Back in the Day when the NYT Reported instead of Opined

Once upon a time, the New York Times actually reported on the NRA’s efforts and activities in a balanced way.  Bitter has been combing through their older archives to find stories about their meetings that were reported without bias in the paper of record.  What follows are a few of the highlights.

Creedmoor’s far-famed rifle range resounded from early morning until nearly sundown with the “ping, ping” of the marksman’s bullet. The occasion for this lavish expenditure of gunpowder and lead was the sixteenth annual meeting of the National Rifle Association of America.

Creedmoor was the NRA’s first rifle range out on Long Island, and this report on the annual meeting was featured on page 8 in 1888.  The range was serviced by train, and one meeting report from 1879 discusses regular train service out to the range for shooters.  According to NRA’s history page, the political climate in New York changed rapidly after that story.  Political pressure forced the NRA to give up Creedmoor in 1892 and move to a friendlier location – New Jersey.

After reviewing just a few of the many reports the NYT features, it appears that many of the debates we have today were not uncommon 100+ years ago.  In 1900, the Times reported that the NRA board underwent changes expanding it to 36 directors and electing new officers who pledged:

[to] be aggressively active from now on in the interest of rifle shooting, and to make this sport one of the popular pastimes of the people. …

[and to] …break away from antiquated ideas and customs and to increase innovations in the way of running-man targets, disappearing targets, up-to-date skirmish matches, and other attractive features at annual meetings.

That sounds familiar.

It is sad to say that we can’t expect such fair or positive coverage at this year’s Annual Meeting & Blog Bash.  However, past experience does tell us that you can expect to be misquoted.

One thought on “Back in the Day when the NYT Reported instead of Opined”

  1. Might have something to do with why the New York Times stock price is less than a Sunday copy. I’m just saying …

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