Sinclair Broadcasting aired a follow-up to the debunked "Plandemic" conspiracy theory

Sinclair Broadcasting, the massively influential right-wing media conglomerate that cleverly buys up TV stations in local markets in order to push conservative propaganda, plans to push a national news segment featuring a video with Judy Mikovits, the woman behind the quickly-popularized but swiftly-debunked Plandemic YouTube conspiracy theory. Media Matters was first to report:

Baseless conspiracy theories about the novel coronavirus and Dr. Anthony Fauci, a prominent member of the White House coronavirus task force, found a platform on the new episode of Sinclair Broadcast Group's America This Week. The episode is available for streaming on Sinclair-owned or -operated television station websites and is set to air on dozens of Sinclair stations over the weekend.

Toward the end of his show, host Eric Bolling interviewed Judy Mikovits of the conspiracy theory video Plandemic and her attorney Larry Klayman about their plans to sue Fauci. He introduced the prerecorded interview by referring to her as "an expert in virology" who previously "worked with Dr. Anthony Fauci."


Bolling immediately followed this interview with an interview of Fox News medical contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier to respond to these claims — despite her own record of misleading audiences about the coronavirus. Saphier labeled those who believe Fauci created the coronavirus as "conspiracy theorists," saying "it's highly unlikely" and that she thought "Dr. Fauci in no way, shape, or form has been involved in the manufacturing of this virus." But in the same breath, she also suggested it's likely that the virus was "man-made within a laboratory." Bolling proposed his theory that China "accelerated the virus" while researching a vaccine and "it somehow leaked out of a laboratory."

On the show, Mikovits and her lawyer, Larry Klayman, announced their plans to sue Dr. Anthony Fauci for personally manufacturing the coronavirus, which he then shipped to China. The hate-group tracking Southern Poverty Law Center describes Klayman as a "pathologically litigious attorney and professional gadfly notorious for suing everyone from Iran's supreme leader to his own mother."

Sinclair initially defended their decision to give a platform to a demonstrably false conspiracy theory as a principled action based on free speech:

Four hours later, they buckled under pressure:

There are surely some people who will decry this as bullying cancel culture, but I think that any rational human being could agree: a media conglomerate not using their power to spread malicious propaganda is, objectively, a good thing for society.

Sinclair gives "Plandemic" conspiracy theorists a platform to spread their lies about Dr. Fauci and the coronavirus [Zachary Pleat / Media Matters]

Local TV stations across US to air conspiracy theory on Fauci [Martin Pengelly and Oliver Milman / The Guardian ]

Sinclair Broadcasting Defends Giving 'Plandemic' Conspiracy Air Time: 'We're A Supporter Of Free Speech' [Jack Brewster / Forbes]

Image: Eden, Janine, and Jim / Flickr (CC 2.0)