Jim Bunner, a reporter who wore a “Make America Great Again” hat outside of a rally in Minnesota, has been fired from his job. Bunner was working for KTTC covering Donald Trump’s rally in the Mayo Civic Center when he was spotted wearing the hat along with a station-branded coat. Speaking to Buzzfeed, the news director of the station, Noel Sederstrom, said Bunner had “violated our policy so he’s no longer with us. We don’t allow our people to wear campaign clothing while on assignment… It’s not something we allow.” According to the Minnesota State Tribune, the photo of Bunner wearing the hat was taken by their photographer, Mark Vancleave.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Bunner Has a Banner on His Facebook Page that Reads, ‘I’m the NRA’
On his Facebook page, the last publicly visible post shows Bunner outside of the White House with a banner around the picture saying, “I’m the NRA.” On that page, Bunner says that he’s from Kearney, Nebraska, and graduated from Sidney High School as well as the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Bunner studied Spanish and Broadcasting in college. In a March 2017 post, Bunner compared Donald Trump to the Baltimore Ravens saying, “Supposed to fail but keeps chuggin’ along. Not the most successful record in some respects, but successful in others.”
2. Bunner’s Alleged Stalking of a Woman in 2012 Caused a Bomb Scare at a Nebraska College
In July 2012, Bunner was arrested and accused of disturbing the peace at the La Vista campus of Metropolitan Community College in Nebraska, reported WOWT. The station’s report says that Bunner was allegedly stalking a female student at the school and had been sending her threatening texts and leaving phone messages. Bunner then allegedly caused a bomb scare when he put water balloons under the woman’s car. The woman called the police and a bomb squad was dispatched to the school. The school’s police chief, Dave Friend, told WOWT, “The incident started when two people involved having on out on at least one date, she didn’t want to continue the relationship, he did.” The station’s report adds that police said Bunner began harassing the woman after she rebuffed his advances.
3. In his Final Broadcast, Bunner Said the Minnesota Rally Was Going to Be ‘Yuge
Bunner said in the report, “I’ve met people all the way from Mankato, from Iowa, from Eagle Lake, you name it. They are excited for the fact the president of the United States is visiting Rochester. This is big! This is ‘yuge, in the words of Donald Trump.”
4. Bunner Said After Trump’s Election, ‘At Least Obama’s Legacy Has Been Destroyed & Hillary Will Never be President’
Bunner is a contributor to news site Blasting News. One article Bunner wrote is titled, “Liberals want Trump to react on Charlottesville before all facts are out.” Among the quotes shared by Bunner is a quote from right-wing pundit Anne Coulter that reads, “We’ve finally given liberals a war on fundamentalism and they don’t want to fight it. They would, except it would put them on the same side as the United States.” On the day of Trump’s election, Bunner wrote on Facebook, “I never have been a big Trump fan. I love a lot of what he’s saying and believe if he could live up to all of these promises he’s made about immigration and the Supreme Court, he could be a fantastic president. Look on the bright side. At least now Obama’s legacy has been destroyed, Hillary Clinton will never be president, and there’s gonna be a whole lot of pissed off liberals in the morning.”
5. Media Organizations Are Constantly Reminding Reporters Not to Espouse Political Alliegences Publicly
Between February 2011 and December 2011, Bunner was the news director for KWOA Radio in Worthington, Minnesota. In October 2017, <a href="CNN reported that the New York Times had reinforced their social media policy, saying that reporters had to keep their personal opinions off of social media. A month earlier, <a href="the Washington Post reported that Politico had rejected numerous hires because of “toxic Twitter feeds” regarding personal opinions.