Democratic Congressional candidate Amy McGrath pulls ads from Sinclair-owned WDKY

Published: Apr. 2, 2018 at 3:00 PM EDT
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Kentucky Democratic U.S. Congressional candidate Amy McGrath is pulling advertisements from WDKY, the FOX affiliate in Lexington, as she calls for a boycott of the Sinclair Broadcast Group.

McGrath, who is running for the Democratic nomination for Kentucky's 6th Congressional District currently held by Republican Rep. Andy Barr, says she is calling on all Democratic candidates to boycott Sinclair-owned stations after it was revealed some of them had anchors read a script saying there was a "troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country."

Sports website Deadspin released a video, which soon went viral, overlapping the anchors reading the same statement.

"Sinclair’s corporate-mandated 'must-read' right-wing script on its nearly 200 television stations about 'fake news' is itself an extreme danger to our Democracy and eerily mimics the propaganda efforts that authoritarian regimes often use to control the media in their own country," McGrath said in a statement Monday.

President Donald Trump tweeted support for Sinclair Monday, saying "Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke."

Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. today responded to a series of media reports attacking the Company’s recent promotional announcement for its local news.

“We aren’t sure of the motivation for the criticism, but find it curious that we would be attacked for asking our news people to remind their audiences that unsubstantiated stories exist on social media, which result in an ill-informed public with potentially dangerous consequences,” commented Scott Livingston, Sinclair’s Senior Vice President of News. “It is ironic that we would be attacked for messages promoting our journalistic initiative for fair and objective reporting, and for specifically asking the public to hold our newsrooms accountable. Our local stations keep our audiences’ trust by staying focused on fact-based reporting and clearly identifying commentary.”

Sinclair-owned WDKY has a partnership with WKYT to produce the newscasts that air on WDKY.