David Zurawik

Sinclair, WBFF, Eric Bolling provide platform for those trying to undo Biden’s victory | COMMENTARY

Early in Donald Trump’s presidency, I said that he was on a fast train to infamy. I might have been wrong about the speed of that train, but not about its destination. And, as Mr. Trump denies President-elect Joe Biden’s team access to the government’s latest COVID-19 information, in connection with his refusal to acknowledge the former vice president’s election victory, Mr. Trump cements his place in a special hall of presidential shame.

But what about those who are enabling Mr. Trump, like former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell, former Breitbart News CEO Steve Bannon and many other GOP politicians, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell? And what about those who provide a media platform for Mr. Trump’s disinformation, lies and attempts to disenfranchise millions of voters?


One of the primary providers of a national platform for those pushing Mr. Trump’s unfounded claims of dark conspiracies and epic fraud in the presidential election is the Hunt Valley-based Sinclair Broadcast Group with its weekly program “America This Week,” hosted by Eric Bolling.

On last week’s show, Mr. Bannon, a former senior adviser to Mr. Trump, who now co-hosts a podcast, “War Room: Pandemic,” was featured.


Mr. Bannon, you might recall, told listeners of the podcast on Nov. 5 that he’d like to see Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Christopher Wray, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, fired. And then, Mr. Bannon offered a textbook example of how our media and civic discourses have become so debased, violent and toxic. You can see the video of the podcast at the website of Media Matters for America, a liberal media watchdog platform that first reported Mr. Bannon’s ugly statements.

“Now I actually want to go a step farther,” Mr. Bannon said. “I’d actually like to go back to the old times of Tudor England, I’d put the heads on pikes, right, I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats. You either get with the program or you’re gone. Time to stop playing games.”

In his interview with Mr. Bolling last week, Mr. Bannon spread baseless allegations of election fraud.

“The Democrats and the Democratic Party and their allies are trying to steal this election, the victory from President Trump,” Mr. Bannon told Mr. Bolling. “President Trump and his supporters won an incredible victory on Nov. 3 on legitimate, real votes, legal votes. We have to close on that victory. We cannot back off.”

In an emailed statement to The Sun, a Sinclair spokesman characterized Mr. Bolling’s show as “a political talk show, not a news program, that brings on a diversity of opinions whether they be left, right or center. Eric felt that the opinions of people seemingly familiar with President Trump’s legal strategy, as well as the other side, are worthy of discussion given current events.”

Mr. Bolling and his program, you might also recall, came under fire in July when video was posted of an upcoming show that included a segment featuring an unfounded conspiracy theory suggesting Dr. Fauci was involved in creating COVID-19. At the time, Sinclair pulled back on broadcast of the segment in the face of fierce criticism following a CNN report on it after the video was posted.

The week before he gave Mr. Bannon a platform, Mr. Bolling interviewed Mr. Giuliani, the lead attorney on Mr. Trump’s courtroom effort to upend Mr. Biden’s victory with unsupported claims of widespread voter fraud. I think more than enough has already been written and said about Mr. Giuliani following his surreal performance during a news conference last week that featured him quoting dialogue from the movie “My Cousin Vinny” with rivulets of hair dye or something else running down his face.

Enough, too, of Ms. Powell and her unsupported claims, in an interview with Mr. Bolling posted on YouTube, that communist interests in Venezuela, China and elsewhere used a secret algorithm to hack into voting machines and change votes for Mr. Trump to ones for Mr. Biden.


Several pundits have used the term “clown car” to describe those working to overturn the results of the general election. But clowns sometimes make us laugh in a good way. There is nothing funny or good about the damage Mr. Trump, his allies and media enablers like Sinclair’s Mr. Bolling are doing to our democracy.

David Zurawik is The Sun’s media critic. Email:; Twitter: @davidzurawik.