620 WTMJ Obfuscates Statistics on Illegal Guns

620 WTMJ |  10-30-2017

Did you see this headline from a recent 620 WTMJ article?

Report: Wisconsin plays a role in Chicago’s gun problem

The anchor obfuscates the truth when he states that “60% of those crime guns come from outside the state.” The implication here is that Wisconsin must be a main contributor to Chicago’s crimes and should perhaps do something!

However, the referenced report notes, that a mere 4% of the “illegal” guns come from Wisconsin.

2017-11-03_11-42-06Measuring a period of four years from 2013-2016. 4% still equates to a measurable number, although, it is not as significant as 620 WTMJ leads people to believe.

“For the purposes of this report, a crime gun refers to a firearm recovered by CPD that was illegally possessed, used, or suspected to be used in furtherance of a crime” (GUN TRACE REPORT, pg. 1, 2017).

The headline and the Facebook page title for 620 WTMJ are examples of bias by headline and context.

By stretching the truth and not providing proper context; 620 WTMJ perpetuates the liberal media narrative that “guns” are bad. In essence, deflecting Chicago’s crime problem and casting blame on the state of Wisconsin and it’s law abiding gun owners and sellers. Who in reality have very little to do with the “illegal guns” or gun crimes in Illinois.

Perhaps the publisher of this article is counting on their audience to assume that this is a significant issue and that they’ll just take their word for it. Or maybe WTMJ is hoping that their readers/viewers are too lazy to click through and read the cited report where the 4% number is buried. Whatever the case may be, clickbate articles seem to work. So great job 620 WTMJ by contributing to the legitimate mistrust of the media.

“WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ trust and confidence in the mass media “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly” has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with 32% saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media. This is down eight percentage points from last year” (Gallup, 2016).


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