HBO's John Oliver blasted the hard-right conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group and expressed dangers or corporate consolidation of news agencies last week, noting that the company has pushed the Trump line hard to its audiences around the nation. In response, the conglomerate is tripling down on its pro-Donald Trump commentary, expanding the airtime of Sinclair's chief political analyst, former White House official.
Boris Epshteyn's "Bottom Line with Boris" segments appeared only three times each week but will now run nine times, according to Politico. His segments "will now feature a mix of his political commentary as well as 'interviews' with members of Congress and other people. The segments will have a 'billboard,' meaning they’re sponsored, but they’re not sponsored content," Politico reported.
Epshteyn's segments are "must runs" as Oliver also pointed out, meaning it's mandatory that all Sinclair-owned stations run them. Other "must run" segments include Mark Hyman's conservative commentary as well as updates from the "Terrorism Alert Desk."
Sinclair got wind of Oliver's show and Epshteyn delivered a response to what he called a "broadside attack." While Epshteyn said "media companies are not immune to criticism" and that it was "an acceptable expression of freedom of speech" he took issue with Oliver's bashing of the "Terrorism Alert Desk" segments.
"Terrorism is not nonsense," Epshteyn said. "In this day and age it is necessary to cover terrorism on a regular basis. Whether it's in New York, Manchester or in your hometown — terrorism has become all too real to people across the globe," he continued. "The bottom line is that Sinclair strives to keep its viewers informed as well as protected."