Local News Anchors Now Have to Read Pro-Trump Propaganda

Every news station under Sinclair's umbrella is required to syndicate commentary that comports with its owners' ideological views.

When Trump took office, Sinclair was on the cusp of purchasing Tribune media, a merger that would give the firm ownership of enough local stations to reach 70 percent of U.S. homes. But there were two obstacles to such a deal: Federal rules put a cap on the number of local news stations any single entity could own, and also prohibited any company from owning a newspaper and television station in the same media market. Taking on Tribune's assets would put Sinclair in violation of both those laws.

But by the end of Trump's first year in office, his appointees to the Federal Communications Commission had abolished both of those regulations. [...]

Now, Sinclair is taking its "covert state media" game to new, Orwellian heights: By the end of this month, Sinclair will require all of its local news anchors to condemn "national media outlets" for publishing "fake stories" and "using their platforms to push their own personal bias," according to internal documents obtained by CNN. Those documents instruct local news directors to air these criticisms of "biased and false news" -- criticisms that, of course, echo the president's own -- over and over again, so as "to create maximum reach and frequency."

Sinclair's new media-bashing promos rankle local anchors:

The instructions to local stations say that the promos "should play using news time, not commercial time." Like the Epshteyn commentaries, this takes away from local news time.

"Please produce the attached scripts exactly as they are written," the instructions say. "This copy has been thoroughly tested and speaks to our Journalistic Responsibility as advocates to seek the truth on behalf of the audience."

The promos begin with one or two anchors introducing themselves and saying "I'm [we are] extremely proud of the quality, balanced journalism that [proper news brand name of local station] produces. But I'm [we are] concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country."

Then the media bashing begins.

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Tales from the PDF Wars

Someone wrote an article about how awesome PDF is, but the fun part is all of the rebuttals on this Metafilter thread. Some choice ones:

PDF isn't "a" file format, it's a metastatic tumor of file dialects.

It's so nice to know that closed source proprietary bullshit with all kinds of security issues is "king" in the workplace. Adobe can get off my lawn.

I stopped taking PDF seriously when I found out they'd extended it to allow for embedded Javascript.

PostScript is a complete computer language. Any task that can be expressed in Javascript can also be expressed in PostScript.

The whole point of PDF was to be a cut-down subset of PostScript that was not a complete scripting language and therefore wasn't so demanding on the limited processors of the day. If the format had any integrity at all, and if the designers had any real interest in minimizing its security attack surface, such scripting as it needs would be provided by relaxing restrictions and allowing more of PostScript (perhaps just enough to allow for execution of transpiled Javascript) to be supported, not by bolting in a second script interpreter.

I find the blind trust folks place in PDFs especially hair-raising since the one time when some numbers in a pdf that Preview on my Mac let me select and copy, when pasted, turned out as other numbers (something like that weird old photocopier effect )

I've seen PDFs where everything that actually makes it onto the paper is just a single pre-rendered 300dpi compressed image; it's entirely possible that the weird old photocopier effect is exactly what was going on with your PDF, and that the numbers you copied and pasted, being derived from a hidden semantic layer rather than the visible graphics so tempting to take as definitive, were actually the correct ones.

On the other hand, those graphics might have come from a scanner and the "underlying" semantic layer added after scanning (but possibly before image compression) via OCR. Hard to tell without examining the PDF concerned in a text editor.

And when Apple added vector artwork to iOS, they settled on PDF as the file format. Which is a colossal WTF.

Presumably there is code somewhere (ideally at compiletime, though probably at runtime) that goes through the PDF, picks out the vector paths, ignoring the myriad of other possibilities for what could be in there, and creates some sort of concise in-memory data structure. One hopes that the sheer openness of the PDF format does not lead to an attack surface measurable in parsecs. (What's to say that, at some tributary of the code path, the PDF isn't passed to a third-party library which runs the JavaScript in it and has a buffer overflow in it somewhere, for example?)

And when Apple added vector artwork to iOS, they settled on PDF as the file format. Which is a colossal WTF.

Because the Quartz stack is literally a working GPU accelerated implementation of Display Postscript.

NeXT used Display Postscript, so this goes back a while.

My D&D campaign has ended up using some crazy PDF files for our character sheets. They don't work in OS X's Preview, only in the Acrobat viewer - in fact they claim that even opening them in Preview can irrevocably fuck them up, though that hasn't happened to me yet. They are chock full of all kinds of JavaScript to deal with all the arcane calculations involved in building and leveling up a D&D character; they have their own toolbar that pops up. It's kind of insane.

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First Look: Olsen Twins Release Line of Wiccan Supplies

Now, the twins have decided to embark on a new adventure: releasing a line of products for Wiccan beginners:

Minimalist Cauldron ($395)

There are a few staple pieces every witch should include in his or her altar. Emphasis on few. We fervently believe in keeping things minimal, and also implementing the word 'minimal' into our vocabulary as often as we smoke a cigarette (every 10-12 minutes). [...]

Ritual Candles ($79 per candle)

Keep your space free of negative energy. Our one-of- a-kind ritual candles come in an assortment of muted colors for various uses, and are GREAT for casting spells that will curse your enemies with red-wine teeth for eternity.

A Chic, Rusticized Cigarette Case That's Haunted By The Ghosts of a Family From the Victorian Era ($95)

Great accessory for chainsmoking outside of a Starbucks.

Special-Edition Amulet ($110 + A vial of tears from an Anthropologie employee)

Many witches use amulets as a form of protection against bad luck, illness, or evil. But the sad truth is, many of these amulets don't harbor any magical properties. Our special-edition amulets are proven to bear magical powers, and when wearing one, you'll have the ability to do things like make all the candles in a room extinguish upon entering it, possess an intern, and conjure Starbucks points, and, if you wear it during a full moon, Enya will come over and do a tarot reading on you.

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