Veteran journalist Nick Clooney, the father of movie star George Clooney, says that Sinclair Broadcast Group’s scripted editorial stunt is “beyond the pale” and would never have happened in his day.
The right-wing media giant faced widespread criticism this week after video emerged showing a small army of local news anchors at its 170-plus TV stations nationwide reading a carbon-copy script bashing the “false news” and “fake stories” of other outlets.
Clooney was a news anchor for more than a decade in the 1970s and 1980s on Cincinnati’s Channel 12 WKRC-TV, which is now owned by Sinclair.
“I have no idea what these folks are doing for a living, but it isn’t news,” Clooney told the Cincinnati Enquirer on Monday.
Clooney acknowledged that scripted editorials written by the station’s owners would have been read on air during his time at the station.
But they would have been clearly identified as such, or the owners would have read them out themselves, he said.
“To borrow the credibility of the anchor and the reporter is beyond the pale,” Clooney told the Enquirer. “If all they want is a puppet, a marionette, you can get them a lot cheaper.”