Skip to comments.Byron York: Journalists rush to take sides in gun debate
Posted on 12/26/2012 11:00:26 PM PST by neverdem
Should journalists be advocates for tougher gun control measures? It's a question worth asking as more and more reporters, commentators, and TV anchors are openly promoting stringent gun policies in the wake of the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.
It's not just the ranters on the left, like MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell, who recently called National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre "the lobbyist for mass murderers." O'Donnell is a controversialist who says things like that all the time. So is CNN's Piers Morgan, who told the Gun Owners of America chief Larry Pratt, "You are an unbelievably stupid man" and "You shame your country."
More notable are the ostensibly straight-news journalists who have come down on the side of stronger gun control. For example, when a Republican congressman, Georgia's Jack Kingston, argued on MSNBC recently that tough gun control laws haven't prevented mass shootings in some European countries, the network's anchor, Thomas Roberts, responded, "So, we need to just be complacent in the fact that we can send our children to school to be assassinated?"
Earlier, while reporting from Connecticut, a CNN anchor, Don Lemon, burst into an impromptu appeal for action. "We need to get guns and bullets and automatic weapons off the streets," Lemon said. "They should only be available to police officers and to hunt al-Qaeda and the Taliban and not hunt elementary school children."
Also on CNN, anchor Soledad O'Brien sought a promise from Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott to take action on guns. When Scott declined, a clearly frustrated O'Brien said she hoped the gun conversation would become "meaningful" before she was forced to "cover another tragedy." A few days before, when a conservative academic told O'Brien he believes having more guns among law-abiding citizens would reduce crime, she responded, "I just have to say, your position completely boggles me, honestly."
It's not just television. Twitter conversations among print journalists commonly include passionate denunciations of Second Amendment defenders, especially the NRA.
"Reporters on my Twitter feed seem to hate the NRA more than anything else, ever," Atlantic writer Jeffrey Goldberg noted recently. (In the aftermath of the Aurora, Colorado mass shooting, but before Newtown, Goldberg wrote a balanced assessment of the gun issue in which he advocated both stronger gun controls and more widespread gun ownership.)
When Goldberg made his comment, a writer from The New Republican named Marc Tracy responded, "So either reporters on Twitter are crazy or the NRA is uniquely hateful. Which do you think it is?"
"I think the NRA is ridiculous and horrible, but I think some reporters are fulfilling stereotypes," Goldberg told Tracy.
"What stereotype?" asked Tracy. "That they think they are smarter and better than a retrograde, evil organization? They are! We are!"
At times the stereotype of journalist as anti-gun activist seems institutionally entrenched. For example, Frank Sesno, a former CNN reporter and Washington bureau chief who is now director of George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs, said recently there should be a "media agenda" on guns to push the issue until government action becomes a reality. "The media themselves have a huge opportunity and power and responsibility to channel this," Sesno told CNN's Howard Kurtz.
Not every journalist is on board for the crusade. On Sunday, Kurtz noted that gun control had not been the topic of much conversation before the Newtown shootings, but that now, "President Obama...is talking about it and maybe that makes it easier for journalists to keep it on the front burner." Kurtz's guest, former NBC correspondent Fred Francis, responded: "Well, it's not the journalists' responsibility to keep it on the front burner."
It was an almost jarring thing to say in the current conversation on guns. "Why do you say that?" asked Kurtz.
"It is not our responsibility to keep it up," Francis continued. "We cover the news...I heard anchor people, men and women on the air this week, grilling pro and con gun support. Grilling...to the point of excess, and I'm saying we can't cross the line. We'll cover the story, but we have to stay in the middle."
That's been a lonely point of view in recent weeks. But there's no reason journalists can't stay in the middle. Contrary to some assumptions, neither the NRA nor other Second Amendment advocates are pure evil. They even have some entirely reasonable points to make. And so do the advocates of greater controls on guns. If journalists could somehow control their emotions and their biases, there might be a far more reasoned debate in the press.
Such as what? The BS media, including the NY Post have simply lost their minds, whatever was left of them, about so called "assault weapons" and high cap mags.
See how long it takes to replace a magazine.
