Is NBC News trying to get the GOP base to turn on Cornyn?

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Right now, tensions are high. Gun control is increasingly looking like a possibility. After all, a bipartisan group of senators is wheeling and dealing right now over just how much of our Second Amendment rights will be dealt away to appease the left.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas is involved in these negotiations and he’s spoken on them.

And look at how NBC News presented them.

As bipartisan talks on legislation to tackle gun violence heat up, the chief Senate Republican negotiator, John Cornyn of Texas, has found himself in a familiar place: swatting away unfounded claims that the Senate is scheming to trample the Second Amendment.

“I want to be clear, though: We are not talking about restricting the rights of current law-abiding gun owners or citizens,” Cornyn said Monday in a floor speech. “What I’m interested in is keeping guns out of the hands of those who, by current law, are not supposed to have them: people with mental health problems, people who have criminal records.”

Now, if you read that, what do you think? It sure sounds like expanding background checks, doesn’t it?

Especially if you recall that Cornyn was talking with Connecticut Senator and anti-gun zealot Chris Murphy just last year about background checks.

Except, he’s not talking about that. In fact, Cornyn has said expanding background checks isn’t even on the table as far as he’s concerned.

Now, NBC News does eventually get around to saying that Cornyn isn’t supporting background checks, but not until the very end of the article.

It’s unlikely they’re unaware of the metrics that many news readers don’t get that far in the story. Hell, I didn’t get that far initially, either. Not before becoming infuriated with Cornyn.

And I think that’s the point.

NBC News has to know that people often don’t read to the end of news articles. They hit the first few paragraphs, form an opinion, and move on. Newspapers use a method of writing called the Inverted Pyramid that served a function for newspapers–it made it easier to edit for size–but also encouraged this kind of behavior.

With this, NBC News can just throw a mention at the bottom and allow the reader to get the impression that Cornyn supports universal background checks.

Considering what happened when a congressman opted to support gun control, it’s likely someone involved hopes that Cornyn’s base will turn on him as well.