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April 9, 2018 1:12 pm

Sinclair Media Might Have an Agenda, but It Supports Israel

avatar by Ronn Torossian

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A view of Jerusalem. Photo: Berthold Werner / Wikimedia Commons.

Sinclair Broadcast Group is under fire for doing what every single other news organization does — having news anchors read off a script.

At all Sinclair affiliates, anchors were encouraged to read a statement that said: “[I]t’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.”

In an era in which people don’t trust the news, the reality is that everyone’s version of the truth differs by how they see the world. (And those of us who support Israel have good reason not to trust most of the media).

Sinclair is a public company, the largest television station operator in the United States — its affiliates are across the board, including 43 Fox stations, 33 ABC stations, 27 CBS stations, 22 NBC stations, and a smattering of others. Their programs reach 40% of America via local TV programs. In other words, Sinclair is not “part of the mainstream”; it is the mainstream.

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Sinclair might have an agenda, but as Jonah Goldberg rightfully pointed out, other news organizations have similar campaigns: “…some of MSNBC’s promotional ads are far, far, more explicitly partisan. In the past, anchors have appeared in commercials staring straight to camera preening about the need to ‘Lean Forward‘ into various progressive causes.

And on issues important to the Jewish community, Sinclair’s views are clear. For example, Boris Epshteyn, the head political correspondent for Sinclair Broadcasting (and a former Trump White House official) has some pretty strong viewpoints.

Here’s what he wrote in a recent op-ed about the antisemitic murder of a Holocaust survivor in France:

The apparent hate crime murder of a Holocaust survivor in France leaves me scared, shocked and wanting our country to do more to prevent the rise of anti-Semitism here, in America. Mrs. Knoll was a loving mom and grandma. She survived the Holocaust, but did not survive the hate toward Jews that is again on the rise throughout the world. What does it say about our country when sitting members of Congress have praised well-known anti–Semite Louis Farrakhan and have received very little political blowback.

In December 2017, another of his op-eds read, “Recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Israel is the right move by President Trump.” noting that “Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle East. Its continued strength and survival are important to the United States, not just symbolically, but also in terms of America’s national security.”

Epshteyn and Sinclair Broadcasting are friends of Israel — and, in my view, that’s enough reason for people support them.

Ronn Torossian is a public relations leader with over 20 years of experience.

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