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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Even his charge of "fake news" is projection

by digby

As Trump tries to silence the mainstream media for "fake news" check out what's actually happening:
On an otherwise regular morning in mid-August, viewers in Providence, Rhode Island were treated to a segment called Behind the Headlines with Mark Hyman, which immediately followed the local weather report. 
“We have the greatest health care in the world,” Hyman says, despite the fact that some 27 million people in the U.S. do not have health insurance, and millions more are underinsured. 
“Did Obamacare make us healthier? No,” Hyman declares. “With Obamacare in place, more Americans are dying than ever before. Now this doesn’t mean Obamacare is killing people, but it does mean that Obamacare isn’t making people healthier.”

The connection between Obamacare and a higher mortality rate has no correlation whatsoever, and experts actually cite more car crashes, drug overdoses, and gun deaths as the driving reasons for that rate — not Obamacare. 
And despite the fact that millions of people in the United States are under- and uninsured, the Affordable Care Act has given an estimated 20 million people access to health insurance. Access to care saves lives, not the opposite.
Despite his concession that higher mortality rates don’t mean Obamacare is killing people, Hyman ends his segment with the conclusion that “government-directed health care can kill.” 
Hyman’s segment, which runs daily between a minute and a half and two minutes long, is one of several must-run “news” segments that spread misinformation, echo Trump administration talking points, and function as nationalist and right-wing propaganda. 
Sinclair often defends the must-run segments by arguing that they don’t take up much time, but the short packaging is part of what makes the programming so insidious. They’re slotted into local newscasts easily and not clearly marked as opinion or required programming.
The segments run on 174 stations currently owned by Sinclair, which is aggressively expanding. 
Approval of Sinclair’s acquisition of Tribune Media Company is currently pending. Should the deal be approved, it would add 42 stations to Sinclair’s empire, and the broadcasting company would reach 87.3 million homes. Nielsen estimates 119.6 million households in the U.S. own a TV. 
And the massive expansion, which would reach 72 percent of U.S. households, wouldn’t have been possible without the Trump administration. Congress has imposed a 39 percent cap — and Sinclair already reaches about 38 percent of households. 
Last spring, Trump’s FCC Chairman Ajit Pai reinstituted a loophole that allows broadcasting networks to cover more than the Congressionally-instituted cap. Pai says he never discussed the Sinclair deal with Trump and said in a letter to House Democrats that the FCC has “not been fueled by a desire to help any particular company.” 
But the deal, should it be approved, could be a boon for Trump. 
The short journey from the Trump White House to cable news 
One of the must-run segments is anchored by a former Trump adviser, Boris Epshteyn, who consistently shares misleading talking points and echoes misinformation from the Trump administration under the guise of “political analysis.” 
Epshteyn is a central figure in the Trump universe. He served as a senior adviser to Trump during the campaign and made the rounds on cable news for the then-candidate. After Trump won, Epshteyn took a role in the White House, where he worked for three months. 
During his short tenure, Epshteyn authored the White House’s Holocaust Remembrance Day statement, which failed to mention any of the Jewish people who died in the Holocaust. 
Last month, Epshteyn was questioned by Congress as part of the Russia investigation. His segment, The Bottom Line, is fed into local newscasts across the country daily. 
In a recent segment about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Epshteyn calls Obama’s executive action “wrongful overreach,” and says Trump’s decision to rescind the program with a six-month delay is “the correct approach.”
Here are couple of segments:

More examples at the link. Chilling...