Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest owner of local TV channels in the country, tried on Wednesday to stand out from the comments he directed of former Trump substitute Boris Epshteyn.
The company, which has been criticized for injecting ideas from the right into local news programs, has sought to "address some concerns" regarding an unidentified episode of "Bottom Line with Boris" that aired this week. Several segments of Epshteyn, who worked both at the Trump White House and as a campaign official, had attracted attention.
The first was a two-minute spot in which Epshteyn defended the use of tear gas on migrants near the border.
"The fact is that this is an attempt to invade our country. Period, "said Epshteyn, echoing the rhetoric used by President Trump. "Our border must remain intact and secure. It is not a partisan position to believe that our immigration system is out of order and that it needs to be fixed. "
This segment has been criticized on social media during a discussion about the treatment of migrants, including children with children, at the border.
Epshteyn "was a central player in the trump-conservative media complex," Julian Zelizer, professor at Princeton University and analyst at CNN wrote on Twitter. "He capitalized on the thirst for content, as a substitute for the campaign, responsible for the administration and Sinclair agent to disseminate the Trumpian pr."
According to the data quoted by the liberal watchdog Media Matters for America, the tear gas segment of Epshteyn has been broadcast by stations in at least 24 states.
The second was a bit in which Epshteyn defended Laura Loomer. The right-wing activist was recently suspended from Twitter after accusing Ilhan Omar, a Muslim Democrat, elected in Minnesota, of being "anti-Jewish" and of being part of a religion in which " homosexuals are oppressed … women are abused and forced to wear the hijab. "
Sinclair stated that Epshteyn's point of view was not representative of that of the company.
"The opinions expressed in this segment do not reflect the point of view of Sinclair Broadcast Group," the company writes on Twitter. "When Boris segments are broadcast on our stations, they are clearly labeled as comments."
Matthew Gertz, a member of Media Matters for America, said he found Sinclair's defense against Epshteyn insincere.
"He's one of the few right-wingers whose Sinclair stations force stations to work," Gertz wrote. "He does not have a natural hearing; his views on YouTube are tiny. "
The president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Hugo Balta, expressed concern about this segment in a statement that called it "propaganda".
Epshteyn, who was hired last year as the company's chief political analyst, leads segments that often defend Trump and hammer other Republican themes.
He defended himself with people who criticized him on Twitter on Wednesday.
"Thank you," he wrote to one. "Have you bothered to watch the segment or just attack me based on the hit hit by [Media Matters for America]? "
Sinclair did not return a request for comment.
Owner of at least 170 stations in 81 broadcast markets across the country, many of which are affiliated with more reputable national media companies such as Fox and ABC, Sinclair has been the subject of growing criticism over in recent years. has injected coverage and right comments in his local shows.
In April, the company was widely criticized after a video showed anchors in dozens of stations reading in a robotic way a seemingly pro-Trump script that warily warned of misinformation and biased reporting.
"Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own biases and their own agenda to control exactly what people think," the presenters said in a minute. "It is extremely dangerous for our democracy."
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