FOX 6 | 6-12-2017
On Friday, June 24th, WMCF President, Will McKinley, addressed recent news report from Milwaukee’s Fox 6 (WITI) while guest-hosting The Jerry Bader Show.
The report, titled: Democrat looking to challenge Gov. Walker didn’t sign recall petition, says he was never asked to, questions the bona fides of Milwaukee businessman – and Democrat – Andy Gronik because he did not sign the petition to recall Scott Walker in 2012.
First, watch the report;
You can also read it here.
Now, on occasion we get asked if all we identify is liberal bias in the media. The answer is, no. We cannot help that a vast majority of the bias found in local media happens to be liberal; however, when presented with a report that contains bias negatively affecting a liberal or left-leaning issue or individual, we are happy to call it out.
Fox 6 has given us just such an opportunity!
This story regarding Andy Gronik contains four general types of bias.
First, Fox 6 commits bias by policy endorsement. Here, the report creates the impression that eligibility to serve as a Democratic candidate for Governor requires that the candidate have signed the petition to recall Scott Walker. Both Republicans and Democrats have previously questioned the “legitimacy” of their party membership based on the mere existence of a signature on a recall petition. In this report, Fox 6 adopts this mentality: Mr. Gronik cannot be a true Democrat if he didn’t sign a recall petition. To WMCF’s knowledge, no such requirement exists.
This segues into the next type of bias: Spin. Here, Fox 6 spins the story as if Mr. Gronik might have ulterior motives or his heart may truly lie elsewhere. The report goes so far as to even question the legitimacy of his explanation for not signing the recall petition: “he wasn’t asked to.”
On this point, Fox 6 steps into another area of bias: source selection. The report features a professor from UWM to further refute Gronik’s assertion that he was not asked to sign a recall petition. Aside from general questions concerning how a professor of “urban planning” really has any basis to challenge Gronik’s statements, the reality is that Fox 6 went out of its way to gather a third party source to give credence to the narrative it is pushing in this story: if you don’t sign the recall petition, you’re not a true Democrat.
And thus, we are left with our last form of bias: story selection. Fox 6 discovers that Gronik didn’t sign the recall petition and asks Gronik for an explanation, which he provides. In essence, had he been asked to sign the recall, he would have.
How is this a story then?
Serious questions are raised as to whether this story had a purpose beyond just highlighting what should be a trivial fact about a potential Democrat candidate.