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Two news anchors at a station in OR owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group reportedly refused to read required promotional messages warning against "fake stories" in other media outlets.

The Sinclair Broadcast Group is likely the most powerful media company most people hadn't heard of - that is, until last week, when a viral video showed one way the company could carry out its agenda.

But pressuring the advertisers at Sinclair's 193 TV stations around the country would prove more hard than in other boycott efforts, which have targeted the national brands running ads across national platforms, such as Fox News' "The Ingraham Angle".

Plenty of others disagree, calling the move "Orwellian" and "extremely unsafe to our democracy", while defenders including President Donald Trump say it's legit in the era of fake news.

Sinclair's conservative views are a subject of discussion and is a factor as the company is looking to expand by purchasing Tribune Media which is now under review by federal regulators.

This is not the first time the Sinclair group has pushed its own agenda on the individual news stations.

In response to the ongoing controversy, Sinclair SVP Scott Livingston sent a memo to stations Monday, which was also obtained by CNN.

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Last month, Sinclair Broadcasting Corp. was called out for mandating that its local stations take on a scripted promotional campaign. The company produces 2,400 hours of news each week, and in 2017 it hired more than 50 reporters to staff a national investigative news unit.

Sinclair Broadcasting owns more than 190 stations nationwide, and is awaiting government approval to buy even more, expanding their reach from 40 percent to over 70 percent of the nation's households. Sinclair is a leading local news provider in the country and a producer of live sports content. Sinclair's content is delivered via multiple-platforms, including over-the-air, multi-channel video program distributors, and digital platforms. "Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke". "We've asked people to voice their opposition to Sinclair's plan to merge with Tribune Media, which has yet to be approved".

Critics have complained that Sinclair orders its local stations to air "must-run" segments with what they describe as a rightward slant, including frequent reports from a "Terrorism Alert Desk". He has few safe spaces in legit news media, places where he can be relatively sure that his policies or scandals won't be pressed too hard.

"I don't think it's good for free press".

Sinclair did not return requests for comment.

It is understood that numerous anchors forced to read the script felt uncomfortable doing so. "I felt like a POW recording a message", one anchor said. Areas covered by a Sinclair station ultimately went for Trump by 19 percentage points, the Post reported today.


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