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School Forces Conservative Journalism Student Out, Refuses To Say What Rules She Broke

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A recently released email has confirmed that Rae’Lee Klein, a student journalist and station manager for an Arizona State University radio station, has been removed from her post for sharing a New York Post article detailing the arrest warrant for Jacob Blake.

A viral video showed Blake, the black man shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Aug. 23, being shot in the back seven times after he resisted arrest and attempted to get into his car against police orders. The Wisconsin Department of Justice later issued a statement confirming two tasers had been deployed but failed to stop the 29-year-old suspect. A knife was found on the floorboard near where he reached into the vehicle.

The story Klein shared revealed that Blake was wanted in connection with three charges filed last month in relation to an alleged sexual assault against the very woman who had called police shortly before the shooting occurred.

In the caption of her tweet, Klein made it clear that she was sharing what she believed to be important context to the shooting. “Always more to the story, folks. Please read this article to get the background of Jacob Blake’s warrant. You’ll be quite disgusted.”

Kristin Gilger, the interim dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU, gave Klein three options regarding her removal: “reassignment to another student worker position,” “remain on the board with the assignment I outlined” or “start your own station,” according to emails obtained by Campus Reform.

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On Thursday, Klein spoke with The Western Journal about her removal.

“I’m not surprised, like I’ve said in previous interviews, it was just waiting for the day that the shoe would fall, that I would be removed,” Klein told The Western Journal.

“I’m disappointed that I wasn’t told under what statutes I’m being removed under.”

Although no one told Klein what rules she had broken at the time, she was later informed by the dean that she had broken a “social media guideline” about “not having opinions.”

Do you think Klein was treated fairly?

“I just still feel that I’m not being held to the same standard as all my other peers and the fact that they didn’t provide me with that information until after I was already removed and the fact that it stands as a guideline and not an actually written rule is just even further disappointing.”

Klein then addressed the fact that the Walter Cronkite College Council had previously called the tweet “factually misleading, discriminatory and racist,” without providing any evidence as to how Klein’s tweet, or the police records shared in the New York Post story, could have possibly been misleading.

“It’s disappointing again because what I tweeted was a fact that has been proven by some state police reports. The fact is there is always more to a story. There’s multiple angles and there can be two truths that don’t necessarily align, but it doesn’t make either one of them less important,” Klein told The Western Journal.

“And the fact that they haven’t really been able to refute that just further proves that it’s a truth. I think it’s very evident of how some journalists, institutions and individuals really kind of pick and choose what truths are told to fit a bigger, broader agenda.

“From my understanding of what a journalist is, we know our job is not to pick and choose which truths are told.”

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Klein finished her comments off by explaining why she thinks all this drama started in the first place.

“I think the whole reason behind all of this is that it just was a hard truth that didn’t fit an agenda. And that’s why the backlash has been so bad,” Klein explained.

The Western Journal reached out to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

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Michael Austin joined The Western Journal as a staff reporter in 2020. Since then, he has authored hundreds of stories, including several original reports. He also co-hosts the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."
Michael Austin joined The Western Journal as a staff reporter in 2020. Since then, he has authored hundreds of stories, including several original reports. He also co-hosts the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."
Birthplace
Ames, Iowa




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