Media’s Passion Isn’t Reporting. It’s Making Itself Look Bad
We’ve all become accustomed to the non-stop news coverage that gun crime
generates, particularly if it’s at a school. Endless emotional sensationalism
interspersed with tidbits about all the blood on the hands of the National
Rifle Association is the norm these days. This deluge by the professionals is
quickly followed up by polemics, rants, and memes on social media generated by
the members of the gun-grabbing movement. It’s a free country, but the typical
response looks more and more orchestrated every time it’s rolled out for public
consumption. Until now.
Two attackers opened fire at a STEM school in Highlands Ranch near Denver,
Colorado. One student was killed and eight others were wounded. But, despite
the understandably high level of sensitivity to school shootings in today’s
society, the news media has been relatively quiet about this incident following
the initial flurry of early reporting and the legion of anti-gun online voices
have been mostly restrained.
There are a number of possible explanations for this
comparative silence, but, whatever the reason, we are seeing a media that is
exercising self-restraint on a story that they normally would be working
overtime to hype into the stratosphere.
This is a noteworthy point, because many have been wondering
how much the endless news coverage does to encourage additional violence. This
very column, in fact, has suggested that a moratorium on gun violence reporting
might do more to curb violent crime than all the gun control liberals can
imagine. The response to such suggestions is usually along the lines of
“reporting every detail of this horrible incident is the responsibility of
journalism” and that restrictions on that reporting are an infringement upon
the freedom of the press.
This response is less than convincing, however, because we see self-restraint
in the media every day. Most of it, predictably, is due to the inherent liberal
bias present in most of the mainstream media.
Good unemployment numbers and stock market records are given
only brief coverage while the pain of trade war tariffs gets the spotlight
because of who’s in the White House. The cost to taxpayers of illegal aliens in
America or the crimes they commit are minimized while the trauma of families
separated at the border are front page news because Republicans need to be
painted as racists. Scandals involving email servers or illegal domestic spying
are virtually ignored because of who could be implicated. All of this shows us
that the media can avoid sensationalizing a story if they choose to.
From the typical liberal/leftist perspective, the Highlands
Ranch incident is exactly backwards. The shooting occurred in Colorado, a state
which has been very successful in strengthening its gun control laws. The
weapons used were handguns, not the scary evil AR-style rifles that the left
loves to vilify. And Colorado is in the spotlight when it comes to marijuana
legalization, with people on both sides of the weed debate watching very
closely to see what transpires in the Rocky Mountain state. None of these
factors make the shooting a story that fits the media’s standard playbook, and
the orchestrated campaigns by anti-gun organizations know that their regular
talking points don’t quite fit this time.
Additionally, this incident could have been so much worse if
it had not been for the actions of a brave hero, Kendrick Castillo. Castillo
rushed the shooter in his British Lit class and paid with his life. But
Castillo’s courageous move bought precious moments for others to follow up. Two
of them, Joshua Jones and Brendan Bialy, manage to slam the gunman against a
wall and disarm him. Bialy is in the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program and
will report to the Marines this summer. His motto is “I refuse to be a victim.”
These actions and the mindset that made them possible are at odds with the
regular fare that praises weakness and victimhood and rejects so-called “toxic
One of the shooters is apparently a 16-year-old transgender,
a female transitioning into a male. And this shooter’s father is an illegal
alien, reportedly convicted of domestic violence, and has been deported back to
Mexico twice. The shooter tweeted about missing the father 11 days before the
attack. A transgender minor who is the child of an illegal alien and lives in a
broken home definitely does not fit the usual narrative.
So how does the media choose to cover this incident? By
largely ignoring it.
Finally, students walked out of a memorial vigil in protest
of the way that the event was politicized. The vigil was organized by the Brady
Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and several speakers, including Democratic
politicians and a representative of Moms Demand Action, spoke. Students at the
school had not been invited to speak. No wonder many students and their
families called it a “political stunt.”
But that is not the sort of thing that gets headlines in America. If students speak out in favor of gun control, they’re plastered all over every news outlet and millions of adults tell us that the children shall lead us. If, however, students are not playing along, the story is quite different. If the incident doesn’t fit the expected narrative, it’s crickets on CNN.
Sometimes blows to the cerebral cortex just aren’t enough to show our appreciation. The
Bob Rogers is the Editor and Publisher of GunPro Plus, America’s premier daily digital gun news portal. After a successful 20-year career as the Editor for a major magazine in the gun industry, Bob launched GunPro Plus to bring his industry expertise on gun news into the digital realm.