August 14, 2012
Media Bias, Inaccuracy and Worse
Recently, we noted Time magazine managing editor Richard Stengel’s misrepresentation of America’s most popular sporting rifle when he wrote that the “AR-15 has little or no sporting purpose.” Though millions of Americans use these rifles for target shooting, Stengel apparently thinks he knows best.
Last week, Time magazine editor and columnist and CNN television host Fareed Zakaria was caught plagiarizing in his article The Case for Gun Control, which he ends with this line: “So when people throw up their hands and say we can’t do anything about guns, tell them they’re being un-American–and unintelligent.” Apparently, Zakaria thinks he knows best, too.
Zakaria has been suspended by both Time and CNN for borrowing language from an April 23 piece about the Second Amendment in The New Yorker. Newsbusters, a website that prides itself on “exposing and combating liberal media bias,” points out the similar passages in this blog post.
Then this article by Dan Roberts at Ammoland.com notes the 2012 Associated Press Stylebook, the guide to proper language usage followed by professional and amateur writers, defines the term “assault weapon” in unbelievably anti-gun terms:
“Assault Weapon: A semi-automatic firearm similar in appearance to a fully automatic firearm or military weapon. Not synonymous with assault rifle, which can be used in fully automatic mode. Wherever possible, be specific about the type of weapon: semi-automatic rifle, semi-automatic shotgun or semi-automatic pistol.”
This definition brands every semi-automatic pistol, rifle and shotgun as an assault weapon since nearly any of these firearms can be “similar in appearance” to a military weapon. As NSSF points out in its Modern Sporting Rifle Fact Card, the term “assault weapon” is a manufactured political term created by California anti-gun legislators to ban some semi-automatic rifles there in the 1980s.
When they allowed that definition into the stylebook, the AP editors thought they knew best.
It’s clear from these examples that firearms owners need to be “newsbusters,” too, in order to expose and correct media bias at both the national and local levels because, when it comes to firearms, we know best.