On local news stations across the United States last month, dozens of anchors gave the same speech to their combined millions of viewers. It included a warning about fake news, a promise to report fairly and accurately and a request that viewers go to the station’s website and comment “if you believe our coverage is unfair.” It may not have seemed strange to individual viewers. But Timothy Burke, the video director at Deadspin, had read a report last month from CNN, which quoted local station anchors who were uncomfortable with the speech. Burke tracked down the Sinclair affiliates and found they had aired what he called a “forced read.”
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.