Over the weekend, a video went viral showcasing local news anchors working for stations owned by the right-wing media empire Sinclair Broadcasting being forced to read a script warning viewers about “biased and false news” like a bunch of actual hostages. Many have pointed out that this sets an extremely dangerous precedent, and likewise John Oliver went after Sinclair on Sunday night’s new Last Week Tonight.
This is not the first time Oliver has warned about the dangers of Sinclair, which Jared Kushner struck a deal with in 2016 to run his father-in-law’s interviews. This time Oliver zeroed in on Sinclair’s Chief Political Analyst, former Trump campaign adviser, and inexplicably 35-year-old Boris Epshteyn, who carries a lot of weight with the company.
Featuring just one example of Epshteyn’s bias, Oliver ran a clip in which he blasted cable news networks for “cursing up a storm” by covering Trump’s “shi*hole countries” remark, which he noted the president only “said the word once” in a private meeting. Pointing out a sensational zoom, Oliver ridiculed Epshteyn as “the dramatic chipmunk of disingenuous bullshit.”
Oliver then turned his attention to the “false news” video in question, which he observed echoes one of Trump’s “screaming points.”
“It can be dangerous when members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda,” said Oliver, agreeing with an anchor reading the script. “Like when Boris tries to convince you that Trump is a good president, and when I try to convince you that the only way Boris Epshteyn was born 35 years ago is if came out of the womb at age 23. There isn’t time, it doesn’t make sense, but there isn’t time.”
UPDATE 4/1 – 10:50 a.m. EST: Trump himself has now weighed in on the Sinclair Broadcasting controversy, and … he’s probably not helping.
You can watch the viral clip below:
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) March 31, 2018