Rep. Pingree calls out WGME’s ‘pro-Trump propaganda’

Rep. Pingree calls out WGME’s ‘pro-Trump propaganda’

In an email sent Monday afternoon, Maine First-District Congresswoman Chellie Pingree blasted an ongoing series of video segments supporting the Trump administration being aired by WGME (channel 13) and WPFO (channel 23) in Portland. The clips are produced by the stations’ corporate owner, Sinclair Broadcasting.

“The segments are straight out of an Orwell novel, with former Trump campaign loudmouth Boris Epshteyn parroting White House talking points and completely false right-wing conspiracy theories,” wrote Pingree. “We trust our local news stations to use their Maine common sense to be fair and accurate and to hold up important journalistic standards — not to air fake news and blatant propaganda.”

Sinclair requires all its stations to air the opinion segments, which are often laced with Trump-inspired conspiracy theories about voter fraud and “fake news,” as well as a sensationalist daily “Terrorism Alert Desk” feature. One of Epshteyn’s most recent segments lauded White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, who Epshteyn called his “good friend.” It aired the day after the revelation of Scaramucci’s vulgar attacks on fellow West Wing staffers and just a few days before Scaramucci was fired from his job.

The Portland Press Herald provided more context to the airing of the pro-Trump pieces in an article on Sunday, and detailed Sinclair’s plans to buy up an additional 42 stations currently owned by Tribune Media, extending its reach to almost three-fourths of U.S. households.

Comedian John Oliver also addressed Sinclair’s extreme rhetoric and expanding reach on his HBO show last month.

Pingree called on Mainers to “urge WGME and WPFO to stand strong and reject demands from Sinclair to air these dangerous propaganda segments” and asked supporters to sign a petition to station management.

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