Viral Video Exposes News Stations Across US Pumping Exact Same Script
By Rachel Blevins/Free Thought ProjectApril 02, 2018
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Videos that show the striking similarities between the scripts used by local TV anchors and reporters are nothing new, but a recent compilation has taken the Internet by storm as it shows dozens of news stations coming together to warn about the dangers of "fake news" with an eerily identical script.
The video started with news clips from four different stations across the country in which each anchor read from a teleprompter that appeared to say, "Our greatest responsibility is to serve our [insert location here] communities. We are extremely proud of the quality, balanced journalism that [insert station here] produces."
Then nine stations were featured on the screen and they all said in unison, "But 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."
"More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories... stories that just aren't true, without checking facts first," the videos continued, as at least 36 stations filled the screen at one time.
"Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control 'exactly what people think.'"
Then the video highlighted one important line that was parroted by each station:
This is extremely dangerous to our democracy.
The one major thing that each of these local stations has in common is that they are all owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, a media conglomerate that is the largest television station operator in the United States with around 200 stations in more than 100 markets.
The segments were filmed as promotional videos, and multiple local anchors who participated told CNN that in addition to scripts, they also received direct instructions from their corporate bosses.
"Please produce the attached scripts exactly as they are written. This copy has been thoroughly tested and speaks to our Journalistic Responsibility as advocates to seek the truth on behalf of the audience," the instructional document said, according to the anchors.
The document then went into detail on how the anchors should dress and the colors they should wear to appear politically unbiased:
Talent should dress in jewel tones. However, they should not look political in their dress or attire. Avoid total red, blue and purples dresses and suits. Avoid totally red, blue and purple ties, the goal is to look apolitical, neutral, nonpartisan yet professional. Black or charcoal suits for men...females should wear yellow, gold, magenta, cyan, but avoid red, blue or purple.
The anchors reciting the scripts in the promo videos state that they believe "it's our responsibility to pursue and report the truth. We understand truth is neither politically 'left nor right.' Our commitment to factual reporting is the foundation of our credibility, now more than ever."
They then acknowledge that "we are human and sometimes our reporting might fall short," and they encourage viewers to visit the station's website and submit their concerns, "if you believe our coverage is unfair." However, the instructional document reportedly states that "corporate will monitor the comments and send replies to your audience on your behalf."
Local TV stations are often looked at as different and set apart from the major mainstream media networks because they focus on a single community, instead of tackling the realm of national politics.
However, each local station is owned by a much larger corporation like Sinclair Broadcast Group and when the owner demands that hundreds of its employees make identical promotional videos, they follow orders.
As The Free Thought Project has reported, while there was once a time when the mainstream media was run by dozens of companies, it is now controlled by six corporations, which all have ties to the Council on Foreign Relations, and as is the case with this report, "The narrative created by CFR and its cohorts is picked up by their secondary communicators, also known the mainstream media, who push it on the populace with no analysis or questioning."