SHARE
FCC Commish Ajit Pai does his best Adam Sandler

In an exciting example of Unleashing the Free Market, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chair Ajit Pai exploited one weird regulatory loophole to allow right-leaning Sinclair Broadcasting Group — already the single biggest owner of local TV stations in the country — to expand even further by buying 42 stations from Tribune Media, which will mean that, if the deal goes through, Sinclair stations would reach 72 percent of American homes — or at least the ones that still watch local news. This is a bit of a problem, maybe, since current law — that’s from Congress, not the FCC — limits any single company from owning stations with a national audience bigger than 39 percent. But maybe an exception is OK for a broadcaster that sends its stations “must-run” pro-Trump editorials and scripted content they’re required to present to their local audiences, without any indication that the material isn’t locally sourced.

Sinclair is quietly building itself a terrific outlet for pro-Trump propaganda, with video segments by former Trump spokesman Boris Epshteyn (who’s loathed even at Fox News) and others, but it couldn’t get much bigger since it already reaches 38 percent of homes. But then Pai stepped in with a neat little trick! He revived something called the “UHF discount,” which makes no sense in a world of digital TV, but was useful to how the combined audiences of Sinclair and Tribune stations got counted. It’s a holdover from the days when channels over 13 were fuzzy and nearly unwatchable, like “Barney.” Politico explains:

That quality gap no longer exists in today’s world of digital television, but under the policy that Pai revived, the commission does not fully count those stations’ market size when tallying a broadcaster’s national reach.

Critics including the FCC’s most recent former chairman, Tom Wheeler, say the change amounts to a regulatory sleight-of-hand.

“Congress was explicit in black letter saying 39 percent viewership would be the maximum,” said Wheeler, a Democrat who got rid of the discount last year. But instead, he said, “There was funny math created to allow the count to come up to still be below 39 percent, wink wink.”

By acquiring 42 stations but pretending some of their audiences are still watching with crappy reception over rabbit ears — which is not possible given that all broadcasts are now digital — Sinclair retains broadcast footprint that reaches only “39% of homes.” (Allegedly.) Politico made a nice map of what expanding from 38 percent of markets to “39 percent” of markets would look like if the deal is ultimately approved:

Additionally

That’s a very powerful One Percent, huh? Very impressive Republican Math! But don’t worry. Pai, Trump’s handpicked FCC chair, assured Democrats in a July 25 hearing that Sinclair isn’t getting any special treatment for its Trump-humping love:

“If you look at any of our regulatory actions, they’re not designed to benefit any company or segment of the industry,” he said.

And frankly, we take him at his word — he’d be in favor of any media conglomerate that wanted to bend the rules and make more money. The Trump love is just a happy bonus.

And, oh, what a happy bonus it is! Back in December, The Washington Post noted that Sinclair gave Trump overwhelmingly positive coverage, and coincidentally took a harsh line on Hillary Clinton. In a brilliant segment of “Last Week Tonight” from earlier in the summer, John Oliver highlighted how Sinclair forces local stations to run rightwing segments produced by the company, and even provides news scripts for local anchors to read:

[I]n contrast to Fox News, a conservative outlet where you basically know what you’re getting, with Sinclair, they’re injecting Fox-worthy content into the mouths of your local news anchors, the two people who you know, and who you trust, and whose on-screen chemistry can usually best be described as “two people.”

You should go ahead and watch this whole video, where Oliver brings his trademark Investigative Comedy to the issue of media concentration and why it’s Not Good For America. The Sinclair case is especially worrisome, he says, because here’s this thing you’ve never heard of that’s suddenly throwing around billions of dollars and threatening to change how “local” media works:

Oliver had a lot of fun with a “must-run” feature, Sinclair’s “Terror Desk” reports, which include stories on actual terrorism, but since it’s a daily feature, sometimes has to scrape up content on days when there’s no terrorist attack, like repeating a dubiously-sourced report of ISIS chain-sawing Iraqi teens in half, or a story about European judges overturning bans on “burqini” swimwear. Muslim swimsuits are “terrorism” now? (Add your own “fat German guy in a speedo is real terrorism” joke here.) Former Trumper Boris Epshteyn got very angry at Oliver’s piece, because since when is reporting on ISIS MURDERING PEOPLE IN EUROPE “NONSENSE,” HUH?

There are a couple bits of good — and not fake — news about Sinclair’s “must-run” segments. For one thing, not all stations are happy with them. As Oliver notes, Seattle affiliate KOMO meets its contractual obligation by running the damned things at the lowest-rated part of the day, like 4:30 AM. And while the FCC’s public comment period expired Monday, it’s entirely possible pressure from consumer groups and lawmakers might still sway the FCC’s final decision. Yep, time for another call to your representatives, kids. Then, of course, there are two other great ways to send a message! Let your local Sinclair station know you’ll be watching the local news on another station, because at least their moronic happy talk is locally grown. And you can always call a few of their advertisers and complain, because Money Talks.

