Media Coverage of ASU's Conservative Discrimination Scandal Is a Perfect Case Study of Political Bias in Reporting


The establishment media can always be trusted with leaving out important context in its coverage.

In recent news, this is quite evidently the case when it comes to Arizona State University’s anti-conservative scandal involving student journalist Rae’Lee Klein.

On Thursday, ASU agreed to a financial settlement with Klein, months after she had been ousted from her position as manager of the college’s Blaze Radio station.

Klein’s removal came following a tweet she put out regarding the police shooting of Jacob Blake that occurred last August.

Many progressive students and activists were quick to accuse Klein of racism over the tweet, which eventually led to her removal from Blaze Radio (although ASU still claims she was not removed because of the tweet).

Watch: Biden Admits 'We Can't Be Trusted' in Latest Major Blunder

In reality, Klein’s tweet was not racist; it was not justifying the shooting or arguing that Blake deserved to be shot, as the outrage mob was quick to claim.

If one was to learn about the case from The Arizona Republic’s coverage of the scandal, however, that may have appeared to be the case.

Arizona’s largest newspaper, The Arizona Republic, feigns political neutrality — much like many establishment media outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, NPR and ABC.

In its coverage of Klein’s settlement with ASU, however, it was not exactly fair and balanced, despite pretending to be.

This wasn’t because the outlet lied. In most cases of political bias in reporting, lying isn’t the issue.

Instead, what often leads to biased, misleading coverage is missing context, which was certainly the case in this instance.

Here is The Republic’s description of Klein’s post: “In the aftermath of police shooting Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Aug. 23, Klein shared a New York Post article with graphic details from a police report accusing Blake of sexual assault. The Aug. 29 tweet, which was later deleted, was captioned, ‘Always more to the story, folks. Please read this article to get the background of Jacob Blake’s warrant. You’ll be quite disgusted.'”

“Many interpreted her post as justifying or excusing police brutality against Black people,” the outlet continued. “Klein defended it as sharing truthful information and an additional perspective.”

Based on this description, it could reasonably be assumed that Klein’s post was meant to justify the shooting of Jacob Blake simply because he had a few pending charges against him.

This is not what she was trying to say in the slightest.

Watch: Biden Just Had a 'Very Fine People on Both Sides' Moment That Could Cause Him Big Trouble

In order to understand the full context of Klein’s tweet, one must also understand the full context of the Jacob Blake shooting, as well as the prevailing left-wing narratives that surrounded the said shooting at the time.

Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by a police officer on Aug. 23.

For many left-wing activists, this is the extent of the story.

Nevertheless, the Wisconsin Department of Justice later issued a statement explaining Blake had been resisting arrest at the time. According to the report, two tasers had been deployed but failed to stop him and a knife was later found on the floorboard where he reached into his vehicle moments before being shot.

Moreover, the New York Post story shared by Klein in her tweet revealed that Blake was wanted in connection with three charges filed in relation to an alleged sexual assault against the very woman who called police shortly before the shooting occurred.

In summary, a woman who Blake allegedly digitally raped called police to the scene. Blake then resisted arrest and reached into his car — where a knife was later found — when he was shot.

With this added context in mind, Klein’s actions become much clearer — she wasn’t justifying the shooting of Blake, but rather showing that police were attempting to do their jobs when they arrived on the scene.

This sentiment about the officers involved was later echoed in January by Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley, who elected not to charge the officers at the scene, saying, “I do not believe the state … would be able to prove that the privilege of self-defense is not available.”

This context remains shockingly absent not only from The Republic’s coverage of Klein’s case, but also from various other outlets’ coverage of Klein and the Blake shooting.

On Tuesday, Klein spoke with The Western Journal about how The Republic’s reporting of her case had been missing important context.

In her opinion, since coverage of her story has been repeatedly “passed around to a lot of different reporters,” a lot of important information about the case has been “lost in translation.”

Is the establishment media biased?

She further noted that some of the reporters assigned to the case were not full-time journalists, but actually fellow ASU students who were “either interning or helping” and may have had a personal agenda.

“The tweet in itself was never supposed to be this harmful, political, awful thing. It was really just to say, ‘Hey, yeah, this is awful but there’s also this other piece of information that hasn’t been shared yet that’s equally important,'” Klein told The Western Journal.

“Whether it hurts your feelings or not, it is the truth and that’s our job as journalists — to seek the full truth.”

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , , , , ,
Michael wrote for a number of entertainment news outlets before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter. He now manages the writing and reporting teams, overseeing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of Manager of Writing and Reporting. His responsibilities now include managing and directing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Ames, Iowa
Iowa State University
Topics of Expertise
Culture, Faith, Politics, Education, Entertainment