Liberal Media Adored Gun-Control Marchers

By Barr, Bob | Insight on the News, June 5, 2000 | Go to article overview

Liberal Media Adored Gun-Control Marchers


Barr, Bob, Insight on the News


I'm not a mother. But I am a father who cares deeply about protecting his children and grandchildren. And I'm sick and tired of the national media telling me that supporting gun control is a moral imperative for caring parents.

In the past, protest marches welled up at the community level and earned media coverage on their merits. Today's media world has spawned a new strategy. Professional publicists organize marches the only reason for which is to play the national press like a fiddle. The success of your march is not based on how many people show up or how right your argument is, but on what Dan, Peter, Wolf and Tom say about you on the evening news.

Exhibit A: the so-called "Million Mom March" in Washington. The march started as a press release, and then snowballed into a story hook of monstrous proportions. It says a great deal that this entire effort was generated not by a mother working as a grocery clerk or a corporate officer, but by a former Democratic Senate staffer -- Donna Dees-Thomases -- who currently is a publicist for the David Letterman show and who has familial ties to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

However, you have to give her credit for being a good publicist. According to one news database, the national press already has churned out an amount of promotional coverage telling mothers how to get involved in the march that is remarkable, even by today's saturation standards. Organizers are described again and again as devoted parents, hardworking mothers struggling to balance the needs of employers, families and political protests to protect the lives of kids everywhere. Diane Sawyer recently "interviewed" three march organizers on Good Morning America, asking such piercing questions as: "How did you link up? and What's your biggest hope for the day?"

If you want to see a different tone of coverage, think back to all those men who came to Washington and pledged to change their own lives as part of the Promise Keepers march a few years back. The national media gleefully trumpeted scurrilous accusations against them as fast as leftwing activists could think them up. By contrast, those who dare to question gun-control marchers alternately are treated as bad parents or circus sideshows (if they are covered at all).

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