(By American Zen
Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is to have a good guy with a gun." - NRA VP Wayne LaPierre, December 21, 2012
If one were to take Maureen Dowd's
dry sarcasm literally (and I'm afraid many liberals do), then the NRA
is wrongly anathematizing the MSM that she represents and that the 4th
Estate is being used as a scapegoat, an innocent victim that's not
actually accountable for the atmosphere of fear the NRA's Executive Vice
President Wayne LaPierre rightly pointed out at his Friday presser.
Of course, LaPierre's brief, shining moment of lucidity in an otherwise
surrealistically stupid press conference was the delineation of the old
maxim of a stopped clock being right twice a day (although that second
time was never forthcoming). But he touched upon something that liberals
(including professional erstwhile leftists such as Dowd) are howling
about this very moment on Twitter, Crooks and Liars and elsewhere.
"Oh, it's not the media's fault!" Dowd and others are saying as they
claw slippery mud to achieve that moral high ground, as if LaPierre was
accusing a woman with her hormones out of whack. But the fact is,
there's a tacit, synergistic relationship between the mainstream media,
the NRA and gun sales. Fear sells. And people are always buying,
especially in a year in which the Maya seemed to promise us destruction
on the winter solstice (which has proven to be as much a no-show as
LaPierre's proverbial second moment of clarity). And the mainstream
media, those loyal stenographers of every presidential administration
since Lyndon Johnson and the Gulf of Tonkin, are doing the selling. The
NRA helps its gun lobby help the firearms industry fill the demand
for the tools that keep the fear at bay. (A chilling sidebar: This company sold
three and a half year's worth of AR15 clips in just 72 hours after the
Newtown massacre, all but outright proving gun nuts nationwide are
afraid of an official and meaningful backlash that hasn't even begun
Granted, the MSM at its worst thinks on a much bigger
and grander scale, supporting this or that administration whenever they
feel the need to get their war on and attack one nation of brown people
or another. After all, few things pump up ratings faster and higher than
a shiny new war but in the wake of September 11th, 2001, even the hasty
and futile invasion of Afghanistan played second fiddle to the
Islamophobia that was stoked, with Fox "News" proudly at the vanguard.
Last week, an Indiana man was arrested for torching a mosque. After he was arrested and questioned as to his motive, he reportedly claimed
that he'd watched Fox "News" while drinking 45 beers and essentially
said they made him do it with their constant blathering about Muslims
killing us. Over two years ago, the Tides Foundation wouldbe shooter
Byron Williams was found to have literature in his car by Sean Hannity
and Glenn Beck, the latter having railed incessantly about Tides. Williams himself said
he'd been heavily influenced by what he'd seen on TV about Tides and the ACLU.
When one realizes what an absurdly high percentage of Republican voters who as of last July still thought the president was a Muslim
despite Mr. Obama being the Chief Executive for three and a half years
and being, naturally, one of the most written-about men on the planet,
the sharp increase we saw in gun sales becomes more explainable. (In
fact, between October 2008 and July this year, the percentage who
thought he was Muslim actually rose
from 12 to 17 points,
according to Pew, meaning the more they see and hear and read about the
president, the more ignorant conservatives get.)
follows that the MSM, inexplicably led by the top-rated Fox "News",
partly has itself to blame for gun sales skyrocketing after both
presidential elections, due in part to the lies told about President
Obama, the most stubborn of which is that he wants to take away our guns.
Go do a search on Newsbank or any other comprehensive news database for
how many times our president has actually used the phrase "gun control"
and in what context. I'll sit here and wait.
See what I mean?
Even after his tearful press conference in which the President finally
broke down and said that a solution to this problem with mass shootings
has to be reached, he still
didn't say the phrase "gun control" or offer even any broad strokes of such an agenda.
And, lest the MSM fear they're becoming irrelevant and that people
aren't listening to them, all they need do is to continue following the
AP or UPI news wire to see how many people are taking to heart the fear
they stoke on a daily basis. Then watch the media step back and howl
with indignation at being labeled culpable when one shooter or wouldbe
shooter after another cites them as the source of their murderous angst.
The mainstream media were as adept at capitalizing on national fear as
the neocons in the Bush administration and their constant color-coded
terror alerts that suddenly inched up to red
when it looked as if Bush's re-election odds were getting long, which,
of course, the MSM were all too ready, eager, willing and able to
helpfully pass along.
Their manifold motivations for stoking
fear vary but the one common denominator is Money, the Almighty dollar.
The NRA and its lobbying arm's job is to keep gun sales at alltime
highs. The media's job is to perpetually stoke that fear because as long
as humans harbor that atavistic fight or flight instinct, fear will
always sell, which means airtime sells at high rates which means more
money in the already bulging, bottomless pockets of TV, radio and
newspaper executives and their holding company's shareholders. The very
coverage of Newtown, while certainly newsworthy, was obviously driven by
the cynical, old media adage of, "If it bleeds, it leads." And the MSM
have no incentive to stop the bleeding anywhere along the way.
And the people ultimately left holding the price tag for these
corporately-driven agendas are the parents who have to bury dead
children after one maniac whose mother took to heart what the media and
the NRA said about the necessity of buying semi-automatic weapons. The
answer is not to buy more guns to combat the problem of us already
having too many guns and the answer isn't even more mandatory and
stringent background checks. The answer starts with telling the MSM to
back off and to stop needlessly frightening the populace into gun shops
and gun shows and passing along lies as if they were actual news. And
that starts with ignoring doddering morons like Wayne LaPierre and
keeping him off Meet the Press
Anyone who'd seen
Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
may remember Moore asking
Canadians why their country has so many fewer gunshot fatalities than
ours, despite the prevalence of firearms in Canada. No one could fully
answer the question but one Canadian gentleman perhaps came the closest
when he said that Canadians weren't afraid all the time and their
mainstream media didn't stoke fear on a constant basis.