WFRV CBS 5 | 4-4-2017
On March 29, 2017, Channel 5 (WFRV) featured a story on its website titled: April Ryan: The press is ‘under attack by this administration’. The story focuses on a tense interaction between White House reporter, April Ryan, and White House Press Secretary, Cmdr. Sean Spicer.
Read/Watch the report here.
Can you spot the bias? Probably not, because it’s what isn’t reported that causes this report to be biased. Let’s break it down.
First, the report quotes Ryan as stating that Spicer and the Trump Administration approach to the media is “about discrediting credible media.” Presumably, this means that Ryan is part of the “credible media.”
Here’s where the story becomes biased: the report fails to mention that despite her supposed journalistic bona fides, revelations by WikiLeaks demonstrate that Ryan was quite cozy with Hillary Clinton and her campaign, wishing Clinton luck before debates, encouraging her to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus, and even asking Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta: “I am going on MSNBC hardball [sic] is there anything I should say about Hillary Clinton on the show!”
Obviously, with these undeniable facts brought to the fore, one might better understand why Sean Spicer and the Trump Administration may not pay the respect to which Ms. Ryan and other members of the media establishment feel so entitled. Failure to report about Ryan’s prior efforts to aid the Clinton campaign constitutes bias by omission and context.
Lastly, Channel 5 commits bias by story selection. WMC’s view is that news reporters should not be newsmakers. And, when viewed in the full, proper context, this isn’t a news story at all: it is a piece clearly intended to engender sympathy for both Ms. Ryan and the media establishment as a whole, portraying both as victims of the Trump Administration.