Sinclair Broadcast Group, the parent company of WJAR TV Channel 10 in Rhode Island, has vehemently denied allegations that they provided then presidential candidate, now president-elect Donald Trump with preferential treatment in interviews on several of their local affiliates.
Politico and other media outlets reported that Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, told a business group at a private gathering in New York that the campaign had agreed to provide Sinclair local affiliates with greater access to the candidate in exchange for broadcasting the interviews without commentary.
Sinclair sources at their corporate headquarters told WhatsUpNewp that WJAR was not among the local stations offered the interviews. The sources did not know whether WJAR aired any of the interviews that were conducted at other local stations.
Scott Livingston, Sinclair’s vice president of news, said in a press release that the broadcast group “offered both major presidential candidates the same opportunities to be interviewed by our local anchors on a regular basis. There was no ‘deal’ on the tone, tenor, or subject of the interviews. We did not offer favorable or preferential treatment to either candidate, nor did we ever waiver from our commitment to provide rigorous, thoughtful, and thorough coverage to the millions who rely on local television.”
Neither Livingston nor other sources within Sinclair commented on whether the interviews were accompanied by additional commentary, but said there were no restrictions on any of the questioning by the local anchors.
The source within Sinclair indicated that Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton had participated in at least one interview, and it was also reported that Democratic vice presidential candidate, Sen. Tim Kaine, had participated in a few of the interviews. Trump, according to Politico, did in a handful of interviews