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations, not funny math. Please click the “Donate” linky to do a donation!

[Politico / WaPo / Baltimore Sun]

$
Donate with CCDonate with CC
  • SomeBigRedDog

    I never watch the local news because for some reason* my local news comes from Albuquerque and Albuquerque local news is usually scary as shit.

    *I live in Colorado?

  • TJ Barke

    This kind of shit is why we can’t have nice things. Rich rightwing shitheads buying influence to propagandize at huge swaths of the country.

    • therblig

      and rwnj bobble/shitheads eager to swallow it down like manna from heaven.

      • amrak63

        Yep to both of you. Our country’s #1 problem is not the GOP, not Prez Covfefe, not even Tsar Vlad–it’s the fact that so many of my fellow NEWAs (Non-Elite White Americans) are so gullible, and so keep feeling, thinking, and voting right-wing, like so many chickens voting for Colonel Sanders (no, I don’t mean Bernie).

        Or not voting, and so letting the RWNJs prevail, because the non-RWNJ candidates are not perfectly pure enough.

        http://i.imgur.com/mPzr84H.jpg

        • therblig

          “They are Man’s and they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance and this girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.”

          ― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

    • amrak63

      Gene Lyons, who, like me, is old enough to remember the classic Uncle Scrooge comic books, uses the term “McDucks” for the right-wing godzillionaires who finance the flood of RWNJ propaganda.

      Technical note: A “godzillion” is a number the size of Godzilla.

      • Mark Lungo

        Scrooge McDuck libelz! His evil rival Flintheart Glomgold is much worse.

        • Scrooge was a real douchebag in his original appearances. He’s mellowed with time.

          • handyhippie65

            yea, he was a dick in the comics from the 70’s i used to read while in the bed of the truck on vacations.

  • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

    Sinclair owns the local NBC, Fox and MyNetwork TV channels under one umbrella station. I don’t watch the NBC affiliate anyway after they submarined my former employers in an ambush interview. And the only thing I watch occasionally is minor-league baseball on the MyNetwork affiliate. But I can stream that, so no big loss.

    • MrTusks

      Sinclair has their list on their website: http://sbgi.net/tv-stations/

      None in Philly or New Jersey! Holy shit! We did something right!

      • Mark Lungo

        None in Cleveland either. Yet.

  • Oblios_Cap

    The music channel I listen to is a Clear Channel station. There are too many ads, but almost no opinion pieces.

    • JustPixelz (((Ω)))

      As broadcast radio consolidated into conglomerates like Clear Channel, it became impossible (for me) to listen to. On my 40 minute commute to work, they played about one song. The rest was talk (ha ha), ads, “news”, ads, weather, ads, and ads. I started listening to audiobooks instead.

      Other people got XM radio. In other words, the free market decided that terrestrial radio was SO BAD that launching satellites into space, getting people to buy new receivers, paying subscription fees and all the infrastructure that goes with it was worthwhile. And they were right: Sirius XM is making money.

      • Oblios_Cap

        I have a short commute.

      • CindyinEncinitas

        Clear Channel wiped out Air America. I will always hate them with the heat of a thousand suns.

        • notanncoulter

          air america was kind of its own worst enemy. the people running the admin side were clueless and crooked. it’s a damn shame, as there were some great shows on there. most of them have ended up in podcastland… or as us senators [hooray for al franken! giant of the senate!].

      • Skwerl the Taco Hunter

        We did get a funky music channel from public radio, but the DJs won’t shut up.

      • Three Finger Salute

        Every so often we get something in the mail to sign up for Sirius in the car (Ford gives you a 3-month free trial when you buy a vehicle from an authorized dealership). My mother always throws it out because 1) it’s a luxury that we can’t spring for right now and 2) they don’t air local weather reports like the antenna radio stations do, and she’s on the road a lot which means she doesn’t always get to see the noontime or 6pm newscasts. Also, she doesn’t like Stern, and doesn’t want to pay for a service that would give him any money. (Which I can kind of understand, because I find him vulgar too and he’s part of that media-sleaze complex that gave free airtime to Trump.)

