— Deadspin (@Deadspin) March 31, 2018
In the wake of the controversy surrounding Sinclair Broadcasting for forcing their local news anchors to read from a script about “biased and false news,” which is basically repeating talking (err, screaming) points from President Trump, many are questioning why the these journalists don’t just quit. Not only does what they’re being told to do grossly compromise journalistic integrity, but making it mandatory for on-air personalities to recite the agenda of a leader is basically tantamount to state-run TV that we associate with places like North Korea and Russia.
Unfortunately, it’s apparently not so easy for these men and women to refuse the orders or resign. Matt Pearce with the Los Angeles Times has been in contact with several journalists from Sinclair-run stations, and shockingly it seems like not the greatest place to work — required propaganda aside.
For a journalist to quit and violate their contract, they allegedly must pay back the company their base pay times 40 percent, times the percentage of their contract that’s left. They also must pay back any bonuses they’ve received and, certainly, they don’t get their vacation paid out.
Pearce also offered some insight as to how a journalist might unintentionally find themselves working for a Sinclair property:
Others also chimed in to back up the anonymous employees:
He also shared some excerpts of contracts passed on to him by those who reached out, and they are indeed baffling:
Although Pearce points out that he doesn’t know how much of the Sinclair contracts are enforceable under various labor laws, and just because something is in a contract doesn’t make it legal — who among us would want to find out the hard way? In light of all this, it’s hard to blame them for not leaving.