WBAY ABC 2 | 10-11-2016
Note: This is Part Two of a 2-part analysis concerning biased content on WBAY’s website. Part One addresses the actual bias discovered – this Part addresses WBAY’s response when called out on the bias.
Last week, WMCF presented an analysis demonstrating how WBAY was perpetuating bias against Republican Presidential Candidate, Donald Trump, by featuring clearly anti-Trump “AP Fact Check” stories over, and over, and over… if you haven’t read that analysis, you can do so here:
Now, the sheer fact that WBAY was featuring anti-Trump stories authored by the Associated Press is not of particular surprise. However, what was of surprise is the response that WBAY gave when confronted with the clear anti-Trump bias.
On Monday, October 3rd, the President of WMCF personally reached out to WBAY to point out the obvious bias. The next day, the news director at WBAY responded as follows:
“I suggest you take it up with them.”
Flippancy aside, it was shocking to see that WBAY’s position was that when it publishes third-party news content, it is not accountable for the bias contained in said content, and said content is not subject to debate. Instead, viewers/listeners are supposed to track down the original author of the biased piece and “take it up with them.”
Clearly, WBAY was missing the point here. So, in a follow-up effort to clarify, the following message was transmitted:
Unfortunately, the point continued to be missed. In response, WBAY concluded:
So, it is clear that WBAY’s position is that regardless of being presented with clear bias if the AP publishes it, it shall be published without further review.
In short, WMCF admonishes WBAY (along with all other local news outlets) to not just rely on news sources or contributors blindly, especially when provided evidence of a clear pattern of selective targeting of a political candidate. Choosing to ignore bias is just as inappropriate as choosing to commit bias.