom ended their business ties in 2006.

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