        But she’s found too, with the OTA stations, that there’s a lot more commercials in between not only the music (the same three to five songs over and over again) and it takes forever for the weather report to come on. So she just went to Target and bought some Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra CDs to put in the player to sing along to, and waits until 11 for the weather report, then goes to bed. Not a bad plan if you ask me. Nonstop advertising is a kick in the head. 😉

        I used to listen to the Sirius channels when we’d get the occasional out-of-nowhere freebie, only because I appreciate that the ’80s channel put all the surviving MTV VJs back in the broadcasting booth again. But lacking that, I just load up music to my iPod. One of those old ones (5.5G 160GB) without all the useless app crap, that actually has enough storage for lossless audio files and even video clips. OTA radio sucks, and I just can’t do talk radio (i.e. NPR), whether or not I agree with the viewpoint of the broadcasters.

        It should be noted, also, that there is something to be said for the personality profiles of those who listen to singalong music in the car and those who listen to AM hate radio. My mother is a generally nice person — sometimes to a fault, in that meaner people step on her and take advantage of someone with a genuinely sincere interest in doing good for other people. One of the worst of these is my aunt — her own sister — who listened to Rash Limburger, Sean Insanity, Bill O’Really, and two local Republican Massholes named Jay Severin and Howie Carr, for 20 years on a 45-minute drive to and from work. She was a federal civilian employee for decades, who never married nor had kids and has a yuge government nest egg that she’s just sitting on and wants to die not spending — to the point where she lives like a miserable old biddy, in a decaying old house in dire need of disrepair, because she doesn’t want to spend a dime even having the walls painted. Big Fox News fan who complains about the fact that taxes (which paid her salary and padded said nest egg) even exist.

        My mother, meanwhile, is poor and helped take care of my ailing grandmother for no pay, and has an internalized guilt complex for having been a public schoolteacher because of all the venom directed against them. TL;DR rant, but I hate what AM hate radio has, in large part, done to decent people in this country.

        • amrak63

          I call him Rash Limpbough since (IIRC) he got caught smuggling Viagra.

        • Mark Lungo

          So your aunt will die sitting on all that money, never having spent it to help herself, let alone anyone else. Did she grow up during the Depression?

      • teele

        I’m a big fan of Pandora (I pay for the advertising-free version, and it doesn’t cost much). I can listen to it on my computer while I work, or on my phone, with headphones or through a bluetooth speaker. I can not only listen to the music I like to hear, but have also sampled (and discovered I like) music I have NEVER heard on any radio station. So my “thumprint” station now features swing, jazz, 60’s – 90’s hits, African music, show tunes, classical music, protest songs, classic country music and Mexican songs. I also started listening to podcasts, the timeliest of which is Rachel Maddows, but it is possible to ferret out podcasts with a distinctly non-RWNJ flavor, along with those that speak to your particular interests (old-time radio, Hollywood’s golden age, true crime, ancient history and Dr. Who being among mine). TV? We dumped satellite last year, and went with a Roku receiver that works fine with our 20-year old set and a DSL line (got rid of the phone portion of the landline), and have picked 4 content providers that altogether cost us less than a third of what we paid for satellite. There’s free stuff, too, although most of it is worth every penny you pay for it, but if you have the patience for it to load, you can watch everything You Tube has to offer. When I have been at the homes of family and friends who still watch advertiser supported TV, I find the commercials unbearable. I was actually worried about getting rid of regular television, since I am a member of the first generation raised in front of a tv set, and in particular I was concerned about news. But I really haven’t watched televised news for over a decade, and it turns out I love being able to watch what I want, when I want, and being able to resume watching shows if interrupted. I get all the news I want online from a much larger variety of sources.

    • Three Finger Salute

      Clear Channel is the one that agreed to the Bush blacklist after 9/11, wasn’t it? The ridiculous notion that it was somehow unpatriotic to play songs about planes or fire because the nation was too “triggered”? Who the fuck takes Johnny Cash and John Denver off the air in response to a foreign terrorist attack?

  • Oblios_Cap

    Ajit Pai? Sounds sort of terrorist-y to me.

    • Ducksworthy

      He’s a Kokani from Kansas, K?

    • PubOption

      Since he’s regulating the airwaves, it’s all Pai in the sky.

  • calliecallie

    Weather today: Big wind coming from the right.

    • TJ Barke

      That’s every day.

    • The Wanderer

      Smells like cabbage farts.

      • schmannity

        And taco bowls/KFC/BigMacs

      • SweetDeeKat

        And hot.

    • teele

      It’s a trumpnado!

  • Ducksworthy

    I guess we’ll just have to figure out for ourselves when the planet has become unlivable because the local weather will not be allowed to tell us.

    • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

      Some people say it is “raining” where they are. But since there isn’t any rain at the studio, we’re going to call that fake news and forecast sunny skies.

