John Oliver beat his late-night competition to the punch on Sunday night, taking time out of his show to slam Sinclair Broadcast Group for a viral local news promo that was blasted online as “terrifying” and “extremely biased.”
In March, CNN reported Sinclair had created a “media-bashing” promo for anchors to read that included lines such as, “Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think.'”
Over the weekend, Deadspin racked up more than 6 million views on Twitter for a video the site produced showing the anti-“fake stories” promo local news anchors at Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned affiliates were required to read by the company. The conservative-leaning media company owns 193 stations around the U.S., reaching roughly 40 percent of American households.
Said Oliver on Sunday, after playing a clip from the viral video: “Yeah, nothing says, ‘We value independent media,’ like dozens of reporters forced to repeat the same message over and over again like members of a brainwashed cult.”
Oliver isn’t the only late-night host to mock Sinclair for the promo. The Late Show host Stephen Colbert shared the video on Twitter and joked, “Jinx! You owe me a Coke.”