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Wednesday, November 30

Ok. So Maybe The Media Buys The Government Sometimes

You've got to read this long article at GQ: Not Necessarily the News. How Sinclair Broadcast Group bent the rules, bought politicians, and faked the news to become one of the largest independent owners of television stations in America. (And yes, we use the word “news” very, very loosely) By Wil S. Hyton about the Sinclair Broadcasting Company and how they control a lot more than you thought. Here's the last paragraph:

Whether minor or major, political or personal, the litany of deceptions at Sinclair do serve a common purpose. They may be designed to cut costs (like the weather forecasts), or to protect Republican allies by attacking Democratic rivals, or to promote a war and reap the profits, but what binds Sinclair’s business strategy together is the company’s commitment to the bottom line. Just as the company was willing to violate FCC regulations to exercise illegal control of TV stations, and just as the Smith brothers were willing to spend illegal amounts of money on their political patrons in exchange for political favors, they have also been willing to cast aside their own convictions in the interest of profit, championing moral values from the back rooms of topless bars and railing against political corruption while setting new standards for it—giving more than 95 percent of their political donations to the Republican Party, then basking in the rewards of loose oversight and unfettered access to elected officials. As a result, the story of Sinclair is not merely about the rise of bias in the news, because bias is a product of idealism. The story of Sinclair is also about the limits of that idealism, about what happens when bias succumbs to business interests and greed masquerades as principle.
Hat tip to Okieblonde for pointing out this story to us.

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