April 2, 2018

Maybe the eyes and ears of American voters should just go to the highest bidder? Why worry, since people out there have multiple corporate news media outlets to choose from?

Matt Welch of Reason Magazine thinks it's no big deal that Sinclair Broadcasting wants to buy up so many television outlets that their one conservative narrative pushing business model will eventually reach three-quarters of American households. That's no reason to get the anti-trust people excited!

Matt Welch thinks that journalists have an overblown sense of their own importance.

Jonathan Capehart brings it back to the important point: Will Donald Trump have ANY check on his power without an independent media?

CAPEHART: Journalism is the only profession that is protected in the Constitution of the United States. Journalists don't have some overblown view of their role in our democracy... When "The Washington Post" says 'democracy dies in darkness', we're not being hyperbolic. We watched what had been happening from the campaign and into the presidency and the president decided to come up with that moniker. we're talking about this story because you have, as you just reported, if that deal goes through, more than 70% of the country is going to be Sinclair -- families are going to be watching news from Sinclair Broadcasting.

WELCH: 74% of the country is not going to be watching that. 74% of the country will not have it on their televisions.

RUHLE: Yes, but that matters.

WELCH: Sure it matters, but is that reason to get like the antitrust division fired up? It is not.

RUHLE: To Politico's reporting if Jared Kushner secured a deal with Sinclair broadcasting a year ago to ensure straighter or more pro-Trump coverage, isn't that concerning?

WELCH: It's totally concerning. it's gross. it's unseemly. He didn't have to make those deals with the cable nuts because they were running Trump footage all the time. It wasn't even required. He had to sit down with the Sinclair people and made a deal. But that is not a reason to get antitrust regulators excited in a media market which is just filled with all kinds of information out there. They don't have 74% market share on anything.

RUHLE: But when you look at people who are putting forth your local news, sitting behind that news anchor desk, what people at home believe they're getting isn't so many extreme views. They know if they're listening to a radio -- an Info Wars-style of news presentation, they know what they're getting. When my mom and dad tune into their local news, they're not thinking there's any sort of agenda.

I wish we knew what every on-air personality's stock holdings were. Welch returns to the anti-trust well so many times in this one segment, I have to wonder if that's a personal beef with him, or if it's of particular concern to Sinclair.

Trump has no problem talking smack about breaking up monopolies like Amazon but praises Sinclair to the skies.

That's the problem.

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