Page Nine

The Uninvited Ombudsman Report

by Alan Korwin, Author
Gun Laws of America
May 24, 2006





Though many of my friends and fans think of me as The Gun Guy (because of all my gun-law books), I'm really a writer, have been for more than 20 years. News accuracy has been on my plate the whole time.

My fertile brain is now developing a journalism concept that's never been tried. It is a single page in major newspapers ("Page Nine" regardless of the page it runs on), that covers the day's stories as they ought to read, not the way left-wing news rooms color things. Like FOX on steroids, but right down the middle, for the print world. It would be the most read page in the paper, a refreshing breath of clean air. Here's a casual sample (without the hard sweat Page Nine would really need). It might make you say, "They'll NEVER run that!" but the page will be built around ad revenues from right thinking mainstream businesses.

Alan Korwin, Author
Gun Laws of America

 

PAGE NINE No. 3
The Uninvited Ombudsman Report
by Alan Korwin

 

(NOTE: Corrections now appear at the end, along with a newly released report on journalists' attitudes about accuracy.)

 

The lamestream media told you:
The controversial National Rifle Association held its annual meeting in Milwaukee this weekend, in a state that, despite the powerful gun lobby's best efforts, defeated an attempt to allow its citizens to secretly carry fully loaded semiautomatic handguns virtually anywhere they go.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
Tens of thousands of Americans from all walks of life met with the world's leading gun makers this weekend, to examine new firearms that are more dependable, more accurate, with better safety features and better sights than ever before. In a trend that appears to be continuing, guns have gotten bigger, smaller, heavier, lighter and more tricked out, using advanced space-age materials and new engineering methods. Industry growth and the show's attendance have set records, according to experts at the 135th annual NRA meeting in Milwaukee.

Reporters, when asked why the massive new product announcements received no news coverage, uniformly claimed it would constitute promotion and be against editorial guidelines. When asked how they justify such coverage for car, food, fashion, book, golf, travel, electronics, swimwear, TV, satellite radio and dog shows, they remembered they were on deadline and had to leave.

Wisconsin's repeated efforts to allow its women (and men) to discreetly arm themselves for personal safety, joining 47 other states that allow it, were frustrated again by the governor's veto, who is now the focus of a Dump Doyle campaign. The veto override, after non-stop brute-force arm twisting by Doyle, was lost by two votes.

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The lamestream media told you:
Brazil was poised to overwhelmingly ban the private possession of firearms by its citizens, in a country awash in violent crime. After the vote they told you: In an unexpected stunning upset, Brazilians soundly defeated an international effort to take away their personal firearms in the face of armed gangsters running rampant. Only 35% of voters supported the move to disarm the innocent in South America's largest country.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
Col. Jairo Paes deLira, the heroic former Brazilian police chief who had 10,000 officers under his command, traveled 17 hours to reach the NRA convention and tell attendees what actually occurred in his country. Col. deLira headed the "Campaign of NO" that defeated the proposed gun ban.

The United Nations, non-government organizations from around the world, and groups like the Ford Foundation mounted a highly funded propaganda effort to push the citizen-defenselessness package into law. Beginning "without ten cents," DeLira and interest groups used the Internet, word of mouth, and community newspapers to rally popular support for the safety of the public. Hunters, target shooters and self defense advocates put differences aside to work together to preserve their rights.

In an interview with The Uninvited Ombudsman, DeLira said it would be, "political suicide in the near term," for politicians to attempt such a ban again, but notes that officials retain, "enormous power by decree," over such things as the amount of ammunition that can be purchased or stored by Brazil's citizens.

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The lamestream media told you:
President Bush has fallen to new lows, in political polls taken of people whose primary source of news is the "news" media.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
If you were told, on Sep. 12, 2001, that four-and-a-half years later, the Taliban would be overthrown and removed from Afghanistan, most of al Qaida would be rounded up and killed, Saddam Hussein would be deposed, Iraq would have held three free elections, written a Constitution and formed a government, women in Kuwait would have the vote, Syria would be tossed out of Lebanon after decades of abusive occupation, free elections would be held in Egypt, Libya would renounce the jihad, its efforts to obtain WMDs and be working its way back into the international community, no new jihadi attacks would occur on American soil, joblessness in America would be at new lows and the economy would be stronger that at any time in our history, you wouldn't have believed it.

Credit for much of this rests on the shoulders of the President, who has unflinchingly pursued an agenda he believes in, and who is ceaselessly ridiculed and demeaned by the lamestream media, which also reports the poll results. Thanks to Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman, who made these observations at the NRA convention in Milwaukee. His remarks were unreported by the "news" media.

