‘We Had To Grin And Bear It,’ Says KUTV Employee Of Sinclair ‘Fake News’ Promo

Employees at Salt Lake City’s Sinclair-owned station KUTV are dismayed and embarrassed about a recent editorial their anchors were forced to read that criticized other media outlets for sharing “false news.” An employee who works for the CBS affiliate but requested anonymity to speak candidly said the unease goes all the way up to management.

Last month, KUTV started airing the promo, in which anchors Shauna Lake and Mark Koelbel denounce fabricated, one-sided news stories and the outlets who report them.

“Some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and their agenda to control exactly what people think,” Koelbel says in the segment. “This is extremely dangerous to our democracy. At 2 News, it is our responsibility to report and to pursue the truth.”

Lake adds, “We understand the truth is neither politically left nor right. Our commitment to factual reporting is a foundation of our credibility now more than ever.”

KUTV’s corporate owner, Sinclair Broadcast Group, required every station to air the promo. The sports website Deadspin made a compilation of anchors across the country reciting it in unison, which was widely shared online.

Sinclair owns Utah broadcasters KUTV, KJZZ and KMYU in St. George. They’re the largest owner of television stations in the country with close to 200 outlets.

Critics, like the progressive advocacy group Alliance for a Better Utah said the promo parrots President Donald Trump’s talking points about “fake news” and perpetuates distrust in the media. The KUTV source told KUER that the original promo used the term “fake news” but was later changed to “false news” when reporters protested.

Read the article by Whitney Evans with KUER in its entirety here.

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