Some people even called for a boycott of Sinclair stations over concerns about the company's ability to spread corporate messaging via its news anchors so far and wide.
The Federal Communications Commission has allowed Sinclair to keep consolidating and centralizing their power. So let's talk this through with NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik. And as Politico reports, last December Jared Kushner was openly bragging about striking a deal between Sinclair and the Trump campaign. An example of the must-runs includes the "Terrorism Alert Desk" segment, warning of potential threats to national security.More news: Russia: Spy poisoning 'in interests' of United Kingdom govt
Craig Aaron, acting president and CEO of Free Press, a consumer-advocacy group, said to Politico, "At a moment when millions of people are waking up to what it looks like when Sinclair comes in and controls your local TV station, Trump is rushing to their defense, just like they've rushed to his defense a countless number of times".
Anchors at Sinclair-owned stations shared the script with CNN last month. "This is extremely risky to a democracy".
"It is ironic that we would be attacked for messages promoting our journalistic initiative for fair and objective reporting, and for specifically asking the public to hold our newsrooms accountable", a statement from Sinclair Broadcast Group said.
Trump has good reason to stick up for Sinclair.
"The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media", read the original script, though some stations tweaked the language. Legendary news anchor Dan Rather called it "propaganda". Not wanting to see his work appropriated by someone else, Burke said he rushed to get the full video posted Saturday afternoon.More news: Journalist accreditation order withdrawn
But it's one thing to see a script; another thing to see it recited in unison.
Had Tim Burke of Deadspin not put together that video, we probably wouldn't be writing about this. Trump-friendly media encourages the president's base to be suspicious of mainstream media, which leads to acceptance of conspiracy theories and denial of reality.
"That's the goal of these announcements: to reiterate our commitment to reporting facts in a pursuit of truth", Livingston told the Sun. "We consider it our honor and privilege to deliver the news each night".
Naturally, Trump has shown his support of Sinclair Broadcast Group, tweeting, "So amusing to watch Fake News Networks, among the most dishonest groups of people I have ever health with, criticize Sinclair Broadcasting for being biased".More news: Masters: Jack Nicklaus' grandson makes ace, Tom Watson wins Par 3 Contest