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The lamestream media told you:
Baton Rouge, Louisiana -- Five people were killed when a man walked into a church and opened fire with a handgun.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
A story in your local paper, about a psychopath a thousand miles away, is sensationalism, not news. Such stories are typically propagated by the Associated Press, and dutifully repeated locally with no critical review or input from local reporters. Since these almost always involve a firearm, critics claim it represents an anti-gun-rights agenda disguised as news. When compared with other wrongful or horrific deaths occurring close to home but which go unreported, the likelihood that it is a hoplophobic (gun fearing) agenda-driven story increase, industry observers say.

The Associated Press reported, several years in a row, that "medical misadventures," a tasteful term for patients killed by doctor mistakes, cause 100,000 unnecessary deaths a year, or 274 every day. Even if this number is ten times too large, as some experts insist (AP has not issued a correction), it still represents about 27 people unjustly killed by doctors on a daily basis. This is more than five times greater than the reported Baton Rouge deaths, occurs every single day not just once, is at least as tragic, and much of it occurs right near you, in hospitals and offices you may have been in recently -- significantly increasing the relevance to local news consumers. Still, the "news" media uniformly choose to report the one rare incident, on the other side of the country, often for several days in a row, leaving a not-so-subtle perception that the medical profession is not an issue and guns are bad.

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The lamestream media told you:
United Nations officials were deeply concerned about Iran's reluctance to cooperate with international nuclear regulatory inspectors, though the U.N. was unwilling at this point to endorse sanctions against the nation. Meanwhile, the United States is considering economic pressure toward Iran to promote nonproliferation talks which have stalled. Iran, with little natural resources in uranium but enormous reserves of oil, emphatically denies its nuclear program has any goals except peaceful production of energy. Iran's president, who has called for the extermination of Israel, was greeted by massive outpourings of jubilant Muslim supporters on a recent trip to largely Muslim Indonesia.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
According to leading experts speaking on condition of anonymity, Iran is rapidly developing nuclear weapons. They are probably pretty close to results. Although classified by the U.S. State Dept. as a nation that supports terrorism, Iran is actually a promoter of jihad, or global holy war against non-Muslim infidels. As a sovereign nation it is well within its power and interests to pursue these policies and develop the bomb, which is why it is proceeding, according to unnamed authorities. For nations that have already produced the bomb, to object to another nation producing it, is the height of hypocrisy, but a necessary and routine element of diplomacy that precedes use of force and other sanctions. If military force isn't brought to bear, the jihadis will have their nukes soon, experts believe.

Reuters and the BBC have adopted a policy to only use the word "terrorist" in quotes.

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The lamestream media told you:
America's fifth largest city, Phoenix, using massive funding provided by the federal government, has successfully beefed up security, lowered it risks and exposure to attacks, and generally succeeded in goals of Homeland Security following the Sep. 11 attacks.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
Phoenix officials are outraged that, because they have done well and implemented the very policies the money was provided for, they won't continue to keep getting the money, now that the work is done.  Their funding from the 2006 Urban Area Security Initiative may be cut off in the 2007 funding cycle.

What this means to the taxpayer is that, no matter how well spent their money is, no end to the expenditures will ever be recognized by government officials addicted to a non-stop "flow" of funding. No solution to the money addiction is known.

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The lamestream media told you:
Security forces in the United States, lead by the National Security Agency, a spy unit, have collected the pin register calling data from phone companies nationwide.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
Leaked news about secret security operations gravely threatens national security, but that is well known. This data, which already exists at the quasi-monopoly government-regulated tax-collecting phone companies, has been used for decades, on site at the phone companies, for numerous law enforcement and security purposes. The careful migration of the data from the companies to a central computer is the pot calling the kettle black.

By way of comparison, government-chartered banks, which provide detailed personal data to the government on a regular basis, under court orders that are handed out when requested by officials, goes on at such a great scale that banks maintain entire offices dedicated to nothing but government investigators, who work on site in bank skyscrapers, poring over the necessary files. The routine maintenance of these  offices is not publicized when customers open new accounts. If government investigators want your data, the chances they cannot get it are slim and none. So fight that if you wish, not the media-kindled kafuffles of the day.

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The lamestream media told you:
Concern over Spanish language versions of the National Anthem seems misplaced, since other language versions have been produced over the years.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
The Associated Press reports that these lines have been added to a remix set for June release: "These kids have no parents, 'cause of all these mean laws... Let's not start a war with all these hard workers, they can't help where they were born." The title of the Spanish version, Nuestro Hymno translates to Our Hymn. A literal translation of The National Anthem, often said to translate poorly if taken literally, would be El Hymno Nacional.

