A mere rifle … When a mass murder takes place, the media always focuses on the weapon and downplays focus on the person wielding it, whether it is a vehicle, as in New York City, or a gun, as in Las Vegas and Texas. Moreover, the media likes to trumpet the term “assault weapon” when talking about an AR-15. Except when the “good guy with a gun” used an AR-15. Then it was just a rifle. Here are some cases in point: CNN, the NY Post, and NPR. The NPR article even called the murderer’s gun a “variant of the AR-15.”
Kudos to the LA Times? … At least the LA Times was consistent. They called both the murderer’s weapon and the one used by Stephen Willeford, the “good guy with a gun,” assault weapons. The consistency is noted, but both guns are really just rifles.
Then there’s Slate … Slate’s assistant social media editor took the narrative a bit further. Molly Olmstead wrote a piece titled “The Heroism in the Sutherland Springs Shooting Does Not Validate the ‘Good Guy With a Gun’ Argument.”
Without all the facts, Olmstead wrote: “If we were to assume Willeford did prevent more deaths, we should also look at what gun he used to confront Kelley. Kelley used an assault rifle in his church massacre. The weapon used by Willeford has been described merely as a ‘rifle,’ which suggests a hunting or sport rifle rather than an assault weapon.”
Thank you for making my point, Ms. Olmstead. Now, about that correction to your article?
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Esquire retrospective … While the exact one-year anniversary is tomorrow, it has been 52 weeks since Donald Trump shocked the world and became president-elect. Esquire has a lengthy piece highlighting interviews with media folks, campaign insiders, and pundits regarding their thoughts and feelings on election night. It is well worth the read, especially if you enjoy schadenfreude.
Nate Silver tried to tell y’all … The most interesting quotes of that Esquire piece are from Nate Silver, the brains behind FiveThirtyEight. He had been writing that the election was much closer than conventional wisdom thought. He recalls that throughout the article.
Silver hit the nail on the head and perfectly encapsulated media bias with this quote: “I felt like if the roles had been reversed, and if Clinton had been winning all of these states, that they wouldn’t have been so slow to call it. In some ways, the slowness to call it reflected the stubbornness the media had the whole time about realizing that, actually, it was a pretty competitive election.”
That’s exactly right.
I can’t fight back alone against the mainstream media. I need your help. There are two ways you can help. First, send your friends – and even your enemies – over to the WTF MSM!? email subscription page and get them sign up. Second, email me at [email protected] with anything questionable you see the media do. Together, we can fight back.
Robert Eno is the editor of the WTF MSM!? newsletter and director of retention for Blaze Media.