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MSNBC pundit bulldozes Sinclair defender with lesson on free press: ‘Our role is to be a check and balance’

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MSNBC contributor Jonathan Capehart on Monday schooled libertarian writer Matt Welch about why it is dangerous for a group like right-leaning Sinclair broadcasting to launch an attack on the American media.

MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle noted during a panel segment that Sinclair had recently come under fire for requiring local news anchors across the country to air news reports that are biased and often false. In one recent case, anchors were forced to accuse other news outlets of spreading “false news.”

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Welch, who is editor at large for the Koch brothers-backed Reason magazine, argued that the reaction to Sinclair was “overblown.”

“What is dangerous here about those scripts?” he opined. “I think that’s a little overheated. It’s a promo video… People in the news business are given to over-promoting their importance in the democracy.”

Capehart took a deep breath before responding.

“Let’s keep something in mind,” he suggested. “Journalism, reporters, what we do here at MSNBC, what we do at the Washington Post is the only profession that is protected in the Constitution of the United States. Journalists don’t have some ‘overblown’ view of their role in our democracy… Our role is to be a check and balance on power.”

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“When The Washington Post says democracy dies in darkness, we’re not being hyperbolic,” the MSNBC contributor continued. “We’re talking about this [Sinclair] story, because if that deal goes through, more than 70 percent of the country is going to be — families are going to be watching ‘news’ from Sinclair Broadcasting.”

Ruhle reminded Welch that most Americans are not aware that Sinclair stations are promoting biased news.

“When my mom and dad tune in to their local news, they’re not thinking there is any sort of agenda,” the MSNBC host explained.

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Welch dismissed that point by saying that other sources of news were available on the Internet.

“What happens when you only have one source?” Capehart wondered. “And that one source is perpetuating falsehoods and lies?”

“Go out and find somebody that gets only one sources [of news],” Welch said. “It doesn’t exist anymore.”

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“That’s just not true,” Capehart replied.

“There are lots of people who don’t use the Internet,” Ruhle observed. “My mom and dad don’t use it.”

“I would like to see this fact checked,” Welch complained.

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Watch the video below from MSNBC.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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James Mattis finally fires back at Trump in a surprisingly funny charity speech

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Former US defense secretary James Mattis said he was honored to be the "world's most overrated general" in a swipe at his former boss Donald Trump who insulted him earlier this week.

At a gala charity dinner in New York Thursday evening, Mattis told diners he had now "achieved greatness."

"I'm not just an overrated general. I am the greatest, the world's most overrated," he said.

"I'm honored to be considered that by Donald Trump because he also called Meryl Streep an overrated actress," he said.

"So I guess I'm the Meryl Streep of generals, and frankly that sounds pretty good to me," he said to laughter and applause at the annual Alfred E Smith Memorial Foundation dinner.

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‘We’ve entered a shame-free zone’: CNN’s Sciutto appalled by Trump’s ‘mind-boggling’ G7 corruption

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CNN's Jim Sciutto on Friday did not mince words when talking about President Donald Trump's decision to host next year's G7 summit at his own golf course in Doral, Florida.

During a segment about the president's multiple corruption scandals, Sciutto described Trump's G7 gambit as the president "explicitly, publicly steering a taxpayer-funded government contract to [his] own business." He then asked former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti to comment on why this scandal might get Trump into hot legal water.

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Deadly Turkey air strikes shatter Trump’s hours-old ‘ceasefire’ deal

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Deadly Turkish air strikes Friday shattered an hours-old US-brokered deal to stop Ankara's military offensive against Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria.

The ceasefire announced late Thursday was meant to provide a pause for the evacuation of Kurdish fighters from the battleground border town of Ras al-Ain and other areas Turkey wants to control along its border with Syria.

The five-day suspension looked designed to help Turkey achieve its main territorial goals without fighting but its Syrian proxies continued to clash with Kurdish fighters Friday and an air strike killed five civilians.

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