• A Furious Enmity for the National Media at NRA Convention

    From Gene Poole@21:1/5 to All on Wed Jul 31 09:17:26 2019
    XPost: alt.freespeech, alt.survival, alt.politics.usa.constitution
    XPost: soc.retirement

    The past few months have left gun owners enraged about how
    frequently and casually they’re villainized.
    Dallas, Texas — A video shown twice before the main speeches at
    the NRA’s annual meeting mocked CNN’s “this is an apple”

    “This is a lemon,” the announcer declared. (It is unlikely that
    it is a coincidence that the choice of produce is the surname of
    a CNN anchor.) “Yes, some people might try to tell you that this
    is a journalist. They might even scream ‘journalist,’
    ‘journalist,’ ‘journalist,’ over and over again. They might put
    journalists in all-caps . . . but this is a lemon.” The joke
    worked on three levels, and the gathered gun owners chuckled
    throughout. In a subsequent video, NRATV host and former U.S.
    Secret Service agent Dan Bongino silently made lemonade out of
    some lemons, generating another round of laughter. “When they
    give you lemons, we give you the truth,” the video promises.

    It’s unsurprising that the national news media would be a
    frequent and favorite target of the speakers at the NRA’s annual
    meeting — particularly the regular critics of media such as
    Chris Cox, Wayne LaPierre, and Donald Trump. But even the
    comparatively buttoned-down Vice President Mike Pence spoke at
    length about his objections to the mass media’s coverage of
    firearms and those who own them.

    “The media are working an agenda that is very different from
    most of us in this room,” Pence said. “They won’t tell the whole
    story of firearms in America. They focus on the tragedies and
    heartbreak — and well they should — but many in the national
    media ignore when well-trained, law-abiding gun owners save
    lives. It’s the truth.” Pence spoke of armed citizens who
    intervened and prevented tragedies at an Atlanta party, a
    Philadelphia barber shop, and on a Chicago street.

    “I’m calling on the national media to start telling the whole
    story to the American people about firearms,” Pence said to
    applause. “It’s time the national media gave as much attention
    to our heroes as much as they give to our villains.”

    Criticism of the media has always been a theme of the speeches
    at the NRA’s gathering, but this year felt like it could easily
    have been co-produced by L. Brent Bozell’s Media Research Center.

    Even by the standards of the never-smooth relationship between
    the NRA and the national media, the past few months have left
    gun owners enraged about how frequently and casually they’re
    villainized, and how openly gun-control advocates have been
    exalted. Much of this change in the media’s coverage of gun
    rights stemmed from the emergence of pro-gun-control students
    who survived the Parkland shooting.

    CNN was always a favorite target of speakers at NRA events, but
    its recent coverage added fuel to the fire. The prime-time “town
    hall meeting” CNN put on just days after the shooting
    represented a particularly embarrassing hour for the network, in
    which the furious demonization of NRATV Dana Loesch went
    unchecked while Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel — whose
    department handled the situation about as badly as is imaginable
    — was given the stage to lecture Loesch: “You are not standing
    up for [these students] until you say, ‘I want less weapons.’”
    It was shameless and deft responsibility-shifting on the
    sheriff’s part, and CNN let it go unchallenged. (After several
    days, in perhaps the journalistic equivalent of a referee’s make-
    up call, CNN subjected Israel to more critical coverage and much
    tougher interviews.)

    The emergence of the Parkland students provided the national
    media with what was ostensibly an emotional human-interest story
    — here’s a young student who’s endured a terrifying event,
    listen to how that experience affected him — and it quickly
    turned into an opportunity for scathing, often unfair criticisms
    of gun owners and the NRA. David Hogg quickly became a go-to
    source for comments that programs, magazines, and newspapers
    would never print or broadcast in other contexts. In one
    particularly angry interview, Hogg called the NRA, “pathetic
    f***ers that want to keep killing our children,” and claimed GOP
    lawmakers “could have blood from children splattered all over
    their faces and they wouldn’t take action, because they all
    still see these dollar signs.”

    For better or worse, CNN’s media reporter, Brian Stelter,
    admitted in a late March interview with S. E. Cupp that he
    simply couldn’t bring himself to correct David Hogg when he
    appeared on Stelter’s program.

    “There were a few times I wanted to jump in and say, ‘Let’s
    correct that fact.’ And at one of the times I did and other
    times I did not,” Stelter said. “There’s always that balance,
    how many times you’re going to interrupt.”

    Almost every speaker at the convention mentioned longtime NRA
    member Stephen Willeford, who exchanged fire with a mass shooter
    outside the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas,
    and helped chase him down in November 2017. NRA members fairly
    ask why they’re considered morally culpable for the horrific
    actions of mass shooters, but the virtues of heroic NRA members
    are not worthy of comparable discussion.

    For the NRA and many of its members, no real conversation about
    our gun laws can begin until the national media acknowledge that
    their past coverage has been one-sided and they begin to paint a
    more accurate picture of America’s gun owners. The NRA enjoyed a
    lot of legislative successes in the past decade or so, but
    perhaps the organization wonders how secure those legislative or
    political victories are in a media environment like the current
    one. The media largely shrugged at Connecticut governor Dannel
    Malloy repeatedly insisting that the NRA has “in essence become
    a terrorist organization,” and Newsweek thought the most
    newsworthy angle about a defaced billboard declaring “kill the
    NRA” is that “the gun lobby is freaking out about it.”

    For all of the glowing coverage of the Parkland students, and
    the bold declarations that they “changed the gun debate,”
    there’s some evidence that their arguments had little lasting

    In the more than two months since that shooting, HuffPost and
    YouGov have conducted five surveys tracking Americans’ views on
    guns. The results show a burst of support for gun reform in the
    two weeks after the shooting, followed by a gradual reversion to
    the mean. Once-heightened concerns about gun violence have
    tapered back to previous levels, as has a desire for stricter
    gun laws and a belief that gun restrictions can be passed
    without violating Second Amendment rights.

    Florida’s legislature and Governor Rick Scott raised the age to
    purchase any firearm to 21, and several states passed “red flag”
    gun laws that allow a judge to temporarily seize guns from
    someone who might pose a danger to themselves or others. But
    there’s been little movement on the bigger priorities of gun-
    control advocates — an assault-weapons ban or more restrictions
    on concealed-carry permits. There’s little question that most
    media organizations tossed away traditional notions of
    objectivity and fairness when it came to covering the gun issue
    after Parkland. They now must ask themselves whether it was
    worth it.

    “There’s never been a worse time to be a member of the
    mainstream media,” Cox declared to roaring applause. Members of
    the national media may dispute that, but they obtained this deep-
    rooted distrust and enmity the old-fashioned way: They earned it.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/nra-convention-media- criticism-gun-owners-enraged-at-being-villianized/

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