Quote of the Day: Define “Misleading” Edition

media-matters-long

“Media coverage of Pew’s question creates a misleading perception that a choice must be made between protecting gun rights and supporting broadly popular gun safety regulations.” – What The Media Isn’t Saying About Support For Stronger Gun Laws [via mediamatters.org]

comments

  1. avatar the ruester says:

    They are butthurt because people accept the framing of the question; there is no way to both protect gun rights AND support “broadly popular gun safety regulations” at the same time, and that it is now painfully obvious to most Americans. Meanwhile, people are rejecting the framework of the anti argument, which is that we must choose between “fondling” our guns and piles of dead children. This little hissy fit is the sound of a committed statist losing control of the language. Poor George Lakoff must be working overtime trying figure out where this all fits into his mommy/daddy issues.

    1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

      They’re butt hurt because the readership of media matters has been told that they are the ones that are “in touch” with the average American and that their ideas are the “mainstream”. In order for that lie to continue and their dogma to continue unquestioned, there has to be something wrong with the poll. They can’t expect to look inward at their own crackpot ideology of force and control that has only lasted this long because of massive media support. Hence the name of the organization.

  2. avatar John L. says:

    Let’s not forget the question of just how “broadly popular” those measures are. (“But nobody I know voted for Nixon…”)

    Or, for that matter, that if even 99% of the population supported something, that doesn’t make it just … or legal. That’s one of the differences between a Constitutional republic and, say, mob rule.

    1. avatar Bob says:

      Exactly!

      I think they need to define “broadly popular” and “gun safety regulations”, because I don’t think they mean what you think they mean.

  3. avatar John M. says:

    Misleading. Sure. Just ask New Yorkers who can only put seven rounds in their mags if they want to abide by the law.

    I’m sure the gangbangers and spree killers will find that a real cramp in their style.

  4. avatar Bob101 says:

    “Broadly popular” to whom. Progressives always imply that if something is popular among Progressives that it is somehow popular with everyone. To them, the opinions of those in flyover states do not matter, that we only exist to pay for their rich, big city existence.

  5. avatar ADC USN/Ret says:

    Hey Robert, you might think moving the website to the left is in your best interest, but I do not.

    There is no middle ground with anti-gunners. It is a failure to believe there is. They will not stop, ever.

    The left has proven that over and over again, I for one, will not give them the opportunity to do it again!

    Middle ground is only talked about when they want to protect their gains and someone else has the hammer. Just like Reid said, “please don’t do to us what we did to you.” Paraphrased from his please let us make amendments to your laws.

    I vote for doing to them what they did, or tried to do, to us! No nice guy here!!!

    1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

      I never looked at supporting individual rights and liberty as a left vs right issue. I see it as a we the people vs politician issue.

      1. avatar Skeptical_Realist says:

        “I never looked at supporting individual rights and liberty as a left vs right issue. I see it as a we the people vs politician issue.”

        Then you might want to examine your definitions for political “left” and political “right”. Here’s a hint; the current left and right use different ones.

        The framers looked at Europe, and realized their spectrum made no sense (Tyrrany on both the far left–communism; and far right–facism). Instead, they chose a new spectrum, based on individual liberty. Far Left is 100% government control, and no freedom (tyrrany). Far Right is 100% freedom, and zero government (anarchy). They chose a nice middle ground. Unfortunately, we’ve been drifting left ever since. This also explains why leftists claim that the Right is Fascist, but under the U.S. system, fascism resides on the left.

        For more detail, see “The 5000 Year Leap” by constitutional scholar W. Cleon Skousen.

        1. avatar JeffR says:

          There was no such thing as communism or fascism when our Constitution was written. Our founders were looking at a Europe full of monarchies.

