By Dan Calabrese
Let’s review a few basic facts about the nature of business and employment:
First, when the owner of your company wants you to do something, it is generally not considered scandalous that you’re expected to do it – provided its not illegal, dishonest, unethical, etc.
Second, if you’re not willing to be supportive of the corporate goals and priorities established by the owner of your company, your option is to seek work elsewhere. The people who sign your paychecks decide those things, not you.
Now, let’s review a few basic facts about the news media, particularly television:
First, television anchors read scripts written for them by others all day long. It is what they do. It is not unusual and none of them are subject to trauma because of it.
Second, there is nothing even the slightest bit controversial about a media outlet denouncing bias and irresponsible reporting. This sort of thing is usually considered Journalism 101.
Why, then, is the lefty media having a cow over the decision of Sinclair Broadcasting, which owns many local television stations all across the country, to have its anchors read a “must-run” that declares each station’s commitment to these principles? The video you’re about to see is being described by liberals as a “hostage video,” the idea being that the anchors read the script under duress on the orders of sinister owners who were forcing them to advance a corrupt agenda. The fact that they all read the same script is presented as “creepy” and we’re told that anchors from coast to coast were traumatized by having to read it:
Now the first thing you need to know is that you could put together a compilation video like this using many different examples. Television news operations subscribe to multiple syndication packages, from which they literally “rip and read” prepared scripts they acquire from a content provider who distributes nationally. The anchor in Chicago would be reading the same script as the one in Miami, the one in Atlanta, the one in Detroit and the one in Philadelphia.
String them all together in one video and they look stupid, because what they reveal to you is that most of these anchors are actors as much as they are reporters. But it’s a normal, everyday thing, and you can even justify it to some degree because there is an awful lot of broadcast time to fill for local news operations, and it’s expensive to fill it all with locally produced content.
So the idea that a bunch of them all read the same script? No, not even a little creepy. Not the slightest bit unusual.
Now, let’s get to the content of this one. If you didn’t want to watch the video, or couldn’t hear everything they were saying because of the overdubs, here’s the text:
Hi, I’m(A) ____________, and I’m (B) _________________…
(B) Our greatest responsibility is to serve our Northwest communities. We are extremely proud of the quality, balanced journalism that KOMO News produces.
(A) But we’re concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country. The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media.
(B) More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories… stories that just aren’t true, without checking facts first.
(A) Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think’…This is extremely dangerous to a democracy.
(B) At KOMO it’s our responsibility to pursue and report the truth. We understand Truth is neither politically ‘left nor right.’ Our commitment to factual reporting is the foundation of our credibility, now more than ever.
(A) But we are human and sometimes our reporting might fall short. If you believe our coverage is unfair please reach out to us by going to KOMOnews.com and clicking on CONTENT CONCERNS. We value your comments. We will respond back to you.
(B) We work very hard to seek the truth and strive to be fair, balanced and factual… We consider it our honor, our privilege to responsibly deliver the news every day.
(A) Thank you for watching and we appreciate your feedback.
What, exactly, is objectionable about that?
First of all, the statement about some media outlets publishing false stories without checking them out is absolutely true. It’s also true that much of the media push agendas to try to control what people think. And yes, that is dangerous to democracy.
It’s also true that one-sided reporting is commonplace, and that there needs to be an effort by responsible media to counter it.
And it makes perfect sense that you’d encourage your readers to contact you if they think you’re falling short. That’s called professional accountability. It is generally considered an unobjectionable concept in most industries.
So if it’s true that these anchors didn’t want to read this, why is that? I can think of two possible reasons: 1). They don’t want to call out their media brethren for this behavior because they support the biased reporting that goes on; and 2) The sentiments expressed about the media here sound like those expressed by Donald Trump.
That’s what’s got the left freaking out and calling Sinclair the ministry of propaganda or whatever. But if the president’s complaints about the media are accurate and fair – and they are – then it’s their fault for being biased and irresponsible in the first place, not his for pointing it out.
And if you don’t like the media being used by the president as the ministry of propaganda, then let’s find out from these same anchors how vociferously they objected to scripts that used the same talking points put out by the Obama White House during the previous administration.
The media hate being called out for their actions, especially by members of their own profession. Too bad. Media is an industry that anyone can freely enter, and if some want to position themselves in the market by distinguishing themselves from others by calling out bias and sloppy reporting, that’s a perfectly legitimate and badly needed market strategy. If these anchors don’t want to advocate fairness and accuracy in media, then they should get jobs as PR flacks for Democrat politicians. I’m sure they thought that when they got jobs with the news media, it was essentially the same thing.
Dan writes Christian spiritual warfare novels and does all kinds of other weird things too. Follow all his activity by liking him on Facebook!