Sinclair Group reportedly required over 100 TV stations to air 'must run' segment that defends use of tear gas on migrants at the border

migrant caravan border wallMembers of migrant caravan walk next to the border fence between Mexico and the US before preparations for an asylum request in the US, in Tijuana.Edgard Garrido/Garrido

  • The right-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group reportedly had a "must run" segment for over 100 of their local news outlets: a staunch defense of the US Border Patrol's use of tear gas against migrants, according to reports.
  • President Donald Trump has strongly defended his government's use of tear gas at the Mexican border.
  • Former Trump staffer and Sinclair's Chief Political Analyst Boris Epshteyn features heavily in the clip, calling the incident "an invasion of our country."

A report from The Daily Beast suggests that the right-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group gave over 100 of their local news outlets a "must run" segment to broadcast: a defense of the US Border Patrol's use of tear gas against migrants, including children crossing the border, on Sunday.

Sinclair Broadcasting Group, which is based in Maryland, is the largest television station owner in the United States. According to SeattlePi.com, "The company distributes 'must-run; segments to its newsrooms, requiring they air them within 48 hours," which "typically feature conservative commentary, including a recurring segment from former Donald Trump official Boris Epshteyn."

According to Media Matters, a progressive non-profit that monitors conservative media, this "must-run" news segment features Epshteyn, Sinclair's chief political analyst. A tweet from Media Matter's Pam Vogel suggests that Sinclair forced around 100 local news networks to air Epshteyn's defense of Border Patrol agents tear gassing asylum-seeking migrants.

The "must-run" segment, which airs during otherwise objective local-news broadcasts, begins with Epshteyn declaring: "The migrant crisis on our southern border has greatly escalated."

According to The Daily Beast, footage from the confrontation plays on the screen, and he adds: "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."

"The migrant crisis on our southern border has greatly escalated," Epshteyn says, as viewers watch clips of the border violence unfold.

On Sunday, US border enforcement used tear gas to repel the crowd of migrants that ranged from several rock-throwers to children.

Epshteyn is quoted as saying:

"The fact of the matter is that this is an attempted invasion of our country. Period. Our border must remain intact and secure. It is not a partisan position to believe that our immigration system is broken and needs to be fixed. However, it unfortunately appears that there are many on the left who believe it is wrong to defend our country and abide by the rule of law. I would bet that many of those same people live behind walls and locked doors but do not want to afford the same benefit to our country as a whole."

In the face of growing anger over the incident President Donald Trump has strongly defended the US use of tear gas at the Mexican border.

"They were being rushed by some very tough people and they used tear gas," Trump said on Monday of the previous day's encounters at the Mexican border.

"Here's the bottom line: Nobody is coming into our country unless they come in legally," he continued.

At a roundtable in Mississippi later on Monday, Trump tacitly acknowledge that children were affected, but seemed to blame poor parenting on the violence that followed.

"Why is a parent running up into an area where they know the tear gas is forming and it's going to be formed and they were running up with a child?" he asked.

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