Politics is always contentious. You may not understand why people disagree with you, but someone always will. Think about it for a moment and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a unanimous vote on any measure at almost any level of government. Even the naming of a post office has someone who will vote against it just on general principle.
But in this day and age, disagreement isn’t supposed to be inevitable. For anti-gunners, it’s something that should be mocked, ridiculed, and stigmatized.
That’s precisely what the Miami New Times is trying to do.
This past Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In those 12 months since 17 kids and teachers were slaughtered, mass-shootings have obviously not stopped, and it is still remarkably easy to obtain a gun in Florida. Numerous news outlets — including the New York Times and Miami Herald — have published gut-wrenching accounts about how America coped with gun violence since Parkland.
It’s important to tell the stories of those victims — but it’s also vital to chronicle why nothing has really changed that much in the last year. And, while Florida did enact a few meaningful gun-safety laws after the shooting, a whole lot more could have happened last year. Things didn’t change because of these people, specifically…
The post then goes on to list a handful of Florida politicians. I’m not going to go into the names, but I do recommend that if you’re looking for Florida lawmakers to donate money to their campaigns, this is a dandy place to start.
This particular post is labeled “news” on a site that presents itself as a news publication, rather than an opinion site like Bearing Arms. Further, the author of this screed, someone who at one point termed people who opposed gun control “morons,” has a bio at the bottom that reads:
Jerry Iannelli is Miami New Times‘ daily-news reporter. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. He moved to South Florida in 2015.
In other words, this counts as “reporting” for the Miami New Times.
What you’re really seeing is an attempt by a news publication to stigmatize lawmakers who dare believe gun control isn’t a solution. This isn’t reporting. It’s not news. It’s an attempt to organize a digital lynch mob.
It’s not enough that these lawmakers disagree with Iannelli. No, they have the temerity to disagree and actually back it up. They won’t fold because a reporter for a weekly newspaper in Miami doesn’t agree with them.
So what does Iannelli do? He pens this nonsense and has it published as “news” on a site that’s ostensibly supposed to be about news.
The attempt here is to make supporting the Second Amendment untenable for lawmakers. It’s stigmatization of gun supporters by a news publication under the guise of journalism. Edward R. Murrow is rolling over in his grave at this, to be sure.
If there’s an upside to this, it’s that it’s such a ham-handed attempt that anyone with a brain can look at this and know it to be opinion masquerading as journalism, which will negate much of its effect.