There are some things you just can’t do and keep you job in the news media these days. A local TV reporter was reportedly fired Friday after he wore a “Make America Great Again” hat while covering President Trump’s rally Thursday in Rochester, Minnesota.
Jim Bunner was a multimedia journalist with Minnesota’s NBC affiliate KTTC-TV. He was seen wearing one of the president’s signature red MAGA hats and a red jacket with KTTC’s logo, according to Buzzfeed News.
Mark Vancleave, a video journalist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, took a picture of Bunner outside the rally at the Mayo Civic Center on Thursday. That’s how the image went public.
— Mark Vancleave 📹+📷 (@MDVancleave) October 4, 2018
Bunner joined KTTC in December 2017 and was fired from the station the day after the rally.
“He violated our policy so he’s no longer with us,” Noel Sederstrom, news director for KTTC, told the outlet. “We don’t allow our people to wear campaign clothing while on assignment.”
Bunner did not return Buzzfeed’s request for comment.
Buzzfeed News noted that many news outlets recommend or have explicit rules against making political displays or statements in an effort to maintain objectivity in their reporting. Wearing campaign clothing or pins, especially while working, is prohibited across the industry.
Bunner had previously been vocal on social media about his political leanings. A banner for the National Rifle Association was found in a previous Facebook profile picture. And Bunner posted a photo of himself dancing in the KTTC newsroom when Trump was inaugurated.
Sederstrom told Buzzfeed News that Bunner was fired for wearing the MAGA hat at the rally, not because of his social media posts.
“It’s not something we allow,” he said.
Do you think this represents a double standard in the news media? Would he have been fired if he wore something that embraced a liberal political view? Let us know what you think.