Appleton Post Crescent | 4-16-2017
In its Easter Sunday edition, the Appleton Post-Crescent (a member of the Gannett-USA Today Network) featured a whopper of a piece titled:
Protesters Demand Trump Release Taxes
You can read a version of the story at USA Today’s website here.
The title pretty much sums up the story: thousands of individuals participated in “Tax Day” rallies across the United States challenging President Trump to release his tax returns.
WMCF calls this story out as biased for two reasons.
First, and most obvious, the story contains Bias by Placement. “As a general rule story placement is a measure of how important the editor considers the story.”
Here, this story spanned 3 pages and featured multiple photos, all of which conjure images of President Trump as a “tax dodger” or some other nefarious character. Take a look:
By giving this much “copy” to this particular issue, the Post-Crescent demonstrates its political bent on this issue, choosing to use the paper as an opportunity to continue the “war cry” against Trump.
This is further brought to light when one looks at the extent to which the Post-Crescent presents alternative views on the issue of the release of Trump’s tax returns.
Nowhere within the story do we see an opposing view.
Certainly, there are individuals who couldn’t care less about seeing Trump’s returns – just as there was when conservatives were clamoring for Barack Obama’s birth certificate.
Despite the prevalence of these individuals, the Post-Crescent paints a picture as if the only person in the United States not wanting to Trump’s returns to be made public is Donald Trump. This is bias by selection of sources.