NBC 26 Commits Bias by Selection of Sources

WGBA NBC 26 |   11-29-2016

On November 29, 2016, NBC 26 (WGBA) featured a story on its website titled:

Support pours in for Michaels employee after customer’s rant

The story, found here focuses on video taken of a Michaels craft store customer shouting at two employees.

Can you see the bias within the story?

First, let’s address the more general bias here, which is bias by story selection. Here, the underlying theme of the story is that a Donald Trump supporter verbally attacked two black women.

As WMC has pointed out in the past, both the national and local media continue to feature stories that further the narrative that Donald Trump supporters are racists, while downplaying or altogether ignoring stories about liberals instigating violence or demonizing Trump supporters.  

Next, the customer claims a Michaels employee instigated the verbal attack when the employee made a comment about the customer’s support of Trump. The reporter dismisses this fact, though, because “[t]he employee can be heard on video denying the claim.” This is bias by spin.

Lastly, let’s address the bias by selection of sources. Going back to the incessant narrative that Trump supporters are “racist,” here, the reporter does not outwardly call the customer as such, but instead says the customer’s comments were “deemed by many online commenters as ‘racist.’”  

How many is many? Were there other online commenters who believed the customer’s comments were not racist? In which online forum where these comments found?

Ultimately, by citing the opinions of an unstated number of anonymous online sources, NBC 26 creates the illusion of fact – the customer was racist – when, in fact, the customer may not be.

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