WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following reports that Sinclair chief David Smith met with Donald Trump and told him in no uncertain terms that “we are here to deliver your message,” consumer watchdog organization Allied Progress released the following statement:
“Today’s revelation that David Smith met with Trump and told him Sinclair was there to deliver his message, adds to the mounting pile of evidence that this supposedly unbiased news company has bent over backwards to defend the administration while its merger with Tribune is being considered,” said Karl Frisch, executive director of the consumer watchdog Allied Progress.
He continued, “If the President’s FCC approves the deal, Sinclair will become the largest local television news monopoly in American history – reaching into 72% of American household.
The Guardian reports:
The chairman of Sinclair Broadcast Group met Donald Trump at the White House during a visit to pitch a potentially lucrative new product to administration officials, the Guardian has learned.
David D Smith, whose company has been criticised for making its anchors read a script echoing Trump’s attacks on the media, said he briefed officials last year on a system that would enable authorities to broadcast direct to any American’s phone.
“I just wanted them to be aware of the technology,” Smith said in an interview. He also recalled an earlier meeting with Trump during the 2016 election campaign, where he told the future president: “We are here to deliver your message.”
Sinclair is the biggest owner of local TV in the US, and may soon reach 72% of American households if a proposed $4bn takeover of a rival is approved by federal regulators. It is accused by critics of having a conservative bias, which it denies.
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