Congressman Considers Action Against WBBM for Taking Four-Year-Old’s Quote Out of Context

By Andrew Gauthier 

Illinois congressman Bobby L. Rush is investigating WBBM’s recent airing of a news report that took the words of a four-year-old out of context, making him sound as if he was reveling in the violence that was occurring in his south Chicago neighborhood.

The CBS O&O has come under fire from journalism organizations and civil rights groups after it was discovered that the report, which aired on June 30th, used a provocative quote from the boy without providing his full statement, and now U.S. Rep. Rush is considering whether to take action.

Rush’s communications director Renee Ferguson, who used to work as an investigative reporter for WMAQ, told the Maynard Institute recently that the congressman “is very, very disturbed” about the incident.

“I know he feels it’s not enough to say it was just a mistake because there’s no such thing as just a mistake when you impact the life of a young child,” Ferguson said.

In a statement last month, Shawnelle Richie, WBBM’s communications director, said that the station accepts “responsibility for the mistakes that were made, both in the reporting and editing of the story. The video of the child should not have aired.”

Here’s the report in question…

WBBM included video of the boy saying “I’m going to have me a gun” but left out the context of the quote in which he explains that he plans to be a police officer when he grows up.