It would seem that journalism professor Chris Swindell has forgotten the elementary lesson we all learned that one should be able to answer the 5 Ws when reporting a story. Sure, he asserted the Who, and he made some dubious claims about the What and Why. But, he didn’t include the When, Where–you know, the actual evidence for his claims.
Here it is. The NRA advocates armed rebellion against the duly elected government of the United States of America. That’s treason, and it’s worthy of the firing squad.
I’m sure most of you have read this article by now since it was linked on Drudge, but I have to admit that I’m floored the Charleston Gazette opted to run it since claims like this aren’t backed up by any kinds of quotes or speech references. It’s devoid of facts, but makes outlandish claims while citing zero evidence for much of his piece. In the few areas where he does reference some kind of “fact,” it is misconstrued beyond even what even other liberals will claim, or as far as I can tell in one reference, completely falsified.
The closest Swindell comes to actually citing any sort of “evidence,” he completely misconstrues the case beyond even what Media Matters was willing to do. He references Jim Porter’s speech where he made the comment that in the South, plenty of people still call the Civil War the War of Northern Aggression. He made the comment as a joke in discussing the fact that the NRA was founded in New York, where he was speaking in 2012. (See what I did there? I answered who, where, when, why, and what. That lesson is free of charge, Chris Swindell.) Swindell falsifies the “fact” and claims that it was an entire speech about the Civil War. No, it wasn’t. In fact, Porter, in one throw away line during a speech that briefly mentioned the history of the NRA, was making light of something that is actually true in some areas. I didn’t even live in the old south that was most involved in the Civil War, and I heard people call it the War of Northern Aggression.
At another point in Swindell’s article, he says:
To turn the song lyric they so love to quote back on them, “We’ll put a boot in your —, it’s the American way.”
I know this sounds petty, but where they hell is the evidence that any NRA leader quoted that song at Annual Meeting or any other event? I was there, and I don’t recall hearing it. I searched for it, and I can’t find any references for Wayne LaPierre or Jim Porter quoting from the song. In fact, the singer responsible for the song from which that lyric is lifted is a Democrat who openly supports Obama’s policies. (Toby Keith was once hired to play an NRA convention 5 years prior to his declaration of support for Obama. That puts Keith outside of the mainstream of even other Oklahoma Democrats since not even the Democratic elected official to DC would support Obama.)
But back to the point of the post, there’s no actual evidence that I can find that this lyric was quoted. The evidence shows that Jim Porter did not actually deliver an entire speech on the Civil War while only calling it the War of Northern Aggression. And there are no actual quotes referenced that back up Swindell’s claim that it’s time to kill NRA members with assaults from tanks, jets, and missiles while putting the rest of us up in front of a firing squad.
Now, I get that the Charleston Gazette probably ran this piece because they knew exactly the kind of response it would get. I mean, come on; who isn’t going to click on an article by a journalism professor who advocates killing 5 million Americans for having different political views? But maybe I’m naïve when I think that even such link bait should at least follow the most elementary of journalistic principles. Apparently the editors of the Gazette and the journalism department of Marshall University don’t agree and believe that facts are optional in their reports.
34 Responses to “Journalism Prof Misfires on NRA Speech Claims”
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