[Audio] Pro-Trump media group buys out local TV news stations; Humboldt’s last week of news


In the latest episode of Humboldt Last Week (5:30): Some of our local news TV stations were bought out by a company that the Times Standard pointed out has “drawn criticism for its conservative leanings.”

Sinclair Broadcast Group is set to purchase four stations including our ABC and FOX affiliates — the North Coast News stations. Sinclair has been accused of inserting national conservative propaganda into local newscasts at their almost 200 stations across the country.

“The Sinclair takeover of (the North Coast News stations) can have some good benefits, but also gives me personally some concerns about the perception of the news station to viewers,” said Jeremy Chen, a former North Coast News reporter who now works for ABC affiliate KESQ in the greater Coachella area. KESQ is not a Sinclair-owned station.

In the podcast Chen comments on what he believes are the pros and cons of the Sinclair takeover.

A piece by John Oliver recently examined how Sinclair sends out self-produced must-air conservative stories and requires local anchors to read biased scripts to introduce certain national stories. In a Bill Maher interview with Sinclair’s Chief Political Analyst Boris Epshteyn, a former senior advisor to President Trump, Epshteyn says “I’m very much on America’s side, on the President’s side.”

While many see Sinclair as an affront to journalistic integrity, others believe the takeover will balance out what they consider to be a major left-leaning bias in the mainstream media.

The story begins at 5:30.

Also covered

The Sheriff’s Office has been looking into how an office they oversee has been illegally allowing the sale of dead people’s stuff to their own employees, a local gets the rare Citizen’s Distinguished Service Medal, there’s a military general in our midst, that “oh ship” moment, and much more.

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36 comments

  • a major left-leaning bias in the mainstream media … you think!

    • Pretty much the opposite of everything else you get around here now, that will be somewhat refreshing!

  • This is fake news.

  • Well, since the local television stations have been utterly dismal for years, this won’t make much of a difference. It’s not like the big media people are suddenly going to hire good on-air personalities, or buy us a mobile news truck, or light a fire under the talking heads to get out and find news that isn’t on Loco or Redheaded Blackbelt first… in other words, highly unlikely to make the local place actually work like every other news outlet in the U.S.

    I’ve never understood why the local outlet is so completely lame.

    You’d think that the local newsies would be creaming themselves to get out and show their stuff, but instead they sit in the newsroom and look at static pictures – if anything – on a television set over their shoulder.

    Lame, lame and more lame … and not the shiny kind either.

    • Sort of small minded comment, Polly. Ya think money might be a factor in why the news crews cannot actually take time to investigate anything? Money may be a factor in their lack of technology, etc. Why blame the reporters?

  • Wow Polly, a former local reporter just took his time, energy and expertise and courageously stated something that will limit his job options (called integrity BTW) and you are complaining.
    “I’ve never understood why the local outlet is so completely lame.” Good thing you are not a reporter.

  • Myles, Myles, Myles, wth was that? I heard a wallop of bashing the new news owners, followed by a disgusting (to me) wallowing of an old news owner whom many readers find extremely party biased.
    NBC, Fox, ABC, and the rest of the corporate owned news have been brainwashing for years.
    Local headlines are so disgusting who bothers to read the biased content. I don’t.
    Local radio stations think Democracy Now is the American station. Good Lawdy Miss Claudie.
    I, for one, am glad to hear that at least one local outlet will be hammering home an opposing thought or two.
    Weigh them carefully, then spit them out. Go read the Constitution again until it sinks in.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZVv2AOCnaA

    • Thanks for your comment, Shak. I provided facts and examples and then allowed a former North Coast News reporter to comment. Would you please provide examples of bashing? I think it should be clearly stated here that I in no way suggested people should or should not watch Sinclair broadcasts. And if you’ll listen to what Jeremy Chen said, you’ll find he didn’t either. I appreciate your perspective and hope listeners will appreciate knowing a bit more about a major change in our local TV news.

      • Thank you for addressing my complaints, Myles.
        My concern stems from the lack of equal bashing.
        Bash all party’s and I’m happy as a bug in a rug.
        A follow up would be nice, where it’s pointed out how biased the left rags/blogs.news are too, and how they’ve been swaying the minds of the young and the uneducated for decades.

        • If a giant company with a unique left-leaning bias swoops in and buys any of our local media companies, you betcha I’ll cover that. I’ll definitely point it out as I see it one way or another. My coverage of this story in particular struck a chord because of the amount of national outlets seeming to point out just how brazen and unique Sinclair’s bias actually is. I don’t doubt the pendulum swings both ways in a case-by-case basis. Thanks again!

          • It’s no secret that over 90% of the main media is owned by big corporations. Some might feel it’s a little late to bash them as they’re heading out the door, but I’m not one of them. It’s always the right time as far as I’m concerned.
            Cross referencing marriages, CEO’s, and politicians is always fun homework. I’m sure we’ll see a lot of that happening now that a different wing of the same vulture is piloting the air. Or maybe not. It might expose the other wing.
            Thanks for letting us know you’ll shout it as you see it. I’ll keep my ears peeled to Oliver for previews.

            FWIW, I’ve really enjoyed hearing your audio’s.

      • Warner Von Braun

        I think that by using the term “propaganda” to describe the tone of their news is in itself “bashing”. Sinclair is much more balanced than CNN or MSNBC for example but I doubt you would ever use that word to describe them.

