April 13, 2018
WNDC Public Policy and Political Action Committee Opposes the Sinclair and Tribune Media Merger and Urges Action Against It
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) are reviewing the merger of Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media, a $3.9 billion dollar deal that would result in a combined company reaching almost three out of four US television households. Sinclair is the largest local news provider in the country, with 173 broadcast television stations in 81 markets. Tribune has 42 broadcast television stations in 33 markets.
The majority of Americans who get their news from television look to local broadcast stations over network and cable, according to a recent Pew Research survey. A merger would create a conservative-leaning broadcaster with unparalleled reach, whose mandated corporate messaging threatens the independence and transparency of local news and journalistic integrity. Such messaging recently invoked Trump’s “Fake News” rhetoric, which jeopardizes First Amendment protections and endangers journalists around the world by giving political leaders justification to quell journalist voices.
Recently, a video that went viral shows newscasters on multiple Sinclair stations reading from the same mandatory (“must-run”) script, which includes statements that “[t]he sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media. More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories… stories that just aren’t true, without checking facts first. Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think’ … This is extremely dangerous to a democracy.” The Public Policy and Political Action Committee of the Woman’s National Democratic Club (WNDC) finds this divisive, mandatory national messaging itself to be dangerous to our democracy.
Moreover, House Democrats have called for the FCC to investigate Chairman Ajit Pai over whether the timing of rolling back certain regulations was to clear the way for the Sinclair – Tribune merger. The merger would not be possible but for the FCC’s relaxation of regulations including allowing a single broadcaster to own two as opposed to one of the top four stations in each market, and reopening a media ownership loophole that makes it possible to reach a larger percentage of US households than previously permitted.
The WNDC Public Policy and Political Action Committee opposes this merger and urges WNDC members to take action.
To oppose the merger of Sinclair and Tribune:
• Sign an online petition, for instance at https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/deny-merger-of-sinclair
January 22, 2018
Take Action to Condemn Trump’s Racist and Anti-American Remarks
The White House and its allies are betting they can brush off the latest racist comments from this President. We cannot let that happen. His uninformed, uncouth, and cruel remarks disparaging immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations are unprecedented coming from our nation’s highest office. This latest bigoted outburst not only defiles the honor of the office but also, as our own WNDC President said, rips the “moral fabric of our nation” even further, here at home and especially abroad. Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, had this to say: “There is no other word one can use but “racist.” You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as “shitholes,” whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome.”
Members of WNDC cannot simply wring our hands and accept that this behavior has become normal.
There are two actions you can take right away:
(1) Sign this “Petition to the Congress of the United States for the Redress of Grievances Under the First Amendment Requesting that President Trump be Censured.”
Your signature is a crucial step in making this a reality. Sign here.
(2) Call your Congressional Representatives, demanding they sign on to the following censure resolution to be introduced in the Congress (call the Capitol switchboard, 202- 224-3121, to be connected to your Representative’s office). Two top Democrats in the House of Representatives (Rep. Cedric Richmond-LA and Rep. Jerrold Nadler-NY) plan to introduce a censure resolution in the next few days. “This censure resolution is important because America is a beacon of hope. We have to show the world that this president does not represent the real feelings of most of the American people which is part of the reason why he lost the popular vote,” Richmond and Nadler said in a joint statement. “Congress must speak with one voice in condemning these offensive and anti-American remarks. There is no excuse for it.”
TAKE ACTION NOW, TOMORROW, AND THE NEXT RESIST!