Beyond Fox, Sinclair Broadcasting

Not since the Harding administration has the presidency conducted itself in so venal a fashion. – Jonathan Chait [New York Magazine]

A CONSPIRACY requires co-conspirators to succeed. To steal something from underneath people there must be a deal, a grand bargain, something to be gained for everyone involved. Then you have to target your enemy.

The adversary of Sinclair Broadcasting is journalism. Freedom of the press being the bedrock of our country. Media the wings beneath fake news’ lies.

The employees of Sinclair Broadcasting have defined the meaning of “news reader” downward. Regurgitated the script provided by their bosses, driven by the orders of a corrupt clan of individuals who are at war with the First Amendment.

The political leader of this corrupt clan is Donald Trump, who is on a search to see what his country can do for his bottom line.

Nothing for country; all for Trump… and his allies.

Freedom terrifies the Trump clan. Knowledge is the enemy. Look at the ten feet in front of you.

More from Chait’s column

The virtue of bribery is a subject of genuine conviction for Trump, whose entrée to politics came via transactional relationships with New York politicians as well as Mafia figures. Trump once called the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars American corporations from engaging in bribery, a “ridiculous” and “horrible” law. Enforcement of this law has plummeted under his administration.

Trump’s vision of an economy run by tight circles of politically connected oligarchs has reshaped America’s standing in the world. The same effect that applies at the personal level with Trump has appeared at the level of the nation-state. Small-d democratic leaders have recoiled from the Trump administration, while autocrats have embraced him. Similarly, the president and his inner circle feel most comfortable in the company of the wealthy and corrupt. They have built closer ties to Russia, the Gulf States, and China, all of which are ruled by oligarchs who recognize in Trump a like-minded soul. They share the belief that — to revise a favorite Trump saying — if you don’t steal, you don’t have a country.

Ultimate corruption is to control what someone knows. The truth upon which they build their life. Reality.

“They’re just under this corporate umbrella,” says one apologist for the so-called broadcasters who read Sinclair’s script to their audience.

The veil was heavy, as were the implications. Nothing specific, just the whisper of f-e-a-r.

This is how a country gets lost.

Sinclair has been accused of using connections in the Trump administration to ease regulations on media consolidation. In an effort to expand its reach, the company is seeking approval from the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission for a $3.9 billion deal to buy Tribune Media. [New York Times]