December 02, 2005

Asshatted Propagandists

Say Uncle tells us that the AP lied to Barrett Manufacturing & ran a very slanted, biased & inaccurate story about that company's firearms.

In other breaking news Captain Renault was shocked - shocked - to discover that gambling was occurring in Rick's Cafe Americain.

It's not that the AP shouldn't be chastised for its behavior - both in the treatment of Barrett as well as their underwhelming correction - but we are talking about the MSM. This shouldn't shock anyone. What is shocking is when a pro-gun column appears that isn't just a compilation of letters from readers.

The MSM has, since the 70's (which is as far back as I can recall), done it's best to demonize guns & guns owners. There are several reasons for this. Possibly the most prevalent is that the MSM views guns ignorantly & thinks its readership will be as awed as they are when they read about a rifle that can kill a tank 2 miles away. Or a crime committed with an "automatic revolver" Or better yet - an evil "assault weapon".

I'm sure there are some legitimately anti-gun feelings at most major papers but I think most of it is simple ignorance. It's the same ignorance that would cause headlines to proclaim "the sky is falling” every time an acorn hit a reporter on the head if he didn't know about a fellow named Newton (who incidentally could not be reached for comment).

However this is 2005. A lot of folks are on the net. A lot of folks who didn't know anything about "assault weapons" or the dreaded .50 BMG rifles from Tennessee can find Say Uncle or Geek With A .45 or The Smallest Minority (to name but a few) & be exponentially ahead of any curve comprised of MSM types. There's no excuse for ignorance from journalists anymore.

So yes; the AP acted irresponsibly & dishonestly & is in the process of being busted for it. Sadly that's not news. It's not even uncommon. What is uncommon (but decreasingly so) is that these types of stories are being pointed out for the BS they are & to almost as wide (possibly wider, depending upon the story itself & the number of websites that pick up on it) an audience as the story itself had.

The MSM doesn't have the microphone like it used to. It can't drown out the hecklers. In the old days the folks who bought ink by the barrel had the last word. But how are they going to refute folks who don't even need ink to fact check their asses when they screw up or down & out lie?

It would be much better if the AP had acted honorably & honestly before & during this story. But this isn't 1985 when only a few observant gun nuts wrote letters to the editor that may or may not have been printed. Now there's a whole host of gun bloggers alone who will write about the AP's errors, both deliberate & unintentional & thousands upon thousands who will read & be able to check the facts for themselves. We might not be able to reach everyone with the truth, but we could mess around & reach enough.

In 1985 this kind of story could have been damaging to gun owners. Now it mainly hurts what is left (no pun intended) of the MSM’s credibility. It’s true that a lie makes it half way around the world before the truth gets its pants on, but when the truth catches up there is usually a fresh can of whoop-ass opened up on said lie. If the MSM keeps this up in the face of the internet, bloggers, & other online venues then the MSM is going to be collateral damage when that first bit of air rushes out of each & every can of whoop-ass. Oh some people – in fact a lot of people – will buy what the MSM sells. But even though we’ve still got our pajamas on we still catch them flatfooted quite a bit. Wait till we get dressed.

Read Say Uncle for all the details.

Posted by Publicola at December 2, 2005 04:39 AM | TrackBack
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