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Deceptive mainstream reporting shows pervasive anti-gun agenda

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“Sloppy mainstream reporting on basic gun facts points to pervasive failure,” Gun Rights Examiner reported on Wednesday, giving examples of print and television journalists failing to take the simplest of steps to present accurate information.

“Who will watch the watchdogs,” this columnist asked yesterday at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance blog, sharing the experiences of correspondent Chris Meissen, who, “as a [former] field engineer maintaining the satellite dish distribution equipment for a major network,” saw firsthand how the “professionals” could get things absurdly wrong, both unintentionally and, disturbingly, at the direction of management.

Mr. Meissen followed up by sharing another story via email that points to outright manipulation and deception—certainly not the first time this has been documented, but nonetheless instructive.

“In that vein of doctored news,” he wrote, “do you remember the graphic (video clip) of a police officer firing a semi-auto AK-47 at a watermelon with the subsequent close-up of said melon exploding? That clip first began making the rounds in, I believe, 1987 right after the Stockton, CA, shootings. It got a lot of air time around the country as justification for first, the Roberti-Roos Act and then the Feinstein-Schumer AW ban.”

The problem was, the “ugly gun” didn’t produce the desired results, so another gun was used to generate them.

“The melon blew up in a most dramatic manner,” Meissen, reported, claiming “It was common knowledge among the engineering staff at the stations I serviced that said footage had been shot by a cameraman and reporter at [a major network affiliate] in Los Angeles.”

“The crew took their footage back to the station and edited it to show the cop firing the rifle followed immediately by the melon exploding,” he revealed. “For years afterwards that was the top video graphic to accompany ‘news’ stories about ‘high-powered, deadly assault weapons’ on most of the network-owned TV stations.”

The late Neal Knox (see my review of his anthology, “The Gun Rights War,” on pg. 78 in the Dec. 2010 issue of GUNS Magazine) conducted just such a demonstration of comparative firepower on a watermelon several years back that bears out exactly the type of round performance issues Meissen was told about. It’s embedded in this column’s sidebar media player.

The bias against guns and an eager willingness to swap journalistic ethics for sensationalism are nothing new. Fortunately, thanks to the internet, “mainstream media” apparatchiks are no longer the exclusive gatekeepers. Still, their reach is undeniably longer than modest efforts like the one you’re reading now, which depend on the efforts of interested readers to propagate.

Also see:

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Speaking of Neal Knox

His son Jeff’s latest column is out at WND.com and is an excellent synopsis of the Fast and Furious “gunwalking” scandal that includes the latest developments.

Click here to read “Mr. Obama, tear down that wall!”

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Spread the word

Regular readers: If you agree that mainstream press coverage of the gun rights issue demands a counter-balance, please help me spread the word by sharing Gun Rights Examiner links with your friends via emails, and in online discussion boards, blogs, social media sites, etc. Then get more commentary at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance. Today’s entries:

  • We're the Only Ones Lee Paige Award Finalists Enough.
  • Mr. Obama, Tear Down That Wall!
  • This Is How They Show Respect
  • Midnight Musings
  • We're the Only Ones Par for the Course Enough
  • Facepalm
  • Dial 911 and Die
  • A Guilty Plea
  • It's Good Mood Food!
  • Court: 'Not So Fast'
  • Stop the Threat: The Jogger
  • My New Desktop
  • Vanderboegh Medical Update
  • This Day in History: April 6

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