WFRV Spins “Official” Election Results

WFRV CBS 5 | 12-5-2016

Editor’s Note: This analysis has been retracted. See here for more details.

On Monday, December 5, 2016, during its 10 pm newscast, Channel 5 (WFRV) presented what likely appeared to most as an innocuous story regarding the ongoing presidential election vote recount in Wisconsin. However, to the discerning ear, one could hear subtle bias by spin being committed.

In the report, Channel 5’s anchor stated that there was “little change so far in the unofficial results reported on election night.” Do you see the problem with this statement?

The anchor’s use of the term “unofficial” is not only false, but furthers the narrative that the original results were somehow not “the true results.”

To be clear, on November 8, 2016 the Wisconsin Election Commission posted the “official” results of the presidential election, which were later subject to a recount.  At no time were the results released by the WEC ever considered “unofficial.”

Perhaps this was just poor reporting, but when there is an ongoing pattern in the media to delegitimize a validly elected candidate by claiming their victory was somehow suspect, WMC has no choice but to call out the potential bias.

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