WLUK FOX 11 | 6-3-2016
On June 3rd, FOX 11 published a story on their website from The Sinclair Broadcast Group (WLUK’s parent company). This story presented WMCF several instances of bias to address. The headline states, “Clinton condemns anti-Trump protest violence, alleges Trump ‘lowered the bar.‘”
The headline an example of “bias by spin” and attempts to draw readers in by stating that Hillary Clinton does not condone violence, but Donald Trump does. It seems as if this story is pushing the narrative that the Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, was at fault for the violent protests taking place outside his rallies.
The story proceeds with what can only be described as a blatant attempt to both minimize the violence that is being perpetrated by Trump protesters, while also justifying the events that unfolded in San Jose and passing on some of the blame onto the local police.
For instance, the writer makes sure to point out that there were a number of groups that were not involved in the violence. They quoted one protest organizer who described the attack on Trump supporters as only “a few demonstrators.”
That opinion appears to be contradicted by video and photographic evidence of the event. In this Washington Post article, you can see that there are more than just “a few demonstrators.” This example of “bias by spin” shows us how the media can downplay certain events and minimize what had actually occurred.
The writer then gives a platform to a past San Diego protest organizer who attributed some of the violence to the San Jose Police Department. Perhaps for not doing their job to his liking.
STEPHEN LOIACONI | Sinclair Broadcast Group – “The protesters and Trump supporters were supposed to be kept separate, but that system somehow broke down when the rally ended.”
According to Eder, future protesters should learn from the San Diego violence that “situations are intentionally provoked to create violence, which helps [Trump’s] storyline.”
He blamed police in part for allowing the two groups to get close enough together for a conflict to develop… Eder criticized police for using “military tactics” to quell the protest.
The author ignores the question: Why was law enforcement even needed if the protests were supposed to be “peaceful?” The quoted individual’s attitude brings to light a hypocrisy within some protest movements and demonstrates the challenges and unrealistic expectations faced by our nation’s law enforcement.
Unfortunately, it appears that “peaceful” intent and free hug shirts didn’t conquer all and prevail here. Hence the need for law enforcement to adjust their tactics in an effort to preserve safety and reinstate order.
Finally, the story quotes both the Mayor of San Jose (a Democrat) and the San Jose Mercury News (a newspaper that has endorsed Hillary Clinton and no other Republicans for state or federal office). Insinuating Trump had laid a “trap” which the protesters fell for. As if Trump somehow wanted his supporters to be egged and pummeled by the protesters for the purpose of gaining notoriety.
Again, we find our local media perpetuating the narrative that Trump is responsible for violent acts committed around his rallies.
What makes this story worse is the local and national media both being complicit in deflecting part of the blame for violence at various rallies on to law enforcement. This sort of journalism perpetuates a bias against them and makes their job even more difficult and dangerous than it already is.