A local southern Minnesota reporter lost his job this week after he wore a “Make America Great Again” hat while covering President Donald Trump’s rally Thursday in Rochester.
“He violated our policy, so he’s no longer with us,” Austin station KTTC news director Noel Sederstrom confirmed in a statement issued Friday to BuzzFeed News. “We don’t allow our people to wear campaign clothing while on assignment.”
An image of now-unemployed multimedia journalist Jim Bunner wearing pro-Trump gear at Thursday’s rally may be seen below:
— Mark Vancleave 📹+📷 (@MDVancleave) October 4, 2018
Sederstrom stressed that Bunner’s termination Friday was based entirely on his violation of the NBC affiliate’s policy, and not on his political views. The evidence seems to bear this out.
After Trump won the presidential election two years ago, the now-fired multimedia journalist uploaded video footage to his Facebook page that depicted him celebrating the victory while at what appeared to be his workplace.
That Bunner never faced any sort of discipline for his joyful dance suggests Sederstrom had spoken truthfully, as do the facts regarding the media’s treatment of blatant bias.
“Prohibiting reporters from wearing campaign clothing or pins, especially while on the job, is standard practice across the news industry,” BuzzFeed noted. ” Many news outlets also recommend or warn their staff against making public political displays or statements in order to maintain objectivity.”
While Bunner clearly chose to disregard the guidance that journalists hide their political leanings, numerous mainstream “journalists” routinely disregard it as well. Included among them is Jim Acosta of CNN, who earned backlash on social media Friday for the way he reacted to Sen. Susan Collins announcing her intention to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
With a single speech, Sen. Collins, announcing her support for Kavanaugh, has paved the way for a much more conservative Supreme Court for the next generation. Abortion rights, gay rights, climate change, and health care reform could well be impacted for decades to come.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) October 5, 2018
And thus the media expose their actual agenda https://t.co/6W0jF8nvDO
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) October 5, 2018
Alarmist or journalist? Thread. https://t.co/XV96RbaDlX
— Art Tavana 🐰🔮 (@arttavana) October 5, 2018
I thought journalists didn’t pick sides. https://t.co/WRgxTCpQVS
— Alyssa E. Hackbarth (@AlyssaEinDC) October 5, 2018
Good thing you’re an objective reporter and don’t have to take sides on these issues. https://t.co/rU0BOhsKmW
— Andrew Klavan (@andrewklavan) October 5, 2018
The reaction to Bunner’s faux pas was similar, in that many agreed that rules are rules and must be followed by everyone, no exceptions.
Company rules…you gotta follow them if you want to remain gainfully employed.
— Prox (@proxcee) October 6, 2018
Kinda have to agree with this one – it’s a pretty blatant sign of bias to wear a hat supporting a group your covering.
Now, if they could just apply this policy evenly… https://t.co/SjdjWs0j73
— Dale R. Patterson (@TheRealDP35907) October 6, 2018
Doesn’t matter if it’s Obama pin, or Trump hat. Working journalist can’t do this. https://t.co/JhRqfZxBwM
— A.J. Lagoe (@AJInvestigates) October 6, 2018
It’s an industry standard rule. The employer had no issue with his highly partisan personal social media.
— Emily 🌊 (@MLEco2h2o) October 6, 2018
Once he wore that hat. He was no longer a reporter but a participant.
— JCEquality (@jcequality) October 6, 2018
But another sentiment that also emerged on social media was that Bunner was at the very least a victim of double standards. The suspicion was specifically that had he been caught wearing left-wing-themed gear, he would have been given a pass.
Social media users also pointed to the way in which the liberal media serve as an arm of the Democrat Party, as evidenced by their constant attacks on the president and his policies.
Had he worn a “Death to America” or “Any Lives Except White Lives Matter,” he’d still be employed. https://t.co/TTJvHX037e
— Dagilasex (@Dagilasex) October 6, 2018
Wow how sorry is that.But I guarantee if he would have worn a Big Hillary button to the rally he would have gotten nothing but praise.
Some conservative news org hire him.
NBC station fires reporter for wearing MAGA hat while covering Trump rallyhttps://t.co/KlKKlg0eLs
— ❌Kevin Pierce (@19DScout88) October 6, 2018
NBC station fires reporter for wearing MAGA hat while covering Trump rallyhttps://t.co/JjCzLBa2IU
— Man Has No Name (@ManWithNoName88) October 6, 2018
NO PEACOCK 4 U.. 📢 NEXT❗
NBC fires reporter for wearing MAGA hat while covering Trump rally
So any bias shown for Trump = BAD but pro Hillary = GOOD?
These people are sick + confirms they DO HAVE BIAS, KNOW what it is AND overlook it for themselveshttps://t.co/t5mMKmnIe7
— 🗽 J A C K S O N ❌ (@Jackson2020KAG) October 6, 2018
It’s okay for a reporter to be the mouthpiece for a political party but you can’t wear their clothes.
— Imperfecteight (@bayareagirl2012) October 6, 2018
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