First, the obvious: Sinclair Broadcast Group buying Tribune Media has more than a few people worried — for several reasons.
First, an even more powerful TV station group that can hold leverage over local TV advertisers, syndication programmers and pay TV providers. But more nefarious is the alleged bias when it comes to certain political coverage.
More than a few worry that Sinclair has a certain editorial bent --a right-leaning TV news operation in favor of Trump. Recently, it hired former Trump campaign surrogate Boris Epshteyn as a political commentator for Sinclair’s TV stations news shows.
That may not seem a big deal. Except for the fact, back in December, many news reports said Trump advisor son-in-law, Jared Kushner told business executives during a meeting, according to six people, that in exchange for more access to Trump and the campaign, Sinclair would broadcast their Trump interviews across the country -- without commentary.”
Sinclair disputed Kushner’s account of a deal.
All that may just be tangential to what happened yesterday: Trump abandoned the Paris Climate deal where virtually all nations, around 200 countries, have previously agreed to. Now the U.S. joins Syria and Nicaragua, as those who are out of it.
With Trump’s decision, Bob Iger, chairman/CEO of Walt Disney, stated he was leaving the Trump business advisory council: "Protecting our planet and driving economic growth are critical to our future, and they aren't mutually exclusive. I deeply disagree with the decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement."
Though not quite a media executive -- more technology-oriented -- Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, tweeted he would quit the same panel. "Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.”
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, tweeted: “Decision to withdraw from the #Paris Agreement was wrong for our planet. Apple is committed to fight climate change and we will never waver.” Executives such as Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, also expressed disappointment on social media.
If that isn't enough, two cable networks -- Nat Geo and The Weather Channel -- quickly redid their respective home Web site pages to reflect the importance of dealing with climate change.
Now, this doesn't mean media business executives are squarely against the Trump Administration. They want Trump to pursue what all businesses want -- tax reform, especially corporate tax reform. For media, specifically, many executives want more deregulation of the Internet -- as well as other media platforms, including limits on TV station ownership.
What about the “media” itself -- the journalism Trump takes shots at. The media covers the good, the bad, the ugly -- and the obvious.
As Chris Matthews on “Hardball with Chris Matthews” opened his show a few days ago: “Covfefe! Let’s play hardball!” And that, for many, is just one single image of things.