What in the name of MAGA-mania was this guy thinking?
A reporter for a Minnesota TV station was fired this past Thursday because he wore a Make America Great Again gimme cap … while covering a Donald J. Trump political rally in Rochester, Minn.
Yep, this guy violated what usually is considered a cardinal rule of journalism. You do not reveal your political bias while you are on the job reporting on political events.
KTTC-TV in Austin, Minn., has a policy that prohibits such blatant bias on the job. So, when James Brunner, a multimedia journalist for the station, showed up at a Trump rally wearing the MAGA hat, it went viral on Twitter. It got back to his bosses at KTTC. They fired him.
Holy cow, man!
I have long had my own political bias. Never did I display it while reporting on or commenting on the news of the day at any of the newspapers where I worked. Not in Oregon or in Texas.
I didn’t even plaster bumper stickers on my cars, which I also always assumed were against the rules. Interestingly, I did see some political bumper stickers on vehicles driven by non-newsroom employees at the Amarillo Globe-News, my last duty station before I retired; I always thought even advertising sales reps shouldn’t be allowed to display their bias on the job.
This fellow, Brunner, has learned a tough — but totally necessary — lesson about the fine line journalists must walk when they are on the job, reporting on politics and policy.