“[W]e… need to look at what the anointed media do with their elite status,” I wrote in a Rights Watch column titled “Authorized Journalists” back in February 2009. “Meaning how they slant supposedly straight news stories to fit their anti-gun agenda. And ignore other stories altogether… Combine that with an almost astounding ignorance of their subject matter.”
If anything, the bias appears to be getting worse. As the November elections appear to have resulted in a temporary reprieve from new federal legislative infringements, and as many states are moving to relax gun restrictions, hysteria from our supposed “government watchdogs” is becoming more shrill. Here are a few recent examples:
In Ohio, editorial boards of major newspapers seemed unanimous in decrying a state Supreme Court decision validating preemption, meaning cities like Cleveland could no longer impose characteristics-based firearms bans. Their talking point, straight from the Brady playbook, was that this did “violence” to “home rule.” Of course, the fact that “gun control” laws never seem to carve out local exemptions is never acknowledged, let alone advocated for. The only “one size fits all” solution they endorse applies to shackles.
A New Zealand correspondent commented on her adventures in Texas, bemoaning how the frequent sight of armed diner patrons left her “spellbound and queasy.” Only one problem: Open carry is still illegal in the Lone Star State, although moves are underway to reform that. Not that her readers were told that.
Following a series of hit pieces, The Washington Post repeated the canard that 90 percent of Mexican “crime guns” come from private US sellers and went further to suggest that fewer than one percent of them came from official Mexican sources—despite corruption among the military and police being rampant, that one of the most powerful cartels, Los Zetas, was started by former officers and that much of the seized ordnance includes machine guns, grenades and the like.
Along those lines, the El Paso Times informed its readers that an illegal buyer could purchase up to 600 “automatic weapons a year” and that “no dealer is going to remember” that person—despite machine guns being NFA-controlled firearms. When this was exposed as hopelessly incompetent journalism at best, the paper issued a quiet retraction claiming they meant to say “high-powered rifles,” which again, is simply nonsense.
ABC’s “Good Morning America” featured a spokesman for the Brady Campaign stumping for more “gun control,” and went out of their way to assure the audience he was “not anti-gun.”
These are but a few examples of media dereliction of duty from its proper role of being a watchdog of government, not its lapdog. As gun owners interested in protecting our right to keep and bear arms from attacks on all fronts, we must all be on guard against misrepresentation and deception, and be ready to expose it when we see it.
Farewell To A Friend
I would be remiss in not mentioning the untimely passing on Dec. 21, 2010 of Aaron S. Zelman, executive director of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. He was 64. A great friend and defender of liberty has been lost.—David Codrea
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