A multimedia journalist for NBC affiliate KTTC-TV was fired Friday for wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat to a Trump rally he was covering.
Images showing journalist James Bunner wearing the red MAGA hat began surfacing on Twitter shortly after the rally began in Rochester, Minnesota, according to multiple published reports.
Noel Sederstrom, the station’s news director, stated that company policy does not allow staff members to wear apparel from political campaigns while reporting.
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Bunner also reportedly uploaded a video of himself appearing to celebrate by dancing in a newsroom on President Donald Trump’s inauguration day.
He wrote as a caption: “Me watching the Trump inauguration.”
Bunner was fired not because of his pro-Trump hat nor because of the political views he posted to his social media accounts, Sederstrom told BuzzFeed News.
“He violated our policy so he’s no longer with us,” Sederstrom told the news outlet. “We don’t allow our people to wear campaign clothing while on assignment.”
The rule is a standard practice for news organizations.
BuzzFeed reported Bunner “once added an NRA banner to his profile picture. And in another post, he wrote, ‘You watch CNN to oogle Brooke, Kate, Erin, Brianna, Sunlen, and Poppy. Not for journalistic integrity.’ ”
Bunner’s picture was taken by Mark Vancleave, a video journalist for Minnesota’s Star Tribune.
Bunner’s online KTTC profile was removed Friday. The profile had indicated Bunner began working at the TV station in December 2017 and was based at its Austin bureau, BuzzFeed reported.