On Tuesday, Jesse Jackson, the Brady bunch – not the TV folk but the anti-gun lobby – and other liberal activists rallied against “the national scourge of illegal guns” in cities around the nation.
The networks ignored the event, probably because turnout was so embarrassingly low. The Chicago Tribune reported that “about 200” piled out of three buses in
Anti-gun activists were counting on good coverage if they had big turnouts, and no negative coverage if they didn't. It's the flip side of how the media cover pro-life rallies, downplaying enormous crowds and playing up the handful of counter demonstrators. In this case, the networks chose to look benignly in the other direction.
The gun grabbers know that liberal journalists don't like guns. Or, rather, they don't like private citizens owning guns and taking personal responsibility for their own safety and that of their families and property.
How do we know? From the loaded coverage night after night on the networks and each day in major newspapers.
A new CMI study by David Niedrauer, The Media Assault on the Second Amendment, documents seven months of media coverage of gun issues, and explains how the media are taking potshots at the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
The media had a field day during the week after the Virginia Tech campus shootings on April 16. The major broadcast networks ran nearly 30 total stories promoting gun control, with another 24 from CNN, 9 in the New York Times and 20 in the Washington Post. The message was delivered with machine-gun regularity: lack of gun control led to the massacre, so more gun laws might prevent another massacre.
Armen Keteyian of CBS Evening News quoted the
Conspicuously absent from the coverage were the many documented cases of guns used by citizens to thwart criminals. According to a survey by the
From January 1 to July 31, 2007, ABC, NBC and CBS ran a total of 650 murder stories. During the same period, self defense cropped up once on ABC, once on NBC and was absent on CBS. ABC's John Stossel referred to two cases of armed self defense on the May 4 edition of 20/20, and NBC's Today Show on April 23 featured former Miss America Venus Ramey, 82, who wielded a shotgun to chase off an intruder.
During the Tech aftermath, talk radio and Internet blogs filled some of the information gap by noting relevant incidents like the two Appalachian School of Law students in 2002 who grabbed their own guns to capture a man who had killed three people on campus. The networks showed little interest in the possibility that a similarly armed Virginia Tech student or professor might have stopped Cho before he slaughtered 32 souls in
Another tactic that the media are using in their assault on gun ownership is making selective, misleading comparisons to other nations. NBC anchor Brian Williams noted on April 17, the day after the Tech massacre, that
Even after the Virginia Tech story cooled, the media continued its portrayal of lawless cities in need of more gun control.
A classic example was ABC World News Sunday's hit piece on July 8 blaming “rural”
“That argument is being echoed across much of the country, as rural sensibilities continue to rule the gun debate. And cities like
Rural people, bad. Rural people with guns, worse. Rural people with guns cause Philadelphians to shoot each other.
Did the anti-gun lobby get the best possible media treatment of their rallies on Tuesday?
You might as well ask, “Does the Brady bunch have CBS, NBC, and ABC on speed dial?”
This article was adapted and updated from an August 28