With all controversy surrounding Sinclair Broadcast Group, it would be worth remembering that the company once struck a deal with President Donald Trump’s team that involved giving him more favorable coverage.
In 2016, Politico reported on a business conference in which Jared Kushner told executives about an agreement between Sinclair and his father-in-law’s campaign. The deal was that local networks would receive greater access to Trump and the campaign, and in exchange, they would provide straight coverage and broadcast any interviews with Trump without any commentary
When the story broke, Sinclair senior vice president Scott Livingston insisted that they made a similar offer to Hillary Clinton‘s campaign, and that there was nothing unusual about local media pursuing access to compete with the national media.
“We offered both major presidential candidates the same opportunities to be interviewed by our local anchors on a regular basis,” said Livingston. “There was no ‘deal’ on the tone, tenor, or subject of the interviews. We did not offer favorable or preferential treatment to either candidate, nor did we ever waiver from our commitment to provide rigorous, thoughtful, and thorough coverage to the millions who rely on local television.”
Politico reported that a Trump spokesman insisted no money was exchanged, though the deal resulted in Sinclair running interviews with the mogul among their various affiliates.
In the present day, Trump is defending Sinclair, bashing their national media critics, and the company itself is hitting back at the “defamatory” stories about their “corporate news journalistic responsibility promotional campaign.”
[Image via screengrab]
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