Former Sinclair anchor: Company has ‘symbiotic relationship’ with Trump

Former Sinclair anchor: Company has ‘symbiotic relationship’ with Trump
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A former Sinclair Broadcast Group anchor in an op-ed published on Saturday ripped the company for airing national promos against media publishing "fake stories," saying the corporation has close ties to President TrumpDonald John TrumpREAD: Transcript of James Comey's interview with House Republicans Klobuchar on 2020: ‘I do think you want voices from the Midwest’ Israel boycott fight roils Democrats in year-end spending debate MORE

"If you don’t see the symbiotic relationship between Sinclair and the president, you’re simply keeping your head in the sand," former WJAR-TV anchor Adam Bagni wrote in The Providence Journal.

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"With its penchant for conservative politics well-documented, the company is attempting to use its local stations like NBC 10 to advance its own political agenda. Simply put, a powerful outside influence is messing with your local news. Regardless of your political allegiance, that should concern you greatly," he continued. 

Bagni's comments come as Sinclair faces growing backlash over its decision to mandate that its local news anchors read the same speech about media bias prior to newscasts. A compilation of the promos went viral last week.

Bagni said in a statement to The Hill that the op-ed was not meant to be a political statement. 

"As I wrote, this is an issue that should concern all Americans, regardless of their political allegiance. It's not about politics. It's about a corporation, with well-documented political leanings, disrupting the independence of local journalism. That should concern everyone, no matter their party," Bagni said. 

"We’re concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country. The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media," the script reads. 

"More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories — stories that just aren’t true — without checking facts first," it continued. 

"Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control exactly what people think. … This is extremely dangerous to a democracy," it said.

Bagni slammed the spot and called on voters to take action. 

"Lobby Rhode Island’s lawmakers to follow the lead of states like Massachusetts, New York and Utah (just last week) by passing a bill barring non-compete clauses for broadcast journalists. We don’t have trade secrets, and deserve to pursue fair wages and better opportunities, just as employees in any other industry do," he said. 

A Sinclair executive last week defended the promos, saying they were "focused on fact-based reporting" and showed the company's "commitment to our communities."

Trump himself took to Twitter to defend the company last week.