The Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel reported on the recent neo-Nazi rally which occurred in West Allis on Saturday, September 3rd. Given that this small, reprehensible group has already received way too much publicity, thus only helping add fuel to the fire, the reporting itself is yet another classic example of bias in the media. Supposedly 30 supremacists turned out - organized by a neo-Nazi group from Detroit, along with 100 police officers and 2,000 counter protesters (although these numbers seem high when compared to radio reports on the event, which stated there were just a few hundred counter protesters and a dozen neo-Nazis.).
The article "5 Arrested at neo-Nazi rally" (9/4/2011) by Meg Kissinger and Tom Kertscher of the Journal/Sentinel staff, clearly demonstrates how the reporters will try to slant a story. Of course most people find groups like the neo-Nazis to be very offensive and disturbing. Kissinger and Kertscher wrote that during the rally, five people were arrested and taken into custody by police. Two people were taken away for weapons violations and three were arrested for disorderly conduct. Yet, the reporters did their readers a disservice by refusing to report who was arrested. It is easy to surmise that it was NOT the neo-Nazis who broke the law on weapons violations and disorderly conduct. If any of the neo-Nazis had been taken into custody, this would have made the headlines. So, why try to cover this up? If the counter protesters broke the law - this should have been mentioned in the article. It all goes along with the who, what, why, where, when, and how guidelines that good journalists are supposed to abide by.
Yet, Ms. Kissinger and Mr. Kertscher failed to do their jobs. Was this just bad reporting? Probably not. Was this an intentional attempt to protect to the counter protesters from bad publicity? Sure seems that way. Simply because the reporters wanted the neo-Nazis to be despised (and rightfully so), they decided to leave out necessary information from their report. Obvious bias such as this has no place in a news story. Because the reporters wanted to portray the neo-Nazis as the bad guys and the counter protesters as the good guys, they were willing to overlook the fact that some of the counter protesters couldn't abide by the law. Picking and choosing what to include in an article based on one's own feelings and agenda is wrong. Period.
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