Television Networks Are Unwittingly Adding Fuel to the Anti-Gun Crusade

By Mueller, Gene | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), January 12, 2000 | Go to article overview

Television Networks Are Unwittingly Adding Fuel to the Anti-Gun Crusade


Mueller, Gene, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


As a recreational hunter and target shooter, the charge that network news broadcasts have become the "communications division of the anti-gun lobby" isn't comforting. And yet a two-year Media Research Center study says it can document its claims.

The research center says network television evening news broadcasts and morning shows are busily spinning the gun debate in favor of gun control.

So why are we getting into the fray? The Second Amendment to the Constitution - the right to keep and bear arms - is misquoted and wrongly interpreted by people who should know better. This hunter is fed up with broadcasters and others who make idiotic statements such as, "We don't want to stop the legal use of guns by hunters and target shooters," only to follow it up with the invariable, "but . . ."

Dear fiends and foes, the Constitution's Second Amendment doesn't say the right to shoot a duck shall not be abridged. No, it addresses all Americans who legally own a gun, not only target plinkers and hunters. In fact, the framers of the Constitution wisely figured that if enough citizens owned arms they could keep an eye on a potentially oppressive, intrusive federal government. They wanted us to be truly free.

When will the hair-sprayed, talking heads of TV understand that?

Meanwhile, Media Research Center chairman, Brent Bozell, says, "There is no way to look at these numbers and not conclude that network news broadcasts have become the communications division of the anti-gun lobby. The networks have clearly chosen sides in this debate which only serves to mislead and misinform the public they're supposed to serve."

MRC analysts examined 653 morning and evening news stories on ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC from July 1, 1997 through June 30, 1999. The findings include:

* Stories advocating gun control outnumbered stories opposing gun control by 357 to 36 - a nearly 10 to 1 ratio.

* On the evening news, 164 broadcasts pushed a strong anti-gun position, while only 20 had some type of reporting that took a pro-gun position.

* Morning shows favored the anti-gun position by a margin of 13 to 1. More than half of morning news gun policy segments (208) tilted away from giving a balanced view. Of those segments, 93 percent (193) pushed a liberal anti-gun position, while only six percent (15) promoted gun owner rights.

What a shame. Imagine someone being so ready to pounce on one portion of the Constitution while at the same time screaming bloody murder when the First Amendment, the right to free speech (which includes TV broadcasters), is assaulted?

Fairness doesn't seem to be the TV networks' strong suit. Just tune into the Rosie O'Donnell Show on NBC and listen how her bosses permit the hysterical woman to spout anti-gun messages almost on a daily basis.

New magazine for women hunters - Women no longer will have to settle for outdoor sport publications that appear to be geared strictly toward men. …

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