30 November, 2021

Billionaire owned media outlets distort news to favor the rich

icon Fox news,Metric Media,Sinclair Broadcasting
Billionaire owned media outlets slant messaging to favor the rich
Image: Succession on HBO

Unemployment is at all time lows. Working families get more healthcare and money for childcare. Vaccinations save lives. But you'd never know. Why?

Billionaire funded outlets like FOX, Sinclair and Metric Media slant messages to push issues that divide Americans and more tax cuts for the rich. This StoryMap shows the billionaire stranglehold on the flow of the truth and what could be done. It includes:

  • 214 FOX stations, 185 Sinclair Media outlets and 928 Metric Media websites
  • How paid political messages are disguised as local news
  • Fifteen largest FOX advertisers
  • Three possible corrective actions to reduce the spread of disinformation
Billionaire funded media outlets slant messaging to favor the rich and push disinformation that divide Americans

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FOX News

Fox News has been delivering to its audience, of which almost 60% is in the high-risk over-65 age group, dangerously misleading information about the Covid vaccine. A report releasedsays the majority of vaccine-related segments that Fox News aired over the past two weeks "repeatedly fear mongered about and downplayed the need for continued vaccination campaigns."

Tucker Carlson's lied that if you don't take the vaccine, "you'll wind up on a government list." Trump supporter Jeanine Pirro irresponsibly declared on her July 12 show that the goal of Biden administration's door to door vaccine outreach was ultimately "about confiscating your gun." - Media Matters/CNN

Sinclair Broadcasting

"Sinclair, based in suburban Baltimore, owns and controls more than 190 stations across the country. That makes it one of the nation's largest players in local TV. White House adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner had boasted the month before President Trump's inauguration about a deal the Trump campaign had struck with Sinclair.

FCC investigators found that 64 Sinclair stations aired such paid segments as news more than 1,400 times. It also shared the segments with 13 non-Sinclair stations, which aired them 280 times — all without disclosing that they were sponsored content, a kind of advertising. The outside stations had not been notified of the sponsorship, a further violation of federal regulations and law." - NPR

Metric Media

Metric Media boasts that it produces "over 5 million news articles every month." It has claimed to be "the largest producer of local news in the United States. "I think that it's more the idea of injecting something into the political conversation and giving it a more credible sheen than if you were just to put it out as an advocacy group or something like that."" - Popular Info

"The sites appear as ordinary local-news outlets, with names like Des Moines Sun, Ann Arbor Times and Empire State Today. They employ simple layouts and articles about local politics, community happenings and sometimes national issues, much like any local newspaper. But behind the scenes, many of the stories are directed by political groups and corporate P.R. firms to promote a Republican candidate or a company, or to smear their rivals." - NY Times

Reduce disinformation

  • Hold corporate advertisers funding hate speech and disinformation accountable. Daily Beast / Media Matters
  • Demand that the FCC hold TV stations that broadcast political messages without full disclosure be held to account. Poynter Institute
  • Demand that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) require websites masquerading as local news be required to disclose funding for paid political messages disguised as news. FTC

TakeAway: Fix the disinformation spread by billionaire funded outlets and corporate advertisers.


How this StoryMap was designed

This infographic was created with ArcGIS Online and StoryMaps in about six hours using publicly available information.
Data from Wikipedia of FOX and Sinclair outlets was first mapped.
A list from the NY Times and the Columbia Journalism Review was used to map the Metric Media outlets.
This map has three layers (FOX, Sinclair and Media Metric). You can select to show any layer or them all.
Here is the link to this map:
It can be embedded in a website with this code: < iframe width="300" height="200" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen src=""></iframe>
This map was converted into a StoryMap with additional notes, images and videos.

Billionaire owned media outlets distort the news to push issues that divide Americans and appeal for more tax cuts for the rich.
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