Sinclair Needs to Fire Boris Epshteyn
It finally happened: The Sinclair Broadcast Group’s latest “must-run” segment — a commentary the company forced local-TV stations to air — was so noxious that even Sinclair is trying to distance itself from it.
The network’s tweet came the day after it aired a segment featuring its chief political analyst and former Trump aide Boris Epshteyn defending the tear-gassing of asylum seekers — including children — at the U.S. border.1
This is far from the first time that Sinclair has pushed Epshteyn’s racist must-run segments.
Epshteyn has produced segments that try to justify the administration’s policy of separating families and detaining children at the border.2 In another must-run segment, Epshteyn endorsed Trump’s claim that there was violence from “both sides” at the neo-Nazi rally last year in Charlottesville, Virginia.3
Sinclair’s practice of forcing stations to air daily “must-run” segments is super-sketchy because these commentaries masquerade as local news, which most people trust more than any other news source.4 Forcing stations to air this racist rhetoric is one of the ways that the network upholds White supremacy and serves as a propaganda machine for the Trump administration.
Justifying the tear-gassing of families and children is another low on a long list of lows.
Sinclair needs to fire Boris Epshteyn and stop forcing stations to air Trump-friendly propaganda.
1. “Sinclair’s Latest Must-Run Defends the Tear-Gassing of Migrant Children and Warns of an Attempted Invasion,” Media Matters, Nov. 27, 2018: https://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2018/11/27/sinclair-s-latest-must-run-defends-tear-gassing-migrant-children-warns-attempted-invasion/222163
2. “Sinclair Must-Run Segment on Family-Separation Policy and Child Detention Attacks the Media,” Media Matters, June 21, 2018: https://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2018/06/21/sinclair-must-run-segment-family-separation-policy-and-child-detention-attacks-media/220509
3. “Defense of Trump’s Unforgivable Statements on Charlottesville May Be Airing on Your Local News,” Aug. 17, 2017: https://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2017/08/17/defense-trump-s-unforgivable-statements-charlottesville-may-be-airing-your-local-news/217675
4. “Poynter: Local-TV News Is Most Trusted,” Broadcasting & Cable, Aug. 24, 2018: https://www.broadcastingcable.com/news/poynter-local-tv-news-is-most-trusted