Dem Candidate Pulls Campaign Ads From Local Sinclair-Owned Channel

HUNT VALLEY, MD - OCTOBER 12: The Sinclair Broadcast building sits in a buisness district in Hunt Valley, Maryland October 12, 2004. Sinclair Broadcast Group, the owner of the largest chain of television stations in the nation, plans to preempt regular programming two weeks before the Nov. 2 election to air a documentary that accuses John Kerry of betraying American prisoners during the Vietnam War.  (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
William Thomas Cain

A Kentucky Democratic congressional candidate has pulled all of her campaign advertisements from her local, Sinclair Broadcasting-owned news channel after the controversy that exploded when anchors all over the country echoed the same script warning of fake news and biased reporting.

Amy McGrath is challenging incumbent Republican Andy Barr in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District. “Today, I have instructed my campaign team to cease and pull all campaign advertising on WDKY-TV (Channel 56), the Sinclair-owned television station in our congressional district, as soon as possible,” she wrote in a Facebook post on Monday. “Sinclair’s corporate-mandated ‘must-read’ right-wing script on its nearly 200 television stations about ‘fake news’ is itself an extreme danger to our Democracy and eerily mimics the propaganda efforts that authoritarian regimes often use to control the media in their own country.”

I've just put out the following statement to the media:===============“Today, I have instructed my campaign team to…

Posted by Amy McGrath on Monday, April 2, 2018

In the post, she called on all Democratic candidates to join in her boycott.

WDKY-TV Anchor Marvin Bartlett responded to TPM’s inquiries with a statement from an executive at Sinclair.

“We aren’t sure of the motivation for the criticism, but find it curious that we would be attacked for asking our news people to remind their audiences that unsubstantiated stories exist on social media, which result in an ill-informed public with potentially dangerous consequences,” Scott Livingston, Sinclair’s senior vice president of news, said in a written statement. “It is ironic that we would be attacked for messages promoting our journalistic initiative for fair and objective reporting, and for specifically asking the public to hold our newsrooms accountable.”

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