Billionaire Buyer Turning Another American Newspaper Rightward?

Yesterday I received an alert from a friend in Baltimore to the news that the Baltimore Sun had been bought by a local right-wing activist billionaire. It went like this:

How Sinclair Broadcasting puts a partisan tilt on trusted local news. Video by PBS NewsHour.

The Baltimore Sun has been purchased by the executive chairman of the far-rightwing Sinclair Broadcasting empire (headquartered in Maryland), which aims to make the 187-year-old newspaper an echo of Fox News. 

I am DEVASTATED. I grew up with the Sun. My mother and I both had articles published in the Sun. I knew reporters and photographers for the Sun; one of them gave my father’s epitaph and wrote my mother’s obituary. The Sun was a force against Trump, exposing his lies during his junta…probably why it was targeted. Trump hated Baltimore and I have no doubt that the Sinclair boss is working hand in glove with him – part of his agenda is to expose everything that’s wrong about Baltimore. 

Obverse and reverse sides of the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service medal, which the Baltimore Sun won in 1947. Designed by Daniel Chester French and Augustus Lukeman. Wikimedia Commons.

The Sun wasn’t NYT or WP level, but it won many Pulitzers (latest in 2020) and deserves a better end than this. Sick at heart. 

So much of the muddle and craziness in American politics today is born of media moguls with their agendas to push. Consider the impact of Fox News, whose titan founder Rupert Murdoch got fined almost $800 million for having committed manifold lies about the 2020 election, after being sued by Dominion Voting Systems.

The headquarters of Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc., in Cockeysville, Maryland. Photo by nearby resident, Rosanna Tufts. Used with permission.

Can one expect something better from this fellow who is well known for sponsoring far-right activities, pushing Trumpism along with Moms For Liberty (which is currently under the spotlight for its founder, leader of “Don’t Say Gay,” and banishing gay books participating in threesomes with gay women in Florida)?*

A recent study by OxFam International found that in 2020, the five richest billionaires possessed $405 billion between them. Today, their worth has more than doubled to $869 billion. Every hour these billionaires get $14 million richer. Meanwhile, since 2020, 60% of the global population has become poorer.**

*The Baltimore Sun explores the question of whether there can be a worse newspaper owner.

**Wealth of Five Richest Men Doubles Since 2020.

See Matthew Fox, Religion USA: Religion and Culture by way of Time Magazine. 

And Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society.

Banner Image: The nameplate on the Baltimore Sun building — note its motto: “Light For All.” Photo by Brent Payne on Flickr. 

Queries for Contemplation

What are your concerns about the American press these days? How do you resist its dark side—and support alternatives? 

Recommended Reading

Religion USA: Religion and Culture By Way of Time Magazine

The purpose of this book is to descend from the majestic heights of the critique of religion, to the level of religion’s interaction with life in its multiple colors and dimensions, that is in culture …. Modern man, far from being without religion, is bombarded by religions claiming his ultimate allegiance and priorities — in his TV, his movies, his records, as well as in his press …. Our method of analysis takes these claims to religion seriously, beginning where everyday man begins, in the confusion of the multiple tongues bestowed on him at the secular Pentecost by the knowledge explosion and the media expansion. 

“This uniquely American study … [analyzes] the role of religion in a culture. It contains a mine of information for sociologists of religion, as the same time that it opens up a whole new direction for theology.” —Professor Jacques Audinet, Institut Catholique de Paris

Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society

Visionary theologian and best-selling author Matthew Fox offers a new theology of evil that fundamentally changes the traditional perception of good and evil and points the way to a more enlightened treatment of ourselves, one another, and all of nature. In comparing the Eastern tradition of the 7 chakras to the Western tradition of the 7 capital sins, Fox allows us to think creatively about our capacity for personal and institutional evil and what we can do about them. 
“A scholarly masterpiece embodying a better vision and depth of perception far beyond the grasp of any one single science.  A breath-taking analysis.” — Diarmuid O’Murchu, author of Quantum Theology: Spiritual Implications of the New Physics

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9 thoughts on “Billionaire Buyer Turning Another American Newspaper Rightward?”

  1. Avatar

    How will we support alternatives, you ask? What alternatives ARE there, nowadays? Here in Baltimore, the City Paper has been dead for 6 years by now. The Baltimore Beat tried to replace it, but it didn’t last even 6 months! Print media is a losing proposition, financially. We need a new, and clever, coalition of “Newsies,” like the striking newsboys who printed their own newspaper using an obsolete press that was buried in Pulitzer’s basement — same strategy, updated for the digital age. Maybe we could even call it “The Baltimore Newsies,” and semi-steal the Baltimore Sun’s motto, shifting it to “Light For All with Eyes to See.”

