- Democratic presidential candidates are spending millions on TV adverts to spread their messages and attack Donald Trump, but they are enriching one of Trump’s most powerful allies in the process.
- “The amount of fundraising that’s happened through this year has broken all records,” Sinclair Broadcast Group CEO Christopher Ripley said. “We’re already benefiting tremendously from that and the entrance of players like Bloomberg.”
- Bloomberg has spent more than $200 million on TV ads already, according to Advertising Analytics, driving up ad prices in multiple markets and lining the pockets of Sinclair, which has a history of propagating the president’s views.
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Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bloomberg, and other Democrats running for president are spending millions on television advertising to spread their messages and attack Donald Trump. They are enriching one of Trump’s most powerful allies in the process.
“The amount of fundraising that’s happened through this year has broken all records,” Christopher Ripley, CEO of Sinclair Broadcast Group— the conservative TV titan behind about 200 local stations — said at a Citigroup conference last week. “The good news about politicians is they never return the money, they spend it.”
“We’re already benefiting tremendously from that and the entrance of players like Bloomberg,” he added.
The four frontrunners for the Democratic nomination — Sanders, Warren, former Vice-President Joe Biden, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg — raised a combined $103 million in the last quarter of 2019. Trump’s campaign also raised $46 million over the same period, growing its total war chest to about $103 million.
All the Democrats are splurging millions on TV ads, but billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg remain the biggest spenders. Steyer has deployed north of $60 million, while Bloomberg has shelled out more than $200 million since joining the race in November — close to the $222 million spent by the rest of the field combined, according to Advertising Analytics.
More good news for Sinclair: aggressive political spending is driving up ad prices in multiple markets. For example, a $1 million ad buy in Houston by Bloomberg spiked local ad rates by 45%, the New York Post reported, citing an Advertising Analytics report.
In their efforts to raise their profiles, win over voters, and defeat Trump, Democrats are lining the pockets of a company with a history of propagating the president’s views.
For example, Sinclair’s management forced its local stations to read a script defending the Trump administration’s use of tear gas on migrants at the southern border, and another deriding other media outlets’ personal biases and spreading of “fake stories.”
Trump has also voiced his support for Sinclair.
“So funny to watch Fake News Networks, among the most dishonest groups of people I have ever dealt with, criticize Sinclair Broadcasting for being biased,” he tweeted in April 2018.
“Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke.”