You can’t name your source, but we can name your bias

If one were to scroll through Jenna Johnson’s twitter feed it would quickly become evident that she does not support the new President, or the White House’s new approaches toward policy and relations with the media. Jenna Johnson’s recent article, Unnamed White House official on implementing travel ban: ‘It really is a massive success story’, meanders from its purpose of presenting unbiased news to American citizens. One might read ‘The Washington Post’ and assume its inherent credibility. However, the author’s bias and personal ideologies infiltrate her writing, as Johnson shares her personal opinion of the new White House administration. Johnson’s rhetoric and diction condescends the senior administration official, calling his or her explanation “jargon-filled” and introduces his or her announcement as a “45-minute defense”. She also introduces his or her quotes to highlight the official’s inconsistency, stating he or she “jumped in to explain the ban in another way”, rather then letting the readers decide this for themselves.

Jenna Johnson also fails to cite many of her sources, leaving much of her evidence seemingly unreliable. Even her title announces that the entire article will revolve around the “Unnamed”. She also claims that “a reporter pointed out” an interesting fact about the countries listed on the ban, and yet this reporter remains unnamed as well. Furthermore, when addressing an executive order that the anonymous source claimed was reviewed by “several of the top immigration staff on Capitol Hill” and “approved by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel and reviewed by some government agencies”, Jenna Johnson could have interviewed with some of these leaders.  Also precluded from the article are those directly affected by the ban, such as the immigrants or green card holders mentioned throughout the piece. Including these sources would have given her article a more holistic and well-balanced view.

Although Jenna presents vital news, her motivation appears alternative, such as the alternative facts she clearly expresses her distaste for on twitter.

Her rhetoric places the media in the ring with the white house, resulting in an entirely other argument: the White House is attacking the media as unreliable and underperforming. unnamed

Jenna points out how the white house official removes any blame of giving incorrect information by placing it onto CNN. She also highlights how the official attacks the media for their “false, misleading, inaccurate, hyperventilating” coverage of the “fractional, marginal, minuscule percentage” of international travelers. Jenna Johnson’s underlying persuasion causes the readers to empathize with the media, and thus belittles the White House with the media coming out on top.

If one sniffs around Jenna Johnson’s article long enough, one might SMELL something fishy, such as a lack of transparency and biased motivation. The logic of the article makes sense with the recent political news circulating from this election; however, asserting opinions in news articles should not be normalized simply because of the inconsistency of this election.


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