Renowned former CBS news anchor Dan Rather chimed in on the disturbing story that Sinclair Broadcast Group, owner of more than 170 U.S. TV stations, had forced its local news outlets to read the same script decrying “false news.”
“News anchors looking into camera and reading a script handed down by a corporate overlord, words meant to obscure the truth not elucidate it, isn’t journalism,” Rather tweeted on Monday. He went on to call the practice “Orwellian” and “propaganda.”
Sinclair came under fire over the weekend after Deadspin released this video, which splices together dozens of the company’s local affiliates reading from the same anti-“false news” script.
Sinclair, in turn, released a lengthy memo to its newsrooms across the country saying, “There is a lot of noise out there about our company right now, and what is lacking in that analysis is something we constantly preach: context and perspective.”
The memo, written by Sinclair Senior Vice President Scott Livingston, then lists a number of accomplishments by the group’s various newsrooms.