Fake news is pervasive today throughout the mainstream media simply because the purveyors of fake news have been allowed to get away with it.
Passing off biased, partisan news reports as objective journalism is SOP in today’s mainsteam media, completely devoid of professional ethics and morals.
So, it is about time a major broadcasting company had to answer for its fake news.
A broadcasting company actually running what amounted to “fake news” earned itself a record-setting $13 million dollar fine by the Federal Communications Commission, according to BizPac Review.
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Sinclair Broadcast Group faces a $13.4-million fine, the largest ever proposed by the FCC, for airing paid programming on its TV stations during news programs but failing to disclose the sponsors, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The proposed FCC fine comes one year after an anonymous tip revealed that Sinclair-owned stations aired 60- and 90-second segments promoting the Huntsman Cancer Institute but did not indicate that the group had paid for the spots to air during local newscasts and as free-standing half-hour programs.
The FCC reported that the segments and programs aired more than 1,700 times, the LA Times reported.
“This programming promoted the Foundation and the Institute and included 60- to 90-second sponsored stories made to look like independently generated news coverage and 30-minute paid television programs,” the FCC said in a statement. “When broadcast licensees are paid or promised money or other valuable consideration to air specific programming, the Communications Act and FCC rules require them to air an announcement stating the program was paid for and the name of the individual or entity who paid for the program. Further, entities like Sinclair that supply paid programming to other broadcasters must inform them that the programming is sponsored.”
The fine, the largest one ever proposed for an FCC sponsorship identification rules violation, was considered by Sinclair to be “unreasonable, given the circumstances of our case and the absence of any viewer harm.”
“Any absence of sponsorship identification in these public service segments was unintended and a result of simple human error,” the Baltimore-based company said in a statement.
The largest owner of TV stations in the U.S. at this time, Sinclair is looking for FCC approval of its $3.9 billion takeover of Tribune Media, expanding its reach with 233 broadcast outlets reaching 72% of the country.
Two Democratic FCC commissioners voted against the proposal Thursday because they didn’t feel it went far enough, The Hill reported. They originally suggested Sinclair be fined more than $82 million, an amount Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai thought was excessive.