Political Animal


November 06, 2012 3:12 PM Fake Ohio News Show Perfect End To Anti-Obama Drive

By Ed Kilgore

Ah, but it’s the perfect ending to the conservative drive to eject Barack Obama from office: a fake news show in Ohio that’s an ill-disguised attack ad. This is per TPM’s Eric Lach:

If you live in or around Columbus, Ohio, and were watching TV last night, you may have seen a local news team presenting some peculiar analysis of the presidential race.
ABC affiliate WSYX in Columbus aired a half-hour “election special” twice on Monday night — first at 6:30 p.m. instead of World News with Diane Sawyer, and later at 11:30 p.m., during the slot normally held by Nightline. Rather than a side by side comparison of the two major party candidates, however, the special featured some of the most partisan criticisms of President Barack Obama, and spent relatively little time examining Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
“Much of the first two years of President Obama’s term in office was spent developing and defending Obamacare — that’s the Affordable Care Act, signed into law in March of 2010,” anchor Bob Kendrick said, near the program’s halfway point. “It supposedly guarantees health care for any U.S. resident who could not obtain good health care otherwise. The biggest parts of the law go into effect in 2014, with other pieces of it rolling out over the next decade. The cost of Obamacare is making many Americans sick to their stomach, though.”
TPM has learned that WSYX and at least one other station operated by the Sinclair Broadcast Group in the crucial swing state last night aired election specials, which included content prepared by their corporate parent company. Some TPM readers may recall Sinclair has a history with this kind of thing. In the run up to the 2004 election, controversy erupted over the company’s plan to air a movie attacking then-Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry’s Vietnam record. Sinclair “owns and operates, programs or provides sales services to 74 television stations in 45 markets,” according to the company’s website.

At least Fox makes its fake news a bit more obvious.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Hue and Cry on November 06, 2012 3:41 PM:

    Not surprised. GOP voter fraud is happening all around us. Savvy voters will know better. Fox News-trained voters are already hopeless.
    Morning Joe program on Morning Joe all week has been fighting back any positive news about the president, including silencing side-kick Meeka--spelled just as I see it--not how she spells it.

    I watched Peter Alexander of MSNBC--long since under a Romney spell--talk about what the candidate ate today, and after the third debate, say that the Romney boys are good boys so never mind that Tagg Romney verbalized that he wanted to punch the president in the face...

    Too many people are compromised, including Mark Halperin, who already called the first black president a d%#$--and who appears on television as some kind of wonderful journalist, partisanly along with Joey Scarbourough.

  • bdop4 on November 06, 2012 3:41 PM:

    In a just world, this would be cause for the FCC to revoke their license. But that requires actual regulatory authority and commitment.

    These stations receive a license, which by definition is the privelige to broadcast over PUBLIC airwaves. This kind of fraud is a betrayal of the public trust and should be punished accordingly.

    30 years ago, it might have actually happened.

  • philonius on November 06, 2012 3:51 PM:

    If there's any consolation for this story, this station is the lowest rated in the Columbus market.

  • beejeez on November 06, 2012 5:03 PM:

    As they say, it's what's legal that's the crime, not what's illegal. Sinclair owns the station, Sinclair gets to run its pseudo news report. I wonder how Republicans look themselves in the face in the morning.