We think it’s safe to say that the hiring of Van Susteren far outweighs the Sinclair sycophancy exemplified by the hiring of Administration PR flack Boris Epshteyn.
A sharp-eyed Newsblueser shared with us some recent observations on the status of Sinclair’s questionably-qualified “chief political analyst” and the lame attempt at “balance’ by the kids from Hunt Valley, MD.
Viewers of Sinclair-owned stations in some markets may be noticing that the broadcaster’s now infamous “Bottom Line with Boris” segments, featuring conservative mouthpiece Boris Epshteyn, seem to be getting moved into more visible airplay.
Where some stations were quietly burying these “commentaries” in lesser watched time periods, it appears there may be a new mandate on the “must runs”–as they are known by insiders.
For instance, on Sinclair’s WLOS-TV in Asheville, NC…”Bottom Line with Boris” is now appearing regularly in the station’s 5pm newscast.
But with a new twist.
At the end of the usual Trump cheerleading (Boris recently called for Trump to be put on Mount Rushmore because of how great his presidency had been for the nation) there is now a brief tease from an Ameshia Cross–a progressive activist who once worked for the Obama campaign.
Sinclair brought on Cross this past January because, as Senior VP of News Scott Livingston told “The Wall Street Journal,” “..this is an important time to add another viewpoint.”
Back on WLOS, Ms. Cross’s snappily named new “Cross Point” commentary segments are now airing in the station’s 5:30pm newscast, providing what viewers might suppose is meant as “balance” to the Boris commentary in the previous half-hour.
The whole thing feels a bit like a throwback to the early years of “Saturday Night Live”, when Jane Curtin and Dan Aykroyd did a “Point/Counterpoint” bit in the “Weekend Update” news segment of the show.
That bit was actually a spoof of a similar segment that ran for a time at the end of CBS‘s “60 Minutes” which featured Shana Alexander and James J. Kilpatrick in a similar mini debate format.
One might only hope it won’t be long before Boris adopts Aykroyd’s infamous comic rejoinder and declares, “Aimee, you ignorant slut.”
For those of you who don’t remember that far back to the halcyon days of “SNL” (sadly, we do), we’ll offer a more contemporary comparison – the “Hannity-Colmes” hour that aired on Fox News Channel.
Ostensibly an attempt at left-right balance (guess which was which), Alan Colmes’ role seemed to be more of a punching bag for Sean Hannity.
It was a role Colmes endured for 13 years.
We can only presume it was because the checks cleared.
Now….will the “Cross experiment” last longer than through the next election cycle and on a visibility par to Epshteyn – a charade that would allow Sinclair station’s to claim balance?