      • CindyinEncinitas

        Well, to be fair, my knee doesn’t hurt, so…

        • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

          “And now your AccuWeather forecast, with Cindy’s Knee!”

          • CindyinEncinitas

            Is this where I show my boobs?

          • Oblios_Cap

            Please.

            For scientific reasons, of course.

          • Antonin Dvorak

            No that is Naked News, but we will make an exception just this once.

          • Tommy Beard

            Boobs are for the political segments :)

          • CindyinEncinitas

            Oh. Thanks. *hikes up skirt*

          • amrak63

            Boobs are the people who vote for the politicians whom we endorse.

          • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

            Either that or the dress with the slit all the way up to the hip.

      • Grumpy Twat

        The environment will not be televised

  • mancityRed6

    I barely even read local news anymore, even on the internets.
    if I need to know what’s happening, I’ll listen for sirens.

    • Me not sure

      When the Gestapo came they didn’t use sirens. Listen for a knock on the door.

      • Creepoman

        Aah, the gentle rapping of jackboots, kicking in the front door. Ivan calling!

        • Bobathonic

          OBAMA’S FINALLY COMING FOR OUR GUNS, MA!

      • mancityRed6

        that’ll be easy. it’s only happened four times in the last 11 months

    • Poorly Behaved Pérsistanista

      In my fine town we’re blessed with an independent website dedicated to local news.

    • Erala Contratista

      Sirens and helicopters too. Also

    • teele

      In our area, all three local news stations lead with one or two national news stories that we’ve all already read about earlier in the day, continue with fires/shootings/bad accidents, do 7 – 8 minutes of sports, and finally, the weather, which pops up on my phone every time I wake it up. Why on earth would I watch that?

      • mancityRed6

        it used to be national news at 5:30, local at 6 and the local was local. it’s been about 10 years since I’ve had the cable, so I have no idea.

  • MynameisBlarney

    Fucking hell.
    The goddamn traitorous fucktards are really going for broke with their dreams of a nazi takeover.

  • MynameisBlarney
    • JustPixelz (((Ω)))

      And “pardon” is spelled G-U-I-L-T-Y

  • ManchuCandidate

    New on Sinclair stations…

    Trump In Charge. The story of an honest hard working not small and not at all crazy, stupid, ignorant or fat billionaire just trying to lead his company country against fake news and reality while grabbing pussies hanging out with the young attractive neighbors who all kind of look like Ivanka.

    • schmannity

      …And at 9, Diff’rent Strokes, a madcap look at infarcts in the Trump administration.

      • Three Finger Salute

        Whatchutalkinbout, Donnie?

  • Jamoche

    Looks like all my local news stations manage to suck without any outside help. You shouldn’t be able to say “Trump agenda” with a straight face, but they manage.

    • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

      I have pretty much stuck with one by default – one is badly slanted, the other is decent but allows their comments section to be overrun by the most demented slack-jawed morons I’ve seen outside of Yahoo! comments. The third is fairly down-the-middle, and they run a professional shop.

  • Oblios_Cap

    I like to read The Economist. I don’t always agree with them, but they cover the world a lot better than any American networks.

    • Steve Cole

      The Economist is my primary news source. I usually agree w/them except about the Iraq war (which they now admit was wrong) and green belts (which they complain almost every issue).

      • Good_Gawd_Yall

        Green belts? Sounds like something they give new practitioners of karate.

      • Oblios_Cap

        And they complained about them again in this issue!

    • FukuiSanYesOta

      The economist”s world reportage is the best I know of.

      • insolenttomato

        Very much agreed, free market globalization tilt notwithstanding. I can’t think of any other periodical where I can read about the Malaysian elections.

    • Three Finger Salute
      • Incoming Ham

        The Economist and a couple of ferin papers are my go-to’s. Gives a fair overall picture of what the fuck is happening on our sad planet at the moment

        • Three Finger Salute

          I think every headline from now on should just read “We’re fucked” in whatever language is native to the country. Including English dialects, so that Scumbag Steve Miller can keep up.

          Toronto Star: “We’re fuddle-duddled, eh.”
          The Guardian: “Keep calm and — oh, bollocks, everything is rubbish.”
          Sydney Herald: “Crikey, mates, we’re shrimp on the barbie!”

  • JustPixelz (((Ω)))

    I can gather all the news I need from the wonkette report. (Plus TRMS)

    • Grumpy Twat

      Nothing to do today but smile?

    • CindyinEncinitas

      I am getting more and more of my news from teh Twitter machine but I will always love TRMS and Lawrence.

      • BosGrl

        That’s what I do. If you follow the local stations, you’ll pretty much always know what’s going on.

        • CindyinEncinitas

          I have to admit I find Twitter to be confusing though. There is a big dustup right now with Joy Reed and I can’t tell for sure what happened and who did what to whom.

          • BosGrl

            It can get confusing if you didn’t see the original tweet. I like TweetCaster on my phone; go right to the person and scroll down through their mentions. On the desktop site, I find it difficult to find things. Thanks for the tip on Joy, though. Going there now :)

  • Reximus

    Wapo reporting the NORKs have completed a nuke warhead that can fit on a missile.

    And we have a complete imbecile to rely on to keep us safe.

    • Oblios_Cap

      Hopefully he will throw himself on it to save the rest of us…

      HAHAHAHA…. We’re so fucked.

      • JustPixelz (((Ω)))

        The poor bomb.

    • JustPixelz (((Ω)))

      “Working VERY hard on my vacation. Right now I’m getting my Daily Briefing. Lots of important info, probably.” #DeletedTrumpTweets

      • Reximus

        It’s bit late for Fox & Friends, no?

    • Incoming Ham

      I’m sure an armada of boats with guns are steaming in the opposite direction of NK as we speak.

  • Skwerl the Taco Hunter

    Oh thank god our Sinclair station in a CW one without a newscast. With the Chuck Norris, War Movie, Game Show reruns on other stations I would be surprised if they had more than 3 viewers.

    • Three Finger Salute

      My local NBC affiliate is a Sinclair channel. They frequently run op-eds from Circa. One memorable clip featured notorious neo-crusader Frank Gaffney.

    • BosGrl

      I just checked and there aren’t any Sinclair stations in New England. For now.

      • Three Finger Salute

        Nope, go look at Rhode Island. WJAR-NBC 10. Right at the bottom you see the Voldemort family surname.

        • BosGrl

          Oh crap. I used to like WJAR.

          • PTSILS

            Sad to say, WGME in Portland Maine too.

          • BosGrl

            Oh noes! I must have been looking at an old website.

  • Me not sure

    Ajit needs to shut his Pai hole. There. ….I got that out of the way.

    • Oblios_Cap

      Nice. Now all we need is a “Life of Pai” joke.

      • schmannity

        Pai R Dicks in Trump geometry.

        • Msgr_MΩment

          He should go do some transcendental meditation and try not to be so irrational.

          • schmannity

            The numbers! They just won’t stop!

      • GHERKINS OF RESTIVENESS!

        Would Richard Parker even want to eat Ajit Pai a shitpie?

    • mailman27

      “And now with the traffic report, it’s your Ai in the Skai!”

      • Three Finger Salute

        Here’s your host, Alan Parsons.

        • handyhippie65

          i loved his project.

  • schmannity

    I’ve come to think of Wonkette as the Fresh Hell Report.

  • MynameisBlarney

    OT; but it looks like someone over at DU has taken a shine to Wonkette.

    https://www.democraticunderground.com/10029430595

    • BosGrl

      Nice!!

    • ltmcdies

      Someone in “theh commentz” takes full umbrage with the “obscenities” of our Wonkette

      Dude, we come for the obscenities..

      • MynameisBlarney

        We come for the obscenities.
        Hard.
        So. Fucking. Hard.

      • SeeTrain65

        And someone else (at least one) is filled to the brim after drinking Greenwald’s Kool-Aid.

  • Latverian Diplomat

    Sinclair is just there to keep Fox News (dis)honest.

  • Here you go, folks:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_stations_owned_or_operated_by_Sinclair_Broadcast_Group

    Call your local Sinclair channel and give them the what for regarding the Trump fluffing talk. It may just have more of an impact than calling your trump fluffing representative or senator.

  • Joe Beese

    Just remember the last time we pre-emptively attacked someone because “intelligence officials” said they had weapons of mass destruction

    North Korea has successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles, crossing a key threshold on the path to becoming a full-fledged nuclear power, U.S. intelligence officials have concluded in a confidential assessment.

    The new analysis completed last month by the Defense Intelligence Agency comes on the heels of another intelligence assessment that sharply raises the official estimate for the total number of bombs in the communist country’s atomic arsenal. The U.S. calculated last month that up to 60 nuclear weapons are now controlled by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Some independent experts believe the number of bombs is much smaller.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/north-korea-now-making-missile-ready-nuclear-weapons-us-analysts-say/2017/08/08/e14b882a-7b6b-11e7-9d08-b79f191668ed_story.html

    • jesterpunk

      So when do we invade Iraq again or is it Qatar this time?

      • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

        Brunei.

        • Three Finger Salute

          AOT,K

    • TJ Barke

      And again, they want these weapons as deterrents, so people don’t come in and regime change them. No one even slightly sane actually wants first strike capability. This isn’t to say that DPRK is a good place or anything…

  • Latverian Diplomat

    “Digital UHF is made of Ultra High Ones and Zeroes, so it’s completely the same.”
    — Ajit Pai, who is not a tech guy, but he knows things

  • exinkwretch

    How about we go really old school and shove the Fairness Doctrine right up Sinclair’s ass?

    • TJ Barke

      LIBERAL TYRANNY!

      • MynameisBlarney

        LIBETY TRANNY LIBELS!

    • MynameisBlarney

      Sideways!

  • Good_Gawd_Yall

    I think there’s a simple solution here: just turn off your television whenever the “local” news comes on. When they do their ratings and see nobody’s watching anymore, they’ll change their policies.
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    sorry, cracked myself up

    • The Wanderer

      Stop watching local news? How will I catch the Continuing Adventures of Florida Man?

    • jesterpunk

      The only time I watch local news is when I change the channel a few minutes early before Colbert comes on.

    • Three Finger Salute

      I think there’s a simple solution here: just turn off your television

      FTFY

    • Les Appentis De la résistance

      I looked up my local channels at the Sinclair site. It turns out there is one. It’s the one so bad, we refuse to watch it. Didn’t know it was a Sinclair but it makes sense.

    • AnnieGetYerFun

      I stopped watching local news back in 2003, about a year after I first started to watch it. I’m always amazed it’s still a thing that people tune in to.

      • Zyxomma

        I tape it, along with virtually everything else I watch. I won’t sit through commercials, and I can fast forward through everything that doesn’t interest me.

        • Querolous

          What is this “tape” that you refer to?

  • UncleTravelingMatt

    Bleh. My local news comes from a Sinclair station. Fucking unwatchable. The NewsTeam is a bunch of college kids who sound like they are sounding out their lines, which is okay because every broadcast is the same: interview police chief/fire chief; interview city manager/college president/small town mayor; oddball national news story; story about Richland, WA or Redmond, OR; Weather; Fish picture; Rodeo/Baseball news; two more “odd news” stories; fin.

    • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

      Sounds like mine, except sub in “On Your Side” report trashing local government for an issue they don’t have jurisdiction over, Cloud Picture someone sent in, and High School Football/Hoops/Baseball.

  • Three Finger Salute

    All the Sinclairs are related in one way or another, going back to a noble family in Scotland centuries ago. Not all of them are Murdoch clones; some, we know, are good people. Like Maggie Sinclair-Trudeau, who said in October that Trump really needs to get some serious professional help — for his own, his family’s and especially the country’s sake… and Upton Sinclair, the writer who said that “it is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on it.”

    But it’s these Sinclairs who we need to worry about. They must have been descended from the black sheep of the family. Probably some troublesome illegitimate cousin who then went on to set up a mini-putt golf course for deplorable usurpers, alongside the ancestors of Mary Anne MacLeod-Trump.

  • elviouslyqueer

    Former Trumper Boris Epshteyn got very angry at Oliver’s piece,

    I have a theory. Boris Epshteyn and Robert “Crying Tears of Coal Ash Butthurt Fee-Fees” Murray are the same person. We’ve never seen them in the same room together, have we? And it would be irresponsible not to speculate.

  • SayItWithWookies

    So I’m guessing Sinclair’s terrorism report yesterday didn’t include the mosque bombing? They probably just didn’t have time after their heavy coverage of the French burkini ban.

    • If it involves B-roll of sexxxay French bikini babes, it takes precedence over anything, even a major earthquake or plane crash.

  • Latverian Diplomat

    If Pai can reverse Net Neutrality, surely some future FCC chair can reverse this nonsense?

    Here’s hoping that in a few years Sinclair loses a ton of money trying to divest itself of low rated TV stations no one wants…

    • willi0000000

      GOTV! lets make it happen!

      [ and lots of other good things ]

  • I gave up my TV a decade ago, and haven’t missed it at all.

    • Vagenda and Pee-ara

      When I lived in NYC, nobody could remember my name, or where I was from, but EVERYBODY remembered I didn’t have a TV.

      • Zyxomma

        I have a TV, and an antenna. Mostly I use the TV to watch videos (I have an enormous collection of movies on VHS, and borrow DVDs from the library). I like to watch The Great British Baking Show, SciTechNow (I have a crush on Hari Sreenivasen, so I watch PBS NewsHour Weekend as well), and a couple of Gordon Ramsay’s shows (not the new one, The F Word, which totally blows). I also like Stephen Amell, so I watch Arrow, even though every season lately has sucked (I liked Summer Glau as Isabel Rochev; her season was a high point). I pay for cable internet; I won’t pay for TV. It’s high time the broadcast tower at WTC opens; I don’t have direct line-of-sight to the Empire State Building.

        • Vagenda and Pee-ara

          I haven’t had cable in years either. I mostly just watch Netflix.

  • Erala Contratista

    I keep forgetting to turn ours on….

  • Msgr_MΩment

    It’s a holdover from the days when channels over 13 were fuzzy and nearly unwatchable, like “Barney.”

    Now get off my lawn!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUi926ses94

  • elviouslyqueer

    Pi r squared, pie r round, Pai r A Asshole.

  • Msgr_MΩment

    Here’s hoping that Sinclair goes the way of the dinosaurs.
    http://aoghs.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Sinclair-Dino-AOGHS.jpg

    • Courser_Resistance

      I loved Sinclair stations when I was a kid! We all had the inflatable toy dinosaurs they gave out one year.

  • Red Bird

    Is there a comprehensive list of all the Sinclair owned stations?

  • yyyaz

    You will have a shit pie and you will like it.
    — Preznot Bannon

    • GHERKINS OF RESTIVENESS!

      The universe continues to hide warnings in plain sight:

      His name literally sounds like “a shit pie.” What a coincidence that he’s cooking one up for us!

    • kingeider

      A shit pie served piping hot by Boris E Shitstain

  • Bitter Scribe

    What kills me as a Chicagoan is that they’re going to take over my beloved WGN-TV, childhood home of Bozo the Clown and Cubs broadcasts (which it still has, although most of those are on cable). Oh well. The ABC affiliate has a way better-looking weather girl anyway.

    • Three Finger Salute

      They’re taking over WGN? The fuck? Pity that Steve Goodman never got to see his beloved Cubbies finally take home a trophy, although he’s lucky he doesn’t have to see the flagship Chicago station turn into Der Sturmer TV.

      • Bitter Scribe

        Yeah, WGN was owned by the Tribune for a long time. The letters stand for “World’s Greatest Newspaper.” Not sure who owns them right now, whether it’s “tronc” or some other spinoff.

        Yet another brick in the legacy of Sam “Rhymes with Hell” Zell, that pestilent little troll.

    • AnnieGetYerFun

      They let girls do the weather now? This country, going to hell in a handbasket.

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      WGN has been dead to me since they quit broadcasting Cubs games nationwide

  • Courser_Resistance

    Tegna owns my fave local TV station. While it’s hard to say it has a liberal bias, they’re infuriatingly unbiased when it comes to their Verify work. In my book, the fact that I find it infuriating is only because I’m a progressive, not because they are biased. Conservatives are always yelling about the ‘liberal bias’ which tells me they’re doing something right if they’re annoying both sides.

    On the other hand, the snark of a few of the anchors makes it all worthwhile not to mention delightful. Hint: you can catch episodes of Next with Kyle Clark on the You Tube if you want a taste. It’s only a 30 minute show. Without commercials, about 15 mins.

  • AnnieGetYerFun

    Are there fat Germans? It’s usually Italians and Russians in Speedos.

  • amrak63

    So Ajit Pai faithfully serves the right-wing white racist elite in government, just as he did in the business world.

    What is the Southern-Asian-American equivalent for “Uncle Tom”?

  • All of them Katie

    As an insomniac, I’ve been known to watch KOMO at like 4am. Was always suuuuuper confused about why they would take occasional hard right turns in their early morning coverage when they were generally pretty balanced. Fuck Sinclair. We’re a KING5 family now.

    • ltmcdies

      I grew up just over the border and we watched KOMO. It was a good station. Sorry it got bought by assholes

  • William

    Jerry Lewis is doing the weather?

  • Serai 1

    How do we know if a station is owned by Sinclair? It’s not like they’re going to have commercials announcing the fact.

  • miss_grundy

    Hmmm, perhaps this Ajit Pai guy needs to receive an avalanche of emails, postcards, etc. letting him know that he should follow the law and stop being a Republican tool.

    • Serai 1

      What good will that do? He’ll just ignore them because they’re “fake”. It’s a waste of time.

    • House0fTheBlueLights

      Oh, is there someone in this administration who is willing to follow the law? I’m really relieved.

    • GHERKINS OF RESTIVENESS!

      Are your postcards made of money? I don’t think he’s listening to anything other than that.

      • Lefty Wright

        Pai only listens to comments from sources he approves of with information that backs up his policies.

        https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/07/congressman-blasts-ajit-pai-for-anti-consumer-anti-competition-agenda/

        Note particularly the statement:

        Doyle asked Pai, “what kind of comment would cause you to change your mind?” Pai responded, “economic analysis that shows credibly that there’s infrastructure investment that has increased dramatically” since the net neutrality rules went into effect.

        Then when presented with evidence claimed that the source was biased. The GOP member of the FCC basically mimicked Pai’s response.

  • Khavrinen

    “That’s a very powerful One Percent, huh?”

    Sufficient explanation for nearly all the shit sandwiches currently being served to the good ol’ US of A.

  • Mavenmaven

    Isn’t broadcast TV primarily for Olds now, like DVR?

    • Komsumverweigerer Ron

      All Teh Oldz around here either have satellite or cable.

    • handyhippie65

      the poors as well who can’t afford a hundred dollars a month.

  • Komsumverweigerer Ron

    I get the news I need from the weather report.

    • The Librarian

      You’re the only living boy in NY? Now that’s news! :)

    • CindyinEncinitas

      But you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

      • tomamitai

        I know that! AND I knew you’d know I’d know you knew!

  • The Librarian

    Ugh, I see Sinclair is looking to infiltrate my neck of the woods. I don’t like our local news all that much anyway, but if Sinclair succeeds, it’ll guarantee that I’ll never watch. Oliver’s piece on them was a great heads up.

  • kaydenpat

    No amount of propaganda can convince the rest of us that Trump is anything but an incompetent mess. So good luck to Sinclair with their lies and brainwashing.

    • Charon_69

      It’s a multi pronged proven method-reinforce your message with your base, then cripple the education system so you can indoctrinate the upcoming generation by keeping them afraid and misinformed; those of us with school in the rear mirror and the ability to perform critical thinking are being ‘bred’ out…

  • Lyly Sirivong

    Is it like, the local TV equivalent of gerrymandering ?

  • whitroth

    Now wait just a minute – there was no “fuzzy” with UHF! Let me assure you, I developed a crush on the star of the bestest UHF show ever… Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman… an’ she was not fuzzy to look at….

    • Pax Americana Per Ars Smith

      Louise Lasser? Bless your heart, you must have been pubescent at the time.

      • whitroth

        Nope. Years past that. But one of the sexiest scenes on TV was her in a long flannel nightgown, standing in bed, and arguing with Tom, and he stands up, and they sink down together….

        • Pax Americana Per Ars Smith

          YMMV, I guess.

  • tomamitai

    You can get over-the-air digital stations with rabbit ears if you live close enough to the antenna.

  • willi0000000

    how did Montana get so lucky?

    [ . . . oh, wait . . . only twelve people live there . . . and they have their own two Senators and a Representative! ]

  • chascates

    Can someone explain this notion that the airwaves belong to the people and should be managed as a public trust.

  • Pax Americana Per Ars Smith

    Find out which local stations are Sinclair owned. Then write letters saying that you will boycott the LOCAL businesses advertising on their stations. Most local stations make their money from local advertisers. Also write boycott letters to the local businesses. Might work.

  • TX Dept. of Space Tacos
    • PRW

      “Over the air” and “digital” are not mutually exclusive. The signal that is broadcast and picked up with that antenna is a digital signal. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_television

    • handyhippie65

      i only have free over the air tv, but it is all digital broadcasts. me personally, i’m not sure it is an improvement. better snowy, than no signal, as i live out in the sticks.

  • Zyxomma

    I’m a little confused. There’s no Sinclair-owned TV station broadcasting in NYC, but across the nation there are stations they own listed as ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox. What gives?

    • Owning a station that leases to an affiliate, or maybe the affiliate leases to the station. Something like that. Anyway, the national news are ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox but the local programing is station run.

  • I knew this was going down when the local station gals all suddenly had blond hair and even the black lady was suddenly wearing this weird shift dress thing.

  • Celtic_Gnome

    We got us a Sinclair station. It is the lowest-rated local news station in the market.

    • Lisacreinke

      Advice47b

      Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! :!ap327d:
      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      :!ap327:
      ➽➽
      ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash617GroupOcean/Pay$97/Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★:::::!ap327..,…

    • SeeTrain65

      If you’re talking Columbus, there are actually three …

      WSYX (6)
      WTTE (28)
      WWHO (53)

      … all of which I avoid like the plague, because that is, in fact, what they are.

      Even so, I’m still upset I have to watch WBNS (10), because the Wolfe family is just about as bad.

  • Run the propaganda bits with a local “Count Floyd” type talking over them “Oooh Scary!” and 3-D bits

Previous articleSalt-Of-The-Earth Trump Racist Stephen Miller Lives In VERY SEXXXY ‘COSMOPOLITAN BIAS’ DC DIGS!
Next articleJeff Sessions Loves Cops, Except Mexican-Loving Chicago Cops, Who Are Bad