Conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group is under fire for forcing local TV stations to run a segment defending the use of tear gas on migrant women and children as they attempt to seek asylum in the United States. Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns and operates approximately 175 local TV stations, famously requires stations to run segments catering to the pro-Trump business’ views, according to a report from The Daily Beast.
On Monday, the media group had stations run a commentary from former Trump administration aide and “chief political analyst” Boris Epshteyn during the middle of otherwise objective local news reporting.
“The migrant crisis on our southern border has greatly escalated,” Epshteyn reports in the segment. “This past weekend…. Dozens of migrants attacked U.S. border enforcement by throwing rocks and bottles. Ultimately, American authorities had to use tear gas to stop the attacks.”
He then went on to say that progressives around the country were upset about the tear-gassing, which he saw as an attempt to stop the president from defending US borders.
“Some on the left, such as Democrat Congresswoman Maxine Waters, were immediately up in arms about our President and his team standing up for our men and women in uniform and for our national security.”
Epshteyn defended the gassing of migrant women and children, saying that they were attempting to invade the country.
“The fact of the matter is that this is an attempted invasion of our country. Period. Our border must remain intact and secure.”
Images of the tear-gassing went viral on social media on Sunday after news of the event reached news organizations across the country.
A migrant family, part of a caravan of thousands traveling from Central America en route to the United States, runs away from tear gas in front of the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Tijuana, Mexico.
(????: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters) pic.twitter.com/pz7hkxsN9g
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 25, 2018
While the situation at the border was in turmoil, there is no evidence that any of the migrants from the so-called caravan were armed. There is also no evidence that the women, children, and men involved in the incident were attacking the border.
Pam Vogel at Media Matters said that this isn’t the first time Sinclair has used Epshteyn and its platform to defend President Donald Trump’s controversial actions.
— Pam Vogel (@pamela_vogel) November 27, 2018
The company also aired one of its infamous “must-run” segments to have Epshteyn defend the White House’s policy of separating parents from their children at the border. The media group also used the commentator in August 2017 to justify Trump’s defense of his treatment of violent alt-right protesters at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
So far, the segment appears to have aired in at least two dozen states.