    1. Phila Hoopes
      In reply to Rosanna Tufts.
      Rosanna, I hear you…and Baltimore does have an alternative in The Baltimore Banner. Small but growing, nonprofit and locally owned, and from what I’m hearing, the Sun reporters on its staff are being matched by Sun subscribers following this debacle. Maybe a hemorrhage of subscribers will cause Smith to rethink his plans.

  2. Avatar

    No wonder that Trump, the MAGA movement, and the Republican Party have so many followers in American society! As Matthew and other enlightened individuals have pointed out, like in the two books recommended in today’s DM, institutional evil and societal brainwashing still exist with all its dangerous consequences such as ignorance, fear, violence, greed, racism, materialism, secularism, eco and social injustice… around the world. With the growth of authoritarianism around the world, that feed on these personal and societal evils, including the US and the Israeli governments/societies, it is easy to see how Hitler and Nazism grew and negatively transformed German society towards dictatorship and human destruction in the early 20th century. Our democratic societies and values are still in danger.
    Our personal responsibilities on our deeper spiritual journeys with one another and being open to GOD’S SPIRIT of LOVE~WISDOM~TRUTH~PEACE~JUSTICE~HEALING~COMPASSION… PRESENT within and among Us in LOVING DIVERSE ONENESS, are more important than ever to help save Humanity and Beautiful Sacred Mother Earth with all Her creatures and graceful abundance….

  3. Avatar

    There is no truth in mainstream media today. We must support alternative sources and they are out there if a bit hard to find sometimes. We need to work if only what seems like a small way to change the power of these media giants. But I believe with truth, justice and LOVE it can be done. It must be done.

  4. Avatar

    The American press? I suppose it is a marriage of American public opinion and the “powers that be.”

    I understand why Frederick Douglass named his newspaper The North Star. In a country run by slaveholders, and imagine young Frederick, a slave forbidden to read who can read, and not only can he read, but he dares to write the truth of his own life. The white slaveholders denied the truth of his own life, his own lived experience! What inner fire he had, to continue on, push on, and write his truth. The North Star.

    I think that’s the way it is to be Spirit in an emerging world sometimes, breaking surface, emerging in complete darkness. And just a single landmark of light in the night sky to guide you forward.

  5. Avatar

    Much of the mainstream press has been bought out by the ultra-rich and corporate interests. They slant toward what profits the newspapers and their wealthy friends (conservatives who slash taxes on their own wealth while slashing funding for every service needed by poor- and middle-class people to stay alive). These so-called “unbiased newspapers” pour lies into ears in whatever way makes more money for themselves.

    Alternatively, people can use a few news sources, such as AP and BBC, but also and especially track down various substacks that do investigative and in-depth reporting, starting with Judd Legum’s substack “Judd at Popular Information”. After you read it, go to the comments section, and ask people to list some of the other substacks and news sources they find helpful. You can also ask if there are good sources for your particular state. Ask for legal analysts, too. They’re very helpful in sifting through the chaos from Trump’s deliberate undermining of laws and the Constitution. People are eager to share their news sources.
    This reminds me of the “hippie days” in Madison (WI). Mainstream newspapers weren’t the only source of information back then, either. People found ways to spread the news.

  6. Avatar
    Katherine Sogolow

    The last I heard, Sinclair News corp. owns 80% of all local radio, tv, print media across rural America. This is a monopoly which has been foster by conservative and wing appointees on the FCC.
    Sinclair is a puppet of Trump— no wonder rural areas vote for him. The propaganda they spew contributes to more gun violence, racism, sexism, and support of anti- voting and anti- democratic, anti- constitutional measures nationwide. We need to fight back, register and educate voters to get those who truly represent we, the people elected.

  7. Avatar

    We need to search out and support other news sources. The Florida Phoenix continues to print the truth and is free. The Christian Science Monitor is balanced in its reporting and does not cost that much. I also rely on various organizations that work to tell the truth and to advocate for justice. There are so many that it should be easy to find a few that you can support. We must also not let the overwhelming bad news in fact overwhelm us. There are groups, especially at the local level, that are quietly–and not so quietly–doing good. There are even some churches and other religious institutions that are doing the corporal works of mercy both privately and publicly.

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