Currently Browsing: The Media
Nov 15, 2013
Boy, if you think the media is anti-gun now, it’s probably time to just turn it all off and cut off the subscriptions.
This article on the gun control debate in a New York City high school is recognized as one of the “best” pieces of student journalism in the entire region.
The most effort the team of three students made to get a remotely opposing opinion was to talk to a social studies teacher who acknowledged that there’s a legal right to own a handgun, only in the home for self-defense there. He makes it very clear that no other guns and purposes should be allowed, “just a pistol to defend the home.”
I get that these are just high school kids, but it is a little disturbing that they don’t even make an effort to try and present an alternative position or outline why someone might not agree with the vast majority of the proposals that other students and public school employees suggest. The fact that this lack of any real effort to present even an argument from the opposition is not only printed in a student paper, but actually awarded a prize for high school reporting is disturbing to me. It’s like the major mainstream media outlets are admitting that it’s not even worth it to pretend they aren’t just partisan hacks.
Oct 24, 2013
In the mailbox this morning:
Discover the IMPROVED INQUIRER! If you haven’t seen The Inquirer in a while, it’s time to look again. Because there’s a better Inquirer, and improved Inquirer, now with MORE YOU.
There’s already enough of me, I think. In fact, there could stand to be about 50 pounds less of me. I don’t want more me in my newspaper, but I’d really like one that presents local news in a balanced fashion, and isn’t just a mouthpiece for the establishment left. So until they apologize for that, instead of saying “MORE YOU,” I’ll continue monitoring other sources.
Seriously, that has to be the dumbest marketing campaign I’ve ever seen. I hope they didn’t pay too much for someone to come up with the MORE YOU campaign. If so, I’d want my money back.
Aug 19, 2013
Far be it for me to defend Bloomberg, but the only problem I can see here is that the slides aren’t locked back to indicate an empty chamber. But not all firearms have slides that lock back, so I consider that splitting hairs. No one is handling the guns that I can see, so unless you violate gun safety rules every time you go downrange with weapons cleared, there’s no problem here. The rule involves guns that are being handled. Guns sitting on a display table don’t magically go off. Otherwise your typical gun show is an egregious violation of gun safety rules.
Listen, I appreciate that the right media is getting into the gun thing, and trying to defend the right. But sometimes it’s not only the mainstream media, or left media, that needs to learn a lesson or two about guns.
Aug 8, 2013
It looks like sales of magazines for firearms are on the rise. You might assume that I mean the firearms parts that go into guns, but it’s actually the paper product that lands in your mailbox or on store shelves.
In fact, the double digit increases are pretty much the only bright spot in the publishing world, according to AdWeek.
From the highlights of the research, it looked like Food Network’s magazine was also on the rise. I’m sure the combination of rising popularity of firearms & food magazines is enough to give Mike Bloomberg some heartburn as he chows down on his dinner tonight.
Jul 11, 2013
As gun owners, we’ve seen many cases where headlines and teasers for news stories involving firearms or perceived threats are played up in order to attract more eyeballs to a story or viewers to a newscast. It’s not something new to us.
But, a couple of recent observations have made me wonder if this is actually going to get worse across all issues and news outlets in order to compete for traffic and the possibility of going viral.
One great example of this is @HuffPoSpoilers. The description lays out the exact point of the account: “I give in to @HuffingtonPost click-bait so you don’t have to.” I follow because I think it’s pretty funny most of the time. But reading the original HuffPo teasers and headlines has really floored me about just how much of a stretch they take to make the most mundane sound interesting in order to get people clicking on their site.
The reason I wonder if this effort to stretch relatively run-of-the-mill stories into even more over-the-top headlines came from an incident today from one of our local news outlets. This is the headline: “Arrest Warrant Issued For Alleged Wedding Crasher”
Now, if you’re like me and have actually crashed a wedding, this gets attention. Is this a case of insane prosecution? Do we have a new breed of Bridezilla that would actually file charges against that person who stumbled onto her dance floor and maybe had an appetizer or drink? My wedding crashing story involves no eating or drinking on the wedding party’s tab. However, my friend did end up in some reception photos. Still, as a person who has technically met the definition of crashing a wedding, this gets my attention.
