OK, everyone who thinks the news media is mostly accurate raise your
hands. See? Very few hands go up.
Everyone who believes that the news media quickly and prominently corrects
all the mistakes they make raise your hands. Same result. Why is that?
If you follow the news about your own industry or field of interest,
on stories where you know what is actually going on, you are frequently
horrified to see how wrong the news media gets it. When you are the
person being quoted, you get to see what really goes on.
There are plenty of books and analyses of why this is so, I'm not going
to pursue that here. Here you'll find accounts of truly egregious errors
and distortions promoted by the news media as factual, and steadfastly
uncorrected by an elite group who want you to believe they are wholesome
purveyors of truth. Folks, that just ain't so. If it's in the news,
these days, there's a good chance it's flat wrong.
Inaccuracy and distortion are the name of the game when it comes to
gun issues. As a veteran of this field for more than twenty years,
the amount of accurate reporting I've seen in any mainstream outlets
is nearly zero. Requests for corrections, even on patently false statements,
are basically ignored outright. I remember one time when the Associated
Press reported (on the front page of my local paper, The Arizona Republic,
and in papers nationwide) that no federal gun law had been passed in
five years. Yet in that time federal gun law had grown by 25%! I know,
because I publish the unabridged guide to federal gun laws, Gun
Laws of America. AP refused to make a correction. Go figure. It's
a national disgrace.
For those who ask me about some gun issue they saw covered in the "news," let me make a few observations that may help. You cannot judge any shooting event you read or hear about in the news, because you have NO facts -- no police report, no crime scene photos, no real witness testimony, no trial transcript, no jury instruction, nothing -- you are forming your opinions on what some reporter said. Reporters as a body hate guns, gun owners, gun rights, pro-rights gun laws -- and it shows in everything they do.
Experience has shown that their work in this field (and some would say in other fields) is typically erroneous, shallow, misunderstood, editorialized, plagued with errors of omission, confusing, self contradictory, poorly edited, and replete with bias, deliberate distortion, slant and spin, bigotry, agenda-driven ideology and anything they can use that will give you the wrong impression. I'm not making this up -- I've been analyzing such work for more than two decades. They'll cover even minor shooting incidents way outside their coverage area, but rarely mention self-defense which occurs daily, shooting competitions, specials at the local ranges, industry news, new product reviews (have you ever seen one? but they cover every other new product imaginable from dogs to hot dogs). Read some of the pieces below for backup.
Guns save lives.
Guns stop crime.
Guns protect you.
Guns are why America is still free.
But not in the news.
Get It Wrong
A remarkable SPJ exploration of the heart of the matter, including
four lists of reasons, from the usual suspects (too busy, poorly educated,
to the rotten underbelly (categorical omissions, agendas, hatred of
[The Uninvited Ombudsman]
How To Handle A Hostile Interview
Journalists are infamous for trying to harm a person or subject -- not always,
but often enough, and especially on firearms issues. If they're coming after you,
as they were for a friend of mine, here are some ideas on how to
"Hard" news stories use editorial terms like "left"
and "right wing" all the time --
what are these phrases, what do they mean exactly, are they used correctly?
Is it true they are sugar coatings for socialist- and fascist-leaning
[The Uninvited Ombudsman]
Anti-Gun Bias In The News
The finest documented account of media anti-gun bias
I've ever seen.
While these conditions remain tolerated and in place,
the media has no legitimate claim to ethical behavior.
How Gun-News Bias Is Done
Dr. Brown has put his finger right on what's happening
in newsrooms everywhere. His razor-sharp analysis is reproduced
here by permission. You will recognize these policies.
of Sciences Gets Stuck
Based on 253 journal articles, 99 books, 43 government publications,
a survey that covered 80 different gun-control measures and some of
empirical work, the panel couldnt identify a single gun-control
that reduced violent crime, suicide or accidents. So it calls for more
and the news media finds no problem with this plan.
New York Times
Recognizes a Decade of Bad Reporting
Without admitting error or actually correcting anything, the Times identifies
every error in "assault-weapon-ban" stories it and its mainstream
have run for ten years. There was never a ban, it didn't affect crime,
expiration had no impact, despite hysterical fear-mongering nationwide.
Excellent example of gross bias in San Francisco Chronicle illustrates.
Runs Naked Government Propaganda
Americans were saturated in July 2005 with "U.S. Gives 50K Tons
of Food to
N. Korea," eliciting sympathy. But since the Communist ruling clique
and its dictator
actually get all the food, is it a stretch to wonder if it will mostly
supply the red army,
not the starving masses, and that our officials know this? Who got paid
for all that
food? Editors everywhere just ran the federal propaganda verbatim, with
This is an excellent new law, except in news stories. Here is a law
that protects the innocent, holds violent criminals accountable, makes
everyone safer, but the media ignorantly treats it like vigilantism
See what the law really says, and compare that to what the media told
Media Research Center
Studies Gun-Coverage Bias
This highly regarded news-media research center has conducted two
separate studies and finds the same resultmainstream news about
guns runs as much as ten to one against gun rights. Numbers from John
and details on consumer ammunition sales provide perspective.
In Trouble For Shotgun Gift?
He accepts Remington gun as gift out-of-state -- a federal felony if
News media portrays candidate as pro-gun, with photos of gift.
Campaign spokeswoman denies news reports despite photos.
Does the government routinely break laws about record management?
See what seven newspapers found when they teamed up.
The news media is capable of doing a good job when they want to.