A local TV news station owned by the right–wing Sinclair Broadcast Group on Friday shared a photo on social media of civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson along with an unrelated crime story about a bungled bank robbery that occurred thousands of miles away.
KBOI 2 News in Boise, ID, apologized Friday night for circulating the photo of Mckesson, a Black Lives Matter leader who serves as the director of human resources for Baltimore’s public school system (a position he’s leaving at the end of this month).
Yashar Ali pointed out the photo on Twitter:
“We messed up. We mistakenly tweeted a photo of @deray with an unrelated story link about a bank robbery. We at KBOI are very sorry,” the news station tweeted later.
The story, “Would-be robber arrives early at banks to find doors locked,” was put out by the Associated Press and actually occurred in Iowa, not Idaho, neither of which is near Maryland.
Mckesson responded by saying, “I haven’t been anywhere near a bank robbery. FYI.”
Sinclair Broadcast Group is a vile media company. After striking a nearly $4 billion deal with Tribune Media, it will become the largest owner of television stations across the U.S., Politico reported. The company’s vice president and director, Frederick G. Smith, recently donated $1,000 to Montana Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte’s campaign the day after Gianforte body slammed Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs for asking questions.
Worse than that, however, is Sinclair’s penchant for producing bigoted, fake, right–wing news and commentary targeting the black and Latinx communities, and especially Muslims, and then requiring its affiliated local TV news stations to broadcast the “must–run” segments.
As comedian John Oliver recently pointed out, these false reports and right–wing commentary include rants about how we can’t use the words “handicapped” and “retarded” anymore, “terrorism alerts” that involve anything having to do with Muslims, and news “polls” that are blatantly skewed to manipulate viewer opinions about stories being covered.
The same photo of Mckesson, taken when he was arrested at a protest over a year ago, also was used by another Sinclair–owned local news station, KATU2, in Portland, OR, to accompany a different AP story about Mckesson and four other Black Lives Matter leaders who were named in a federal lawsuit on behalf of one of the police officers wounded in an attack in Baton Rouge, LA, last year. The lawsuit alleges that Black Lives Matter leaders incited violence, leading to the attack by a military veteran that killed three police officers.
One has to wonder, though: Who is the one actually inciting violence?
Earlier this week, Mckesson told Fusion’s Katherine Krueger that the lawsuit is the second from a Baton Rouge officer.
“The protests began as a response to the violence of the police and that is the only violence I’ve seen at any protest,” he said.