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The lamestream media told you:
Mexicans illegally stream into America at unprecedented rates, looking for work.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
Escaping lawless conditions in Mexico may be a greater factor in the vast exodus from that third world country than the search for low-paying jobs, a local paper inadvertently reports. Mexico City now has plans to ban sunglasses and hats in banks, because bank robberies are so common, and the perpetrators typically wear dark glasses and hats to hide their identities. If local officials here needed to implement and enforce dress codes to deal with bank robberies, I might emigrate too.

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Corrrections and Clarifications:
1. The Arizona Republic newspaper report of 577,000 illegal immigrant arrests for 2005 is for Arizona only. The correct number for the full southwest border is 1,171,387. This was my oversight and I regret the error.

Immigration reporter Daniel Gonzalez points out that many of the arrests are of people repeatedly attempting to sneak into America, so simply multiplying arrests by the Border Patrol estimate of how many get in for each one caught (between one in two and one in four), along with other factors, does not provide an accurate guess for illegal entries annually.

2. Thanks to Larry Southwick, a Ph.D. economist who notes, "You are way low on the gasoline taxes. In NY (Buffalo), the excise tax is $0.239 per gallon, the U.S. Gov't. excise tax is $0.184 per gallon, and there is currently an 8.75 percent sales tax on the whole thing. If gasoline retails for $3.000, that implies a price of $2.336 before the combined tax, or 66.4 cents per gallon. Note that property taxes, profits taxes, and employment taxes have not been included here but are certainly important to the suppliers. Out of the final price, governments take directly 22.15%." The Uninvited Ombudsman again regrets the error (16 cents less than this calculation).

Mr. Southwick goes on to point out, "From the Exxon annual report (2005), sales amounted to $370,680,000,000. From this, the after tax net was $36,130,000,000 or 9.75%. The taxes paid directly by Exxon were: excise $30,742,000,000, other taxes & duties $41,554,000,000, and income taxes $23,302,000,000. These add up to 25 79% of Exxon's revenues. Who is the exploiter?" The Uninvited Ombudsman had questioned the "news" media's burning concern that oil companies make between 8-10% profit, and failed to note that the government takes two-and-a-half-times more than the company earns.

3. Not all professional ball players in tax-funded stadiums working for huge salaries and private owners are male, and I regret this slip of the pen. The Phoenix Mercury Women's Basketball Team are not men, according to insiders who asked that their names not be used, but keeping with tradition, the women only get tiny salaries.

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PAGE NINE-AND-A-HALF
Special Report

From Northwestern University

JOURNALISTS SURVEYED ON INACCURATE, MISLEADING, FABRICATED NEWS AND UNETHICAL CONDUCT

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- While they admit that the public is losing confidence in newspaper reporting, seven of every ten daily newspaper editors and reporters more frequently point to factors beyond their control as opposed to their own newspaper's actions as the cause, according to a study released today (May 9) at the National Press Club...

"Many journalists believe that the recent sins of other newspapers and media taint their own newspapers and contribute to the public's diminished confidence in newspapers generally," said one of the report's authors...

Widely reported incidents of plagiarism in national media overwhelmingly accounted for the "taint" on newspapers generally, according to the survey. Newspaper journalists say problems in television news, on Web sites and blogs, and even in tabloids and shopper publications all have a deleterious effect on the credibility of newspaper journalists. In addition, almost one in five say that criticism of media by politicians erodes readers' trust...

More than 70 percent say they themselves have been accused of bias in the past 12 months and often blame poor editing as contributing to inaccuracy in their articles...

The Survey of Newspaper Editor and Reporter Attitudes is made possible by the Mongerson Prize for Investigative Reporting on the News and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Thanks to Liberty Watch radio talk-show host and firearms instructor Charles Heller of Tucson for bringing this crucial study to my attention. Though important, it was not widely covered by the lamestream media.
http://www.libertywatchradio.com

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See the SPJ Code of Ethics here:
http://www.gunlaws.com/NewsAccuracy.htm

Learn about Accuracy in Media, the Wash., D.C.-based advocacy group:
http://www.aim.org
(Membership is free, donations are accepted; they provide addressed postcards you can send to the most abusive news outlets, and amazing reports.)

 

Thanks for reading!
Alan Korwin
The Uninvited Ombudsman

 

P.S. New books and DVDs up at gunlaws.com

Contact:
Alan Korwin
BLOOMFIELD PRESS
"We publish the gun laws."
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Scottsdale, AZ 85254
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alan@gunlaws.com
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