Show an ad over header. AMP

Sinclair tells local stations not to air controversial "plandemic" interview

Sinclair Broadcast Group asked its dozens of local affiliates across the U.S. this weekend not to air a controversial interview conducted on its program "America This Week," which touted conspiracy theories that NIAID director Anthony Fauci started the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Sinclair has been caught up in controversies around journalism ethics before. Most notably, it asked journalists at affiliates to read pro-Trump scripts about "fake news" in 2018.


Catch up quick: The interview, conducted last week, features host by Eric Bolling, interviewing researcher and activist Judy Mikovits and her lawyer Larry Klayman, a right-wing activist, about the coronavirus.

  • In the interview, Mikovits says she believes that Fauci "manufactured the coronavirus" in monkey cell lines and paid for and shipped the cell lines to Wuhan, China. That assertion has been widely discredited by scientists and health officials.

Details: In a series of tweets, the broadcast giant said it decided to delay the episode's airing and "will spend the coming days bringing together other viewpoints and provide additional context."

  • "All stations have been notified not to air this and will instead be re-airing last week’s episode in its place."
  • "We would also like to clarify that at no point did we air the 'Plandemic' documentary, nor do we have plans to."
  • "This documentary has been widely discredited and we as a company do not support the baseless claims that were rebutted during the original segment."
  • "Further, we valiantly support Dr. Fauci and the work he and his team are doing to further prevent the spread of COVID-19 and are proud to have welcomed him to 'America This Week' as well as our stations via our national bureau to update and inform viewers."

Be smart: Mikovits came under fire earlier this year when a video she posted with similarly falsified information about Fauci's role in the pandemic went viral on social media.

  • Even big social media sites, which are usually more hesitant than traditional media companies to remove misinformation, yanked the video from their platforms.

The big picture: In the past few years, Sinclair as a company has solidified its reputation as a right-wing broadcaster by investing in a slew of conservative hosts and commentators.

Go deeper: The coronavirus conspiracy news cycle

Clinton and Warren speaking the same night at Dem convention

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton both are slated to speak on the Wednesday of the Democratic convention — Aug. 19 — four sources familiar with the planning told Axios.

Why it matters: That's the same night Joe Biden's running mate (to be revealed next week) will address the nation. Clinton and Warren represent two of the most influential wise-women of Democratic politics with the potential to turn out millions of establishment and progressive voters in November.

Keep reading... Show less

Trump says he's considering order on pre-existing condition protections, which already exists

President Trump announced on Friday he will pursue an executive order requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, something that is already law.

Why it matters: The Affordable Care Act already requires insurers to cover pre-existing conditions. The Trump administration is currently arguing in a case before the Supreme Court to strike down that very law — including its pre-existing condition protections.

Keep reading... Show less

Trump says he's prepared to sign executive orders on coronavirus aid

President Trump, speaking from a podium at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., on Friday announced that he is prepared to issue executive orders suspending payroll taxes and extending enhanced unemployment benefits through the end of 2020, and halting student loan interest and payments indefinitely.

Why it matters: The impending orders come after talks between the White House and Democratic leadership collapsed Friday afternoon. But Trump said he remains committed to striking a deal with Congress on a broader stimulus package before signing the orders.

Keep reading... Show less

Trump affirms: "We are going a different way" on coronavirus aid

President Trump tweeted on Friday that his administration is "going a different way" with coronavirus aid after negotiations with congressional Democrats stalled again, suggesting he will use an executive order to address stimulus spending.

What he's saying: "Pelosi and Schumer only interested in Bailout Money for poorly run Democrat cities and states. Nothing to do with China Virus! Want one trillion dollars. No interest. We are going a different way!" Trump tweeted.

Trump's swift, sweeping China offensive

President Trump's rhetoric on China has tended to run hotter than his actions — until now.

Why it matters: Even at the height of Trump's trade war, his administration never hit China as hard, as fast, and on as many fronts as it is right now.

Keep reading... Show less

Liberty University's Jerry Falwell Jr. agrees to “indefinite leave of absence”

Jerry Falwell Jr. will take an “indefinite leave of absence” from his his roles as president and chancellor of Liberty University after posting a photo of himself with unzipped pants and an arm around a woman on social media, according to the school.

The state of play: The picture, which has since been deleted, drew backlash and charges of hypocrisy from conservative political figures because the university's honor code strictly prohibits students from having "sexual relations outside of a biblically-ordained marriage," and recommends they dress with“appropriateness” and “modesty."

Keep reading... Show less

White House recommends Trump issue executive orders on coronavirus aid

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said President Trump should sign executive orders unilaterally addressing coronavirus stimulus spending after negotiations with congressional Democrats stalled again on Friday.

Why it matters: Friday was viewed as a self-imposed deadline to negotiate a new relief bill. But after an intense week of negotiations on Capitol Hill, White House and Democratic leadership failed to reach a deal on delivering much needed aid to Americans and businesses.

Keep reading... Show less

Counterintelligence chief: Russia aiming to “denigrate” Biden ahead of election

National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina said Friday that the Russian government is "using a range of measures" to "denigrate former Vice President Biden" before the November election.

Why it matters: Evanina warned that some Kremlin-linked actors are trying to support President Trump’s candidacy on social media and Russian television, while others are spreading false claims about corruption to undermine Biden and the Democratic Party.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories