Sinclair announced today it sent letters to the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune requesting corrections and apologies for significant errors in their reporting on the FCC’s decision involving the proposed merger between Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media. Both media outlets omitted a key word from the FCC statement to drastically distort the reality of the finding and reported that Sinclair had been found to lack candor, when in fact the FCC had merely referred the matter to an Administrative Law Judge to determine whether or not there had been a lack of candor. Both publications also did not refer to public statements from Sinclair which expressly denied that any lack of candor had occurred.
The Washington Post published an article Tuesday night that claimed: “… FCC Chairman Ajit Pai … found that Sinclair and Tribune had exhibited a ‘lack of candor’…”
By yesterday morning the Washington Post had corrected the line to note the alleged “lack of candor” was only “potential.”
The misleading Chicago Tribune headline and opening paragraph were also amended to correct for a similar error to now accurately reflect the that there has been no finding of a lack of candor.
The Chicago Tribune also issued an update to the story which reads: “An earlier version of this story misstated the findings of the Federal Communications Commission’s hearing designation order regarding Sinclair Broadcast Group’s proposed acquisition of Tribune Media.”