Most of the so-called journalists listed in the article are hacks, “lookers”, lightweights and airheads. Some, like O’Donnell, an avowed socialist, are just crazy (like his former MSNBC brother Olbermann, and Schulz and Chrissy Matthews).
Rationality, thoughtful discussion, full knowledge of the subject under discussion, and the ability to hear the other person’s point of view is not only sadly lacking, it is apparently company policy NOT to have any of them on a show.
Piers Morgan is just a disgrace, and an abusive one at that. No wonder he was fired from a major English publication and failed at TV. He’s a typical leftwing British fop who thinks that his English accent is a substitute for rational gray matter.
Lemon - jerk. O’Brien - airhead. And the list goes on. We used to call Katie Couric “the perky turkey” and it wasn’t about her journalism skills. She let her good looks go to her head and missed the part about using her brain in a professional manner.
The same for Matt Lauer, a legend in his own warped mind. He’d last about a minute in Nam. Stupid people didn’t last long there unless they had their company’s cover. Just look at those from CBS and you’ll know what I mean (Rather, Webster, Safer).
Journalism, like everything else that the Left/Liberals have touched, has been degraded into a Grade Z movie with a cast of thousands and no stars worthy of note.
People thought that “Plan 9 From Outer Space” was a terrible movie. I once told Plan 9 actor Conrad Brooks that the movie wasn’t just bad, it stank, and he laughed because he knew that it was really a 5 cent spoof of a scifi story.
Our media today are even worse, but on purpose. That is the tragedy of America, and they aren’t even worth 5 cents.
Piers Morgan isn’t a journalist. He’s simply a talk-show guy....nothing more. On a typical evening...he might have 400k people watching out of 300 million, if he is lucky enough. That kinda says enough. If he knew he’d get more viewers by wearing women’s clothing and interviewing NASCAR drivers....he’d do it.
Look at this! It is a piece of metal with a spring inside of it! Can you EXPLAIN to me who this can be permitted in the United States of Ameria?! Can you!!?? We cannot allow Americans to possess pieces of sheet metal with springs inside of them!
“You are an unbelievably stupid man”
A few years back when America was a real country, a statement like that to a man would be an invitation to get a can of Whoop-ass opened on you.
Quite frankly, Byron, our 2nd Amendment is not open for debate.
See, we are already letting the left set the narrative.
If journalists want to impress 'the people' they should do it by example. Journalists of the MSM should fire the 'armed' guards that protect their buildings and workers. They should drop the paranoia, open the place up and celebrate the bullsh*t they're trying to push on the rest of us.
That's not going to happen. It's not going to happen because newspapers and the MSM live and work in the same crappy world liberals have created for all citizens of the United States.
Journalists work behind walls protected by guards posted at the door. Those guards are armed. In the darkest part of their corrupt little hearts, journalist know the score - they 'get' the truth of the new normal... Ever wonder about those badges they wear? It identifies them so they can cover a story and get past a police line - but it also gets them into the building they work in... They know the truth.
Journalists feel guns that protect them are 'different'. Different because they're bought and paid for by their company. They're wrong. It's protection ... period. We can talk - we can reason - but only when they take their blinders off...
There is one thing very glaringly absent from any of these pieces about how the media is dealing with this issue......and it is very obvious in this piece.
The media (I will not call any of them journalists) are hiding behind the 1st amendment while attacking supporters of the 2nd..............
The conversation we should be having here, every time one of them calls for “reasonable restrictions” is what reasonable restrictions are they willing to accept on the 1st amendment????????????
The conversation we should be having here, every time one of them calls for reasonable restrictions is what reasonable restrictions are they willing to accept on the 1st amendment????????????
Oh, they want reasonable restrictions on the First Amendment. Always provided that they define reasonable. Then Free Republic would be flushed down the memory hole. Along with Rush, and any other non-socialist broadcaster.
The conceit of journalistic objectivity is an invention of the Associated Press. The AP produces uniformity, and calls uniformity objectivity.
Well, no that is not the way it is going to work. If they get to decide what is “reasonable” in regard to MY rights - I get to decide what is “reasonable”” in regard to theirs.
Yet another "journalist" demonstrating the reason for the tagline...
Seems like Don Lemon would prefer a police state with an aggressive military. Sorry Don, Nazi Germany is no longer available...would you like to defect to North Korea instead?/s;)