Saturday, June 28, 2008

On D. C. gun ban, news orgs tank for Obama

Major news organizations continue to work hard to help elect Senator Barack Obama President.

The following excerpts are from Washington Post media critc Howard Kurtz’s “Pretzel Logic” report. My comments follow below the star line.

… Regardless of what you think of the merits of yesterday's Supreme Court ruling overturning the capital's handgun law, it seems to me we're entitled to a clear position by the presumed Democratic nominee. And I'm a bit confused about how the confusion came about.

Here's how the Illinois senator handled the issue with the Chicago Tribune just last November:

"The campaign of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said that he ' . . . believes that we can recognize and respect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and the right of local communities to enact common sense laws to combat violence and save lives. Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional.' " (all emphasis added)

Kind of a flat statement.

And here's what ABC reported yesterday: " 'That statement was obviously an inartful attempt to explain the Senator's consistent position,' Obama spokesman Bill Burton tells ABC News."

Inartful indeed.

But even though the earlier Obama quote and the "inartful" comment have been bouncing around the Net for 24 hours, I'm not seeing any reference to them in the morning papers.

Most do what the New York Times did: "Mr. Obama, who like Mr. McCain has been on record as supporting the individual-rights view, said the ruling would 'provide much-needed guidance to local jurisdictions across the country.' "

Supporting the individual-rights view? Not in November.

Even the Tribune--the very paper that the Obama camp told he supported the gun ban--makes no reference to the November interview. Instead: "Democrat Barack Obama offered a guarded response Thursday to the Supreme Court ruling striking down the District of Columbia's prohibition on handguns and sidestepped providing a view on the 32-year-old local gun ban. Republican rival John McCain's campaign accused him of an 'incredible flip-flop' on gun control."

So McCain accuses Obama of a flip-flop, and the Trib can't check the clips to tell readers whether there's some basis in fact for the charge?

USA Today takes the same tack:

"In a conference call put together by McCain's campaign, Republican Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas said . . . that Obama has been changing his position on the gun issue and said the Democratic senator has done some 'incredible flip-flopping' on key issue."

And? And? That's all we get? He said/he said journalism?

Even if you wanted to maintain that it wasn't really a flip-flop, what about giving the readers the facts?

The rest of Kurtz’s report is here.

Star line


So what about giving readers the facts? Don’t news organizations like the NYT, Chi. Trib. and USA Today insist that’s what they do?

Yes, that's what they claim. But as Kurtz’s report makes clear, they didn’t report Obama’s unequivocal support last November for the D. C. hand gun ban.

The reason seems obvious: Obama’s support for the ban will hurt him in the presidential election.

For months now "Elect-Obama" news organizations have been ignoring, downplaying and distorting news which will hurt the Senator's election chances.

Kurtz's report calls attention to only latest examples of “Anything for Obama” journalism.

They’re part of a long series which include reporting Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s history of racist and anti-American pronouncements as mere “snippets” Obama’s opponents were “taking out of context.”

Has an MSM reporter ever asked Obama: “Senator, we all know you say you were never in church anytime Rev. Wright made one of his ‘controversial’ sermons. But you’ve never explained how you could be a member of the church for 20 years and not hear from other church members, including, Sir, Ms. Obama, what Rev. Wright was saying. When are you going to do that?”

I commend Kurtz for calling attention to the failures of major news organizations to report the simple truth about Obama’s position on the D. C. gun ban.

Hat tips to:, Archer 05 and AC.


Archer05 said...

This is one of my favorite Second Amendment Rights stories.

During the 1992 riots in Los Angeles, for several days, the city was in complete turmoil as stores were looted and burned. Motorists were dragged from their cars and beaten.

In areas where armed citizens banded together for self-protection, their businesses were spared, while others relying on police protection, burned to the ground.

Pandemonium and panic grew to such a pitch, that even radical gun control advocates, were running to gun stores to buy an item they never thought they would -- a dreaded GUN!

They were indignant, and even outraged to be told there was a 15-day waiting period to purchase firearms.
“It is the law, NO EXCEPTIONS!”

Anonymous said...


One can always count on the MSM to list leftwards. They have seen the second coming and it's Barack Obama, and truth be damned. This is very much like Durham/Duke; tell one side of the story and leave out the relevant other side of the story. It took the blogs to expose Dan Rather and Mary Mapes; it took the blogs to expose the faux photographs of the what the Arabs claimed the Israelis had done in Lebanon; and it took the Swiftboat veterans to expose John Kerry. While some have denigrated my refusal to believe anything they read or see in the MSM, all I can do is point to the many many times the MSM has gotten it wrong and the blogs have gotten it right. I am then either met with silence or bluster.

Keep up the good work.

Jack in Silver Spring