National Public Radio (NPR) is funded by all taxpayers – conservative, libertarian, liberal, progressive, gun control supporters and Second Amendment advocates alike. We don’t have a choice in the matter. And if you account for the federal government’s debt-driven spending, future taxpayers are also paying for it even if they’re not born yet. One would expect a taxpayer-funded entity to be neutral and diligent, but NPR plays fast and loose with facts and truth.
Over the weekend, NPR repeated an old, disproven lie that the Trayvon Martin / George Zimmerman case involved “Stand Your Ground” laws.
‘Stand Your Ground’ laws are linked to an increase in U.S. homicides, study says
Trayvon Martin was killed a decade ago. The man who shot him used Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law as a successful defense. Critics say those laws are being abused and leading to more deaths.
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Tomorrow marks 10 years since 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed. The case surrounding his death centered around the controversial Stand Your Ground law, and new research says that law may have led to hundreds more homicides in the country.
The only true statement in the first paragraph is the duration since Trayvon Martin’s death. George Zimmerman’s defense did not involve Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. This old lie has been debunked more than a dozen times in these pages, but the lie continues to live on thanks to our mendacious media. There’s no point in rehashing every detail of what happened, but it suffices to say that Florida’s Stand Your Ground law had absolutely nothing to do with Zimmerman’s defense because Zimmerman simply did not have the option of retreating. He was literally not standing on the ground, having been pinned down by Martin in a prone position.
Having primed the reader/listener with the Stand Your Ground lie, NPR proceeds to quote Professional Experts: overschooled people with important degrees whose words the rest of us are supposed to accept as gospel truth.
Jonathan Simon teaches law at UC Berkeley. He says, generally, Stand Your Ground laws remove any duty to retreat first if a person feels threatened. He says their passage was a big cultural shift.
JONATHAN SIMON: Saying we approve of lethal violence. We think that, you know, you need to be more ready to use it on the spot.
No, Professor. Stand Your Ground laws don’t say that we approve of lethal violence. Infact, what they say is that we don’t approve of lethal violence committed by aggressors, and that lawful people can defend their own lives when so threatened.
CORLEY: Michelle Degli Esposti, an Oxford University researcher, began tracking the impact of the Florida law early on. She’s a co-author of a study published this week in the medical journal JAMA Network Open. It links Stand Your Ground legislation to an increase in homicides in the country.
MICHELLE DEGLI ESPOSTI: These laws are leading to unnecessary loss of lives, to around 700 extra homicides in the U.S. each year.
CORLEY: The study specifically looks at 23 states that enacted Stand Your Ground laws by 2016. Increases in homicides varied by geographic regions.
DEGLI ESPOSTI: So we saw bigger effects in the Southeast – so this is Florida, Alabama, Louisiana. And they went into double figures – so 20 to 30% increases.
Cam Edwards addressed this study recently. If you read his article, you will notice how NPR has left out critical details and nuances, and refused to give airtime to any critic of the study.
If Fox News lies, it’s not my problem unless I’m paying for it. If MSNBC or CNN lie, it’s not my problem unless I’m paying for it. But when NPR or PBS lie, it’s my problem (and everyone else’s) because we’re all paying for it whether we like it or not.
Complaining about NPR isn’t enough. Readers interested in taking action should contact the NPR Ombudsman (now called the Public Editor) and file a complaint about their article. Also consider writing to your Congressional representatives and Senators and state legislators to ask that all taxpayer funding for public radio be zeroed out. We the People shouldn’t be forced to subsidize lies.