Saturday, June 28, 2008

Heller and the Media...

So, anyhoo, the other day I made a point of leaving my hotel early enough to be online at the airport for the first words of a decision on Heller.

The decision came and I quickly put up something on The-Forum-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named and headed off to my departure gate. I sat there under a monitor which was set to CNN Headline News.

On the CNN reporting regarding Heller, they immediately had the thoughts of someone from the Brady Center. Did they include anyone from the NRA as balance? Nope.

And after the Brady Center opinion on the decision, the newsreader made the comment that BATFE is charged with ensuring that gun shops conform to local ordinances and that nothing in this decision would prevent the District from not allowing gun shops inside their borders--the implication being that if the Court says it's OK for an individual to have--to "keep"--a firearm in their home--then he could be prevented from having one in the first place by preventing it's sale.

Two points to all this...

  • The Mainstream Media is all about the narrative. Whatever you do, make sure what is said fits with what ought to be said. Offering opinions from both sides of an issue would allow thoughtful people to decide for themselves, and that would be horrible.
  • And when a decision goes against you, immediately start muddying the waters. The issue of gun shop locations had nothing at all to do with Heller. Yet the CNN reporting suggests that it does. Again, this goes to the support-the-narrative point, but it also shows that the shallowness that the Media (and unfortunately, much of the American public) has towards important issues allows them (us?) to conflate irrelevant points into an argument. Far too many of us get our only news from 30 minutes in front of a Big Three anchor or USA Today. Is it any wonder that we don't understand the issues?

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