NBC Boosts Bloomberg Gun Control Group's Misleading Figure on School Shootings
Miguel Almaguer hyped on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News that "since the mass shooting in Newtown a year and a half ago, there's been at least 74 school shootings across the country – roughly one every week." However, the correspondent failed to mention that this figure came from the pro-gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety, which was founded earlier in 2014 by liberal billionaire Michael Bloomberg. [MP3 audio available here; video below]
On Tuesday, Kyle Becker of the Independent Journal Review spotlighted a series of Twitter posts from author and journalist Charles C. Johnson, which called out Bloomberg's organization for giving an "exaggerated impression of how many school shootings have taken place," as many they represent "all sorts" of different incidents involving guns in or near schools. Becker added:
...Whether or not one wants to dismiss all this and say these cases "technically" fit, gang-related violence and suicides are not really what people have in mind when it comes to "school shootings."...No matter what that number actually is – it's too many. But the solution to stopping criminals with guns won't ever be taking guns away from their potential victims.
Even liberal news outlet CNN picked up on the misleading nature of the statistic from Bloomberg's group. In an online article on Wednesday, correspondents Ashley Fantz, Lindsey Knight and Kevin Wang "took a closer look at the list, delving into the circumstances of each incident Everytown included....[and] determined that 15 of the incidents Everytown included were situations similar to the violence in Oregon -- a minor or adult actively shooting inside or near a school. That works out to about one shooting every five weeks."
During Almaguer's report, which gave new details on the Tuesday shootings at a high school in Oregon, the NBC evening newscast ran a graphic showing the locations of all the purported school shootings. Everytown for Gun Safety was listed as the source in fine print, but the correspondent didn't explicitly reference the pro-gun control coalition's name.
Earlier on Wednesday, NBC's Today, along with ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning, hyped President Obama's call for stricter gun control in the wake of the Oregon school shootings. Anchor Savannah Guthrie forwarded Everytown's 74 figure, and trumpeted Obama's "pretty extraordinary moment."
— Matthew Balan is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matthew Balan on Twitter.