A journalism veteran who worked for Sinclair Broadcasting in the past blasted the company for their "cookie cutter" promos about "fake news" — and said they issued similar "must-run" segments for anchors to read during the George W. Bush presidency.
"This is not the first time Sinclair has tried something like this," former Sinclair weatherman Kirk Clyatt told an MSNBC panel on "The Beat" led by stand-in host Stephanie Ruhle. "Right after 9/11, I was out of the country for Fox 45 WBFF, but at that time, with great controversy and great angst in the newsroom, the anchors and a number of the reporters, they were compelled to do something very similar — reading a statement about how they supported President Bush's 'War on Terrorism.'"
"If the anchors come to these conclusions, let them come to them themselves" said the former weatherman, who was fired in 2014 from a Sinclair affiliate in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for asking to modify his schedule.
Clyatt went on to highlight the insidiousness of the scripted "must-run" segment that Sinclair required dozens of their anchors to read that went viral after Deadspin superimposed anchors across the country reading them into a single video over the weekend.
"Everybody knows in propaganda, the most important thing you can do is repeat the same message over and over again," he said, noting that by claiming they aren't propagating fake news while forcing reporters to read scripted segments, they're promoting the very type of journalism they claim to be against.
Clyatt cited Sinclair's acquisition of KOMO News in progressive Seattle as an example of how jarring the must-run segments can be for viewers.
"You have these extreme commentaries coming from this station in a very cookie cutter way that is not good for America," he said.
Watch below, via MSNBC: