The liberal media uproar over Sinclair Broadcasting was as predictable as snow in a blizzard.
First comes the news that one Justin Simmons has quit his job as a producer at a Nebraska Sinclair outlet. The CNN headline was this: “Sinclair producer in Nebraska resigns to protest ‘obvious bias’”
And as reported here at CNN:
A morning TV producer at a Sinclair-owned station in Nebraska has resigned in protest of what he calls the company’s “obvious bias.”
Justin Simmons gave notice at KHGI TV on March 26. This was after Sinclair’s corporate headquarters mandated that local anchors read the controversial promos warning of “fake” and biased news, but before the promos went viral and became a national topic of discussion.
Simmons told CNNMoney that he had been concerned about Sinclair’s corporate mandates for the past year and a half, and that the promos were just the final straw.
“This is almost forcing local news anchors to lie to their viewers,” he said.
One can only point out the obvious here. The liberal state media is filled with “boosterish” videos and programing for liberal causes. (See: the CNN townhall on gun control. But one of countless examples.) Which is exactly why neither Simmons nor CNN or other liberal media folk complain.
But before you can say “liberal state media bias” we learn something else that was exactly nowhere in the CNN report, much less in Simmons’ statement. As reported here by NewsBusters’ own Nicholas Fondacaro:
The Federalist’s James Hasson discovered that ‘[Simmons], who joined the station nearly four years ago, is heavily involved with a self-described ‘civil resistance movement’ called Democracy Spring.’
Hmmm. And what is that? Mr. Hasson reveals this:
“A quick review of Simmons’s Twitter account shows him using the hashtag “#Resist” at a Dulles Airport protest against President Trump’s travel ban, boasting about “When we took over [Paul Ryan’s] podium protesting,” and giving a YouTube interview about his role organizing a Black Lives Matter protest. Simmons was employed by Sinclair while he participated in all of those activities, and these are but a fraction of his social media posts.
The former Sinclair employee, who joined the station nearly four years ago, is heavily involved with a self-described “civil resistance movement” called Democracy Spring. The movement’s stated goal is to remove money from American politics (the Supreme Court’s repeated First Amendment rulings to the contrary notwithstanding, apparently) through civil disobedience.
In other words? Mr. Simmons, as befits his right as an American, is a left-wing political activist whose day job is as a TV producer.And there was not only not a peep about this in the CNN story – one can only wonder how this decided left-wing bias influenced the stories that Mr. Simmons helped present to his Nebraska viewers over the years.
Which in turn cuts straight to the heart of the problem with liberal media bias. To be a liberal in the media is to be presented to the audience as a straight-shooter, a neutral observer charged with a “just the facts m’am” presentation. When in fact the “just the facts” presentation is actually all about the “facts” as presented through a liberal lens.
The reason the Sinclair episode here is so enlightening is that it shows just how the liberal media game works. Sinclair, a conservative media company, takes over what has been an outlet putting out “news” as decided by a producer (and presumably others) who have, shall we say with understatement, “a liberal world view.” Precisely because the liberal game is interrupted and its monopoly on news presentation is changed by a conservative – all liberal media hell breaks loose.
Note well that statement from Simmons on being instructed to produce other than the liberal media narrative. “This is almost forcing local news anchors to lie to their viewers.”
Were local viewers informed of Simmons’ left-wing activism by his own station? There is no indication – not an instance of it – in the CNN story. Perhaps the phrase “lie to their viewers” is too strong in discussing the lack of reporting on Simmons’ left-wing views by his own station and from all sorts of liberal outlets who pounced on the story, but at a minimum it was deceptive not to tell viewers and readers this key piece of information. It is totally left out of the story – completely.
So as presented by CNN its own viewers were being led to believe that Simmons was some honest broker-journalist who is disturbed to see bias materialize at his station. When in fact Simmons himself was a man of active political bias from the left – and no one at the station blinked and CNN mysteriously never found time to report when they wrote up the story.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but not only has this story backfired big time on CNN and Simmons and every other outlet that reported the story without noticing what was really going on here. In fact this calls attention to exactly the problem with the liberal media well beyond CNN.
The word “narrative” is much used these days in discussing journalism. The online version of the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “narrative” as it is used here this way: “The representation in art of an event or story.”
What Sinclair is doing around the country is “taking control of the liberal media narrative” of the news as broadcast on Sinclair stations – and changing it.“The liberal media narrative” something that has been held in a monopoly until the advent of talk radio, Fox News, the Internet and – in this case – now by Sinclair.
All of this has legendarily brought to the surface the left-wing addiction for control – in this case control of media narratives. Whether it was Bill Clinton complaining about Rush Limbaugh back in the ’90s or Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton complaining about Fox News yesterday and today or liberal groups trying to take — fill in the blank — Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, all of Fox News and more — off television or radio air, the objective is the same.Try and get control of the media narrative.
In short: In the world of the Left, dissent from the liberal state media narrative is not to be allowed. And in this case, what Sinclair is doing in putting a conservative voice on its air, is a threat to the cozy, clubby world of the liberal media narrative.
So, producer Simmons quits and makes much of it. But somehow his left-wing activism doesn’t quite make the cut in the liberal media stories reporting on his resignation.
But of course. That’s how they play the game.
Alas? This game is over for good. The liberal state media narrative monopoly is no more. Which is exactly what makes the liberal journalists who once ran the media roost so furious.