It turns out that the story gets far less titillating in the second paragraph where we find out a closer version to the events: “…he allegedly crashed a local wedding reception and stole thousands of dollars worth of wedding gifts.” By the third and fourth paragraphs, we find it’s more accurately described as a man who simply broke into a car visibly stuffed with valuables. Somehow, the story of a pretty typical car break-in becomes a headline about arresting a wedding crasher.
I guess the reason I bring this up here is because I think it’s an interesting phenomenon to address as news viewers/readers. I think as gun owners, we’ve actually already been through the worst of it. Even when we still see bias in the media, it tends to be less over-the-top than in the 90s or earlier. I suspect part of that is because gun owners have managed to jump all over the really inaccurate stories and writers. The fact is that many reporters don’t want the hassle of many gun owners correcting their stories, so they’ll tone down the tendency to exaggerate claims. But does this trend to making other news even more overly sensational than it was before signal that maybe we’re headed back down that path? What do you guys and gals think?
Jun 17, 2013
MSNBC has quoted us on an article, based on my Thursday post on the topic. This article was actually released Thursday night, but I have not honestly had time to link it until now. It’s actually a pretty balanced article, on the whole. But I never know ahead of time when contacted by a reporter whether it’s something looking for some balance, or whether it’s going to be a hack job. Unfortunately, when it’s MSNBC, my gut tells me hack job. In this case that wasn’t the case.
No doubt MAIG is going to try to drive that 1.5 million number as hard and far as they can. The question is whether any politicians will buy it. Regardless of whether it’s real grassroots or not, it’s likely MAIG has accomplished more here than the Brady Organization has, even in the past.
Jun 10, 2013
The Washington Post ran a story over the weekend lamenting that Sandy Hook didn’t change anything on guns, with this bit of grief porn. I don’t know how I’d react if I lost a kid, but I can be pretty sure I’m not going to involve anyone else in my grief, and damned sure I’m not going to let anyone write stories about it. I generally tend to view such external and public displays as fundamentally selfish. That might be harsh, but that’s just how I view it. Newsbusters Tim Graham has more on this story, and notes:
The other politically interesting part of this story was how the distraught parents are molded and shaped by P.R. consultants to say the market-tested things so they can win.
Yeah, I also don’t see myself hiring a PR firm if I ever lose a kid either.
h/t The Gun Wire for the Newsbusters link.
Jun 1, 2013
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.
May 30, 2013
Sorry for the late start this morning. Insomnia can be a harsh mistress. Emily Miller notes that the New York Times is a tool of the Brady Campaign, with a leading story that drags up cases from the early 2000s that show the industry doesn’t care about curbing the use of guns in crime. Much like Ford and Toyota don’t care about drunk drivers, because they make and sell cars.
May 14, 2013
A few readers have sent me this story from the Philadelphia Inquirer, that I think needs some clearing up.
Based on the task force’s report, Christie made anti-violence recommendations that gun control advocates said didn’t go far enough. Around that time, two donations came in to Christie’s gubernatorial re-election campaign from NRA lobbyist Randy Kozuch, campaign records released yesterday show: $2,000 on March 5, as the task force was completing its work, and $1,000 on April 23, a few days after Christie issued his final gun proposals.
Randy used to head up State and Local Affairs, which is essentially NRA’s state lobbying effort. All the NRA State Liaisons report through State and Local Affairs. When James Baker came back to ILA several years ago, he was put in charge of ILA’s Federal Affairs team. Chuck Cunningham, who at the time headed up Federal Affairs, moved to head up State and Local Affairs. Kozuch went to work for the Office of Advancement, which is outside of NRA’s political arm (ILA). He donated to Christies campaign privately. In short, maybe Randy Kozuch “isn’t mad at Christie,” but it’s completely factually inaccurate to suggest “NRA sent cash,” as the Philadelphia Inquirer has done here.