News outlets are now reporting that the merger of Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media could be approved by the Justice Department within days.1
Sinclair is the right-wing TV network notorious for forcing its local anchors to read pro-Trump propaganda scripts and play "must-run" commentaries from white nationalist former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka and former Trump spokesperson Boris Epshteyn—and the merger would mean that Sinclair stations would reach 72 percent of U.S. households.2,3
To help stop the merger, we produced an ad to run on Sinclair stations and have been flooding the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with calls and tweets. But we just got word that Sinclair refuses to let us run our ad, even if we pay full price.
This is corporate media censorship, pure and simple, and we refuse to back down. So we're going to run the ad in other creative ways that will reach even more viewers than we would have on Sinclair stations. Will you chip in $3?
Several Sinclair stations rejected our ad, objecting to us calling Sinclair's propaganda "right-wing."
Sinclair has proven itself to be every bit as dangerous as Fox News—perhaps more so. Sinclair runs centrally produced propaganda segments presented as straight news, including Islamophobic "terror alerts" and conspiracy theories about the "deep state" undermining Trump.4
Sinclair could even be a major factor in the outcome of the 2018 midterm elections. It has repeatedly used its local news network to intervene in elections in the past, and a recent analysis shows that even before the merger, Sinclair has a presence in half the battleground districts that will determine the outcome of the midterm elections.5
There are so many reasons why we can't let this merger happen, and that's why the news that Justice Department approval is imminent is so troubling.
The good news is that even if the Justice Department approves the merger, that's not the end of the fight. The FCC also has to give its approval, and that could take months. If MoveOn, along with allies who are also fiercely fighting Sinclair's merger, can sustain the pressure on the FCC and delay its decision until late fall, we have a very real chance of stopping this in Congress after the midterm elections.
Our ads are aimed at calling out Sinclair and mobilizing people to contact the FCC, and because Sinclair refused to run the ads, we can get even more media attention on their corporate censorship. But to move forward with our expanded ad buy, we need to raise at least $100,000 by Wednesday. Will you chip in $3?