Immediately following Las Vegas, gun rights activists knew gun control supporters would go on the offensive. Those same gun rights activists knew the mainstream media was unlikely to serve as an ally. Now, a study seems to confirm what so many already suspected.
The network news programs may well have exploited the Las Vegas tragedy to push their gun control agenda.
In the aftermath of the Las Vegas mass shooting, ABC, CBS and NBC “wasted little time in exploiting the tragedy to advance their anti-gun rights agenda,” writes Geoffrey Dickens, deputy research director for the Media Research Center, who released a study on Monday reviewing the coverage.
“In just six days of coverage, the networks filled their evening and morning show programs with statements favoring gun control over gun rights by a ratio of roughly 5 to 1,” Mr. Dickens said following a close analysis of all comments and statements that took any position on gun policy by anchors, reporters and guests — beginning on the morning of October 2 through the morning of October 8.
In total, there were over 30 minutes of statements which supported increased gun control — and about six minutes which took gun rights into account.
The study found that NBC was the most stridently anti-gun rights network by a 10 to 1 ratio. The network devoted over 12 minutes of coverage to gun control, compared with just over a minute of coverage that supported gun rights.
It’s unlikely many gun rights activists will be surprised by this. We already knew they were biased against gun rights and have been for years. It’s just interesting that now we have the imbalance quantified like this.
The massive imbalance in the coverage may well explain the supposedly massive support for gun control in a recent poll. With a near constant bombardment of anti-gun propaganda and no moderating counterpoint, it’s not surprising that people may well feel that gun control is the only answer. Especially since the media made no effort to show any alternatives.
Yet time and again, the media will claim it is the unbiased guardian of the nation, that they merely seek the truth.
The truth is that they’re presenting one-sided coverage of an issue at a particularly sensitive time in this country, and there’s almost no other reason to present such bias reporting unless it’s to advance an agenda. The other alternative is being unaware that there even is another side to the argument.
Network news organizations need to remember one very important thing. If they don’t want a return of the Fairness Doctrine, it would be wise to either stop with their bias or to wear their bias proudly so everyone knows where they’re coming from. Continued biased reporting like this will certainly not help, even without a return to the Fairness Doctrine. The American public already distrusts the media, after all. If they keep this up, they can enjoy irrelevancy.
What do you think? Is the media bias likely to blow back on them, or will it work and push most people toward favoring gun control?