A reporter was fired for covering a Trump rally while wearing a Make America Great Again hat last week. The reporter, James Bunner of southern Minnesota’s NBC affiliate KTTC-TV, was fired Friday after a photo of him wearing the MAGA hat at the Thursday event circulated around social media.
“Our newsroom’s standards of professional journalism do not allow our reporters to wear partisan political campaign clothing while actively covering a political campaign event for the television station,” the station’s news director Noel Sederstrom told The Med City Beat blog, “We work hard to be neutral and unbiased toward all political parties and candidates.”
After the news spread on social media, some suggested creating a Go Fund Me account for Bunner. But Bunner rejected that proposal, after which he tweeted a single line Sunday: “It’s not unfair. KTTC-TV is not to blame.”
It's not unfair. KTTC-TV is not to blame.
— Jim Bunner News (@jimbunnernews) October 6, 2018
While it is true that news reporters who cover political events should not have any affiliation and should not display their approval or disapproval with particular events they cover, there is a clear double standard here. Yes, it was wrong for Bunner to wear the MAGA hat at the rally, but it is also wrong for partisan left wing activists to act as correspondents for major news networks.
A quick brows of New York Times reporters’ twitter accounts reveals their biased partisan positions against President Trump yet they continue to report on him as if impartial.
Bias is not only displayed in the form of a hat, it’s also in tweets, public statements and comments. But of course, none of those “break standards” to the point where reporters get fired. The only repercussions taken was to create “new standards.” A slap on the wrist for anti-Trump reporters and a firing for pro-Trump ones. That doesn’t seem fair.