        2. avatar NYC2AZ says:

          Yet the majority of politicians that align themselves with the political right in this country are more than happy to vote in lockstep with the political left against individual liberty as long as they think they can get away with it… or they feel it’s a non issue that will bring in revenue. The average person being 100% ideologically left or right (or ‘constrained vs unconstrained’ as Sowell put forth in “Conflict of Visions”) is a rarity among the population. Most people on both sides of the spectrum are quite content with screaming about one set of rights while gladly and cheerfully accepting government regulation on others. For example, there are those I have talked to that align with the current political right who gladly accept paying hundreds of dollars a year to the government to “freely” travel in their personally owned vehicles (not to mention the thousands extra added onto the price of vehicles to comply with government fuel & safety mandates). That is but one example. The idea that government taxing, licensing, and registration schemes are somehow keeping people safe are universally accepted among the current political right and left in this country in various areas of everyday life. Meanwhile, the politicians on both sides of the aisle will gladly take more of your money (taxes) while further restricting your rights (regulation). It’s what they do… because they are politicians first.

        3. avatar John M. says:

          The US Government was the most left-wing system on earth when it was established. And we’ve been paying for it since.

        4. avatar Skeptical_Realist says:

          @JeffR

          That’s what I get for posting 1st thing in the morning.

          Monarchies, then. Still Tyranny. Communism/Fascism are simply the newer, “better” tyranny.

        5. avatar Skeptical_Realist says:

          @John M.

          USA as established was farthest left? How so?

          This is probably what I tried to address. The right has one set of definitions, and the left uses another. This is why we can’t find a middle ground; our vectors to the middle don’t intersect.

    2. avatar IAB2 says:

      Hey Chief, with respect, I think you may be mis-interpreting RF’s agenda here.

      In my experience with TTAG, reading since about six months after founding, I have noticed that RF and now Dan tend to tee up leading examples of various points of view, and timely news that impacts guns and the gun culture, and trust the readers to kick it around. Often RF and staff put their own spin on things, but when they do, its pretty explicit.

      Other times, RF will put an attention grabbing lede (headline) on the news item, and its not necessarily accurate- in fact, he is crazy like a fox- sometimes its deliberately snarky just to generate interest,

      and more conversation among the POTG, which helps to build respectful debate and at the same time to educate the newbies who come here to learn about guns and gun culture, and learn from the interplay on the issues.

      The forum commentary in a site like this becomes at least half the value of the site, over time, if its curated delicately and allowed to evolve- and here we are pretty fortunate to have a wide range of astute gun smart folks of all stripes. Mostly right of center, but in most cases, secure enough in their own beliefs to allow debate- for thats how you persuade, by engaging, with respect and the facts and reason.

      Teeing up something juicy and obvious to the well read news reader is not evidence of a point of view, or a left wing move- its stimulating conversation, education, and bringing more independent readers into the fold.

      “the clean, well-lit room” ~ Hemingway

      1. avatar IAB2 says:

        PS: Bravo Zulu for speaking up with passion, and thanks for your service.

    3. avatar Silver says:

      There’s something to be had for educating liberals. Liberals from decades past have been lumped into the prog/leftist camp de facto and some haven’t woken up to the fact yet that their party is one of fascism and oppression.

      21st century America isn’t liberal versus conservative, or Democrat versus Republican. It’s fascist versus libertarian.

      But you’re right, no middle ground with leftists. They embody everything America was created to oppose, they embody the absolute worst of humanity.

  6. avatar PeterK says:

    These people crack me up. I have a hard time believing they really think you can restrict a right while supporting it. Would they claim the same with free speech or voting rights?

    Really, how else would you word the question? Do you support gun freedom or gun control? There already WAS a middle ground answer as well, right?

  7. avatar Josh says:

    They’re just a little upset that this might override their favorite little push poll that gave them that ridiculous “90% of people including 80% of gun owners support more gun control errr we mean common sense gun safety!” When people are asked for their opinions in plain honest language the results are obviously unfavorable to them.

  8. avatar dh34 says:

    Media Matters…a wholly owned subsidiary of Clinton, Inc. An organization unabashedly formed to attack any organization that portrays the Clinton dynasty in a poor light and to provide a mouthpiece for the Clinton dogma under the guise of journalism. Journalistic integrity on par with MSNBC clowns and the HuffPo, Slate, Beast crowd…but staffed with true believers instead of scatterbrained hacks.

  9. avatar Tom says:

    David Brock the founder of Media Matters had a armed bodyguard who turned out didnt have the proper permit in Washington DC. The bodyguard was never charged with a crime. This groups is also funded by George Soros even though they deny any connection.

  10. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    Show me one of these “broadly popular gun safety regulations” that doesn’t erode “gun rights.”

    You cannot put in place “broadly popular gun safety regulations” without eroding somebody’s idea of “gun rights.” If they agreed, you wouldn’t need regulations to get them to do what you want.

    As an example, one might take a look at Schumer & crew’s proposed amendment to “fix” the last round of federal “common sense” gun regulation, so “broadly popular” it went nowhere, despite millions in advocacy. (Feinstein can get that CIA report out of committee, but couldn’t get her preferred gun legislation to go anywhere. This might suggest something about the issue’s popularity.)

    The Schumer & crew amendment contained a bucket of restrictions, a pile of discretionary “permission” and half a dozen vague definitions, and ambitious prosecutor or agency could drive a truck through. Let us recall that, while CO2 may or may not be a horrible, dangerous addition to the atmosphere – I’m holding that as undetermined – it was certainly, clearly, and literally, look at the damn actual language, not considered a pollutant, or issue in the creation of the EPA with associated laws & regulations. Do not get me started on the redefinition of “navigable.” Or take a look at asset forfeiture if you prefer something put in place by the other guys. Low-threshold “possession” laws would never be used along with asset forfeiture to create summay punishment, or a revenue stream for the enforcers – said repeatedly by the advocates of both.

    Guns are a great metaphor, as the means to make holes downrange for good ends can also be used for ill, or casually, accidentally abused. That’s half the standing argument against guns – they’re too prone to misapplication. The other half of the standing argumnent is that people, mere citizens without any kind of granted authority, oughtn’t have the power to protect themselves. They don’t own their own lives. That kind of agency and responsibility is unseemly for digits of the great leviathan. (Read Hobbs.)

    The point is not D or R, or “Liberal” or “Conservative”, as our recent absented lurker might have it. The point is let’s be careful what we enable. In particular on a gun oriented site, let’s look very closely at the actual words of actual regulations and actual legislation, and actual advocacy by the folks proposing both. And let’s look at these things in the context of what can be done with statutes and agencies once they are in place.

    So, let’s have the conversation. LETS HAVE THE CONVERSATION. Here is the conversation: You cannot put in place “broadly popular gun safety regulations” without eroding somebody’s idea of “gun rights.” If they agreed, you wouldn’t need regulations to get them to do what you want. So, is it worth it? And is it worth whatever else will get shoehorned in later? LETS HAVE THE CONVERSATION.

    Here’s a hint: Narrow, specific regulations have a way better chance of getting accepted. Proposing more looks like you’re trying to double-deal: get something later under cover of what you are getting now.

    1. avatar Jay-El says:

      Yep.

      I’m very tired of hearing the demands from the disarmist movement for a “national conversation about common-sense gun safety laws.” They want people to agree with their agenda sight unseen.

      I’ve said this before, but to the Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Everytown for Gun Safety interns who read this blog…how about you fess up about exactly what it is you’re demanding? You want people to sign off on your agenda based on nothing at all. Please stop that.

      And no “well, for starters….” either. You’re the ones who keep asking for — make that demanding, like your name says — action. So let’s hear what you want.

      1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

        They lost the “National Conversation”, several times, so their only recourse is to continue to scream that it hasn’t started yet.

        1. avatar Jay-El says:

          That, and to delete and ban any commenters who post empirical refutations of their hysterical claims on MDA’s Facebook page. Which, I should note, is as valid a “national conversation” as anything these days. That they insist on exerting total control over said conversation merely reveals their true intent.

  11. avatar Scrubula says:

    California, New York, DC, New Jersey. All places that passed the gun laws these people want, thus turning their states into a nightmare of convoluted laws (safe act) and frankenstein guns (AWB) