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Sinclair is accusing CNN of being “hypocritical and dishonest,” and is running a 4-minute video attacking the network at the top of every one of its affiliate websites. The right-leaning broadcaster has been under fire recently for mandating that local news anchors read a prewritten script about “biased and false news” that some have likened to corporate propaganda.
The video, which was blasted out by newly hired New York public relations firm 5WPR, includes a clip from the March 11 edition of the Sunday morning show Reliable Sources, during which host Brian Stelter questions Sinclair’s claim to be unbiased and likens it sarcastically to Fox News’ claim to be “Fair and Balanced.”
Sinclair, in the video, argues that CNN and Stelter have also warned viewers about fake news, calling into question the notion that such a warning emanates from President Trump.
“As a news organization, Sinclair values and preaches the notions of providing content and perspective,” acting network spokesman Ronn Torossian said in a statement accompanying the video on Tuesday. “One of the more hypocritical and dishonest depictions of Sinclair’s promotional spots has come from CNN, which disparaged Sinclair warnings to viewers about ‘fake news,’ depicting them as ‘echoing Trump’s Talking points’ and ‘taking a page out of Trump’s playbook.'”
Sinclair continued: “For CNN to politicize Sinclair’s journalistic commitment promos is hypocritical and shameful. The video we produced which highlights this dishonestly is on all of our websites. Is it truly newsworthy that fake news is an issue which everyone should be concerned about?”
Spokespeople for CNN have not yet responded to a request for comment on the video campaign, but Stelter took issue with the video on Twitter.
“There’s a huge difference between my coverage and Sinclair’s mandatory promos,” he wrote. “No one tells me what to say. But these anchors were told exactly what to say.”
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