Sinclair Broadcast Group, the conservative media conglomerate that came under scrutiny late last week for forcing its news anchors to robotically recite an anti-media segment on air—has a bizarre new “must-run” segment for local news stations, this one starring a former Trump aide railing against the media.
The segment features Boris Epshteyn, Sinclair’s “senior political analyst” and a former senior advisor to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. The Los Angeles Times’ Matt Pearce reported Wednesday that the segment was internally titled: “MEDIA BASHING OF THE SINCLAIR BROADCASTING GROUP.”
Last year, Sinclair mandated that its affiliates run nine airings of “Bottom Line,” Epshteyn’s segment, each week, which Politico reported the company classified as “must-run.” Before that, he worked as a communications aide on John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, where he directed “rapid response”—also known as “frantically spinning negative news stories”—for Sarah Palin.
“Some critics would have you believe that my experience somehow disqualifies me from providing you with my analysis and commentary,” Epshteyn says in his latest. “But here’s a question: Wouldn’t you want someone talking to you about politics only if he had actually worked in politics and knew the people he was talking about?”
(At this point in the video, B-roll footage of a doctor writing on a prescription pad and listening to a patient’s heartbeat rolls.) “I know that I would want someone giving opinions about medicine only if they were an actual doctor,” he continues.
Flawless logic, and I agree that we should treat political commentators as medical professionals. Perhaps viewers forced to sit through Epstheyn’s commentary alongside their local news should be allowed to sue for journalistic malpractice.