WBAY ABC 2 | 6-17-16 @ 5 p.m.
Editors Note: Updated 7-10-2016
Here’s a report by WBAY ABC 2 on the recent ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency) arrests of illegal immigrants with violent criminal records.
ICE.GOV NEWS RELEASE | 6/17/2016 | Wisconsin – 39 arrested
All 39 males have been convicted of crimes in the United States including: illegal possession of a firearm by a felon, carrying a concealed weapon, battery, domestic abuse, 4th degree sexual assault, drugs, and drunken driving. Four of the 39 were previously deported from the United States and illegally re-entered.
WBAY’s coverage taps into many of the biases we track. We’ll get started with the obvious. Bias by story selection.
We see WBAY’s true colors in the selection of this story following the ICE arrests. WBAY created a narrative focusing on how such arrests strike fear into otherwise law-abiding illegal aliens and how difficult it is for illegal immigrants to trust police.
Bias by commission is the passing along of assumptions that support a liberal view. The premise of this story (presented above) pushes the liberal viewpoint on illegal immigration. By contrast, WBAY has not elected to create a narrative on immigration which makes viewers sympathetic to the conservative viewpoint.
Further, we see bias by selection of sources. The subjects interviewed essentially hold the same position. Their sound bites support the narrative that those who entered the country illegally should be viewed sympathetically.
This may or may not be a valid opinion to hold depending on one’s viewpoint – but since it is an opinion, it is not journalistically sound to push this viewpoint on the public without challenge.
We do recognize that the reporter attempted to appear balanced once in this report by pushing back with a question to the illegal immigrant: “Why should anyone care that you live in fear of being deported when you came here illegally?” That, however, did not amount to balance in terms of selection of sources.
In fact, the police source in this report seemed to be put on the defense. The police chief is quoted as saying he doesn’t want his officers to strike “fear out of ordinarily law-abiding citizens.” This quote was used to play into the liberal assumption that the illegal immigrants are “law-abiding citizens.”
Further, there appears to be some out of context editing in this report conflating legal immigrants with illegal immigrants to further the reporter’s narrative. The police chief spoke of an instance when a legal immigrant expressed she was afraid of being stopped by police. The chief goes on to state he doesn’t want “law-abiding citizens” to be afraid of police. We see “citizens” as the key word here. We don’t think we’re splitting hairs to point out that Illegal immigrants are not “citizens.”
Again, the chief seemed to be speaking in terms of legal immigrants but the reporter portrayed his comments in the context of illegal immigrants. This is a liberal tactic to lump all immigrants in the same category. Liberals want to push the narrative that if you are against illegal immigration you are against all immigration. This, however, is false.
WBAY engaged in the commonly used bias by labeling as well. WBAY used the euphemism “undocumented” immigrant in this report. This is not accurate because these individuals are documented – they are just documented in another country. The term “illegal” immigrant actually accurately describes their status in the United States. The adjective “illegal” is banned in the liberal lexicon, however.