George Clooney's father spent years leading a Cincinnati TV station that's now owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, and he called on the right-wing company's owners to deliver their opinions themselves instead of enlisting their journalists.
Nick Clooney served as news director and lead anchor of WKRC-TV for nearly a decade in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and he lamented what the station had become under its current owners, reported the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“I have no idea what these folks are doing for a living, but it isn’t news,” the 84-year-old Clooney told the newspaper.
A viral video shows Sinclair anchors reading from a script that claims a "deep state" conspiracy against President Donald Trump, and Clooney said he would never have allowed ownership to meddle in editorial decisions like that.
The veteran TV journalist said scripted editorials were always clearly identified to viewers when he anchored the news, and he said station owners sometimes gave their opinions directly to viewers -- but they would not have forced anchors to mislead viewers.
“Never, however, would they have suggested, coerced, forced the anchors or the reporters to be a part of that process,” Clooney said. “They had to do it themselves. To borrow the credibility of the anchor and the reporter is beyond the pale.”
The viral video shows current WKRC anchors Rob Braun and Cammie Dierking reading the Sinclair script, and Clooney said he felt ashamed for them.
“If all they want is a puppet, a marionette, you can get them a lot cheaper,” Clooney said.