When the Sinclair Broadcast Group announced the purchase of Tribune Media, the $3.9 billion deal looked like a slam dunk to gain government approval and make the Hunt-Valley-based company the largest TV company in the nation.
In an article published by The Sun on Nov. 12, David Zurawik, The Sun’s media critic, continued his series of unwarranted attacks against Sinclair Broadcast Group and its news-producing television stations (“Zurawik: How Sinclair compromised the news on an Alabama station it owns to support Roy Moore”). In this article, Mr. Zurawik accused Sinclair of using its Birmingham television station, WBMA, to defend Senate candidate Roy Moore. This article was incorrect in two ways. One, Sinclair did not interfere with that station’s reporting, and two, that reporting was not biased in favor of Judge Moore. Media critics, while entitled to express their opinions, must nonetheless be held to a certain journalistic, fact checking standard, and cannot assert mistruths.
Sinclair does not interfere with the local reporting of any of our stations and had absolutely nothing to do with the story in question, something Mr. Zurawik would have learned if he had called me or WBMA to ask. In addition, to imply that WBMA is using its newscasts to take Mr. Moore’s side is 100 percent false. Mr. Zurawik fails to take into account the complete body of objective work WBMA has produced covering all perspectives on the Moore story. Any dispassionate review of WBMA’s reporting on the story will discredit Mr. Zurawik’s claim that Sinclair is part of the “right wing campaign to defend Moore” and will expose Mr. Zurawik as woefully biased against the hardworking reporters at WBMA and Sinclair.
In an age when no media can take for granted the trust of their audiences, Mr. Zurawik does a disservice to his readers by recklessly painting a knowingly false narrative about Sinclair and our stations (“Sinclair bid to be biggest could also make it most hated TV company in America,” Oct. 20). His article was irresponsible and reckless, and it’s clear he has an agenda to damage our reputation. In so doing, Mr. Zurawik perpetuates the very crisis in media he purports to crusade against.
Scott Livingston, Hunt Valley
The writer is vice president for news at Sinclair Broadcast Group.