        • The horrible job MSNBC and CNN are doing by not reporting what’s really happening, is a travesty.
          To think your children watch this garbage in school too. Unfortunately our republic is in danger
          because of the stupidly and the lies predominating in the Fake news.
          Why would anyone go along with the 7 months of pushing the false Russian narrative?
          Instead of getting to work and cleaning up the swamp!
          BTW not everyone in California is a democrat or supports Hillary and her sycophants.
          Freedom is to have a differing opinion and not get bullied.

    • Amen brother!
      These people are brainwashed dumb. Look at this community. Can’t even walk a child down the street without being exposed to filthy people wondering around everywhere.
      This is the liberal idea of acceptance.
      And they could not even get the weed thing correct. Half the state is way ahead of humboldt. All this hoorah were on top talk and the whole thing fizzles. This county is done. The years of sorrow are coming.
      But yeah. Refreshing to hear there will be less slanted news in this area soon.

  • Enjoyed from a desk or a couch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNV3_bS_0ts
    Easter bunny one was hilarious, too, but I’m sure most readers remember that one.

    Any news that provides a tone of what to think or how to feel, is a dead giveaway.
    Those who know the Constitution, know what the main problem is. It’s not an enumerated power, it’s not a delegated power, it’s infringing on the 1-10, it’s a US Code, it’s NOT a US Code (IRS, for instance), ..

    Local news used to bring us news of upcoming events that help the communities.
    Now it’s just party sickness.
    I have to go vomit now.

  • Haven’t seen a Eureka news segment for at least 15 years. With the arrival of satellite T.V. and the local news coverage in blogs local T.V. news is obsolete. It is neither timely nor as in depth as other sources.

  • Veterans friend

    Poor Eureka. Now more isolated from reality than ever.

  • In 1988 the Reagan Administration and Congress eliminated the FCC’s Fairness Doctrine. That rule served the country well for many decades. When it was eliminated, it gave people the right to use the public (YOUR) broadcast spectrum for pure political propaganda. It eliminated the balance of opposing political views.

    Flash forward nearly 30 years. In that time we have seen the growth of unanswered propaganda flooding our broadcast bands. Without an immediate rebuttal, the most outrageous and false things can be spewed and many will believe what they hear without question because no questions are being raised. It is one sided garbage for the most part. Think Rush Limbaugh. Think FOX.

    As for the corporate media, corporations are hardly “liberal.” Defensively, the mainstream media has been compelled to equate false and misleading crap to actual news all in the name of “objectivity.” Sometimes, there is only ONE correct answer. Objectivity does not require alternative view points if those view points are provably false.

    Sinclair will broadcast propaganda. Just like Rush. Just like FOX. it is up to all Americans now to filter what they see, read and hear and come to their own conclusions keeping in mind that not all opinions are valid and when there is no rebuttal, anything can be sold to the unwary. Free speech comes with responsibility.

    • Exactly. They all work for the bankers. The bloggers echo the narrative. The people argue about the narrative.
      Only those who bother to step back, notice that everybody is right until the last few conclusive sentences, openly discuss and debate without fear or anger, hug a neighbor, will bother to educate themselves further.

      An interesting video presents itself into this conversation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngLkUicUhrg&t=64s

    • Thank you for your well thought out comment.

    • They are the SELFSERVATIVES, the new american oligarchy. Preventing the 21st century thru starvation and poor access to education and healthcare.

    • 50% of Americans now drop out of high school for chrissakes. Very similar stats for those who go to college. Most folks can’t spell the word thought much less engage in the activity. Just what we need, more right-wing fascists with money spewing out more B. S. into our communities. The Reagan fascists, some people call them Republikans, got together in 1980 and plotted to destroy the underpinnings of democracy. The Trump fascists, one again Republikans, have used treason and collusion with the Russians to try again. We all know that people with money are smarter than the rest of us. Just look at Herr Trump.

  • People tend to follow information outlets that hold views closer to their own. Entertainment is a component of that. Rush has never claimed to be a journalist or pundit. He has in fact referred to himself as an “entertainer”. One has a larger number of “news” outlets now than ever before. Most are not “balanced” and thats just fine. I for one recognize bullshit be it left or right as I think many do.

  • The truth, delivered factually is left of center.

    • Such utter nonsense. But no one expects honesty from the likes of Brian Williams, NY Times, CNN etc. Most people like you get their news from Comedy Central, as illustrated by this article.

  • Trump news is news lies

    It is being reported that Trump has directed some of his lying cohorts to put out erroneous stories and for FOX News and other Trump news outlets to report the stories as fake news. Sinclair is one of those outlets. What this says is nothing aired by Sinclair should be believed because this is an attempt to discredit objective news outlets. Everything should be fact checked. Interestingly Mussolini did the same thing in Italy in 1938 and he was able to stifle the news the public read. Trump is following the same plan. He sends out lies and then stations like FOX News and Sinclair report them as fake news from the cable stations like MSNBC and CNN. For readers make sure you fact check everything and anything coming from right wing bias Trump news outlets. Democracy Now and PBS are doing a good job wading through the Trump lies he and the White House puts out.

  • Best revenge is no idiot box. You pick and choose your own news sources and hopefully are able to sift through the bias inherent in any news reporting. It’s important to respect others’ views even though it’s almost impossible when you know they are FULL OF SHIT!

  • Sinclair to require more ‘must run’ pieces for former Trump official Epshteyn
    http://thehill.com/homenews/media/341336-sinclair-boosting-airtime-for-former-trump-official-epshteyn

  • I heard this a few days ago, pretty soon we are going to be handfed only what they want us to hear. Starting from the small stations and working their way up. I just won’t watch. I am disgusted .

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