Sinclair Executive Chairman Lashes Out at Print Media Calling It 'Meaningless Dribble'

After numerous negative stories about Sinclair Broadcast Group's directive to its television newsrooms to air a message about fake news, the company's executive chairman lashed out at print media.

"The print media is so left wing as to be meaningless dribble which accounts for why the industry is and will fade away. Just no credibility," said David Smith, Sinclair's executive to New York magazine in a piece published Tuesday.

He also said that he had "never" read an accurate depiction of his company and that "facts and truth have been lost for a long time and likely to never return."

Last month, CNN obtained an internal Sinclair memo that instructed its broadcast newsrooms air an "anchor-delivered journalistic responsibility message." The message decries false and misleading news. Critics have said that the message echoes sentiments from President Donald Trump, who has often bashed the news media. New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg called Sinclair "regime-friendly propaganda," in a Tuesday op-ed.

Trump defended Sinclair via tweet Monday.

"So funny to watch Fake News Networks, among the most dishonest groups of people I have ever dealt with, criticize Sinclair Broadcasting for being biased. Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke," said the President on Twitter.

So funny to watch Fake News Networks, among the most dishonest groups of people I have ever dealt with, criticize Sinclair Broadcasting for being biased. Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke.

Sinclair owns close to 200 television stations in 39 states. The website Deadspin created a video of anchors across the U.S. at Sinclair stations reciting the company's message in unison that went viral, accelerating coverage of the company's mandate.

"The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media," read the original script, though some stations tweaked the language. "More alarming, national media outlets are publishing these same fake stories without checking facts first. Unfortunately, some members of the national media are using their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control 'exactly what people think' ... This is extremely dangerous to our democracy," the message read.

Scott Livingston, Sinclair's senior vice president of news, pushed back against the negative criticism.

"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," Livingston said in a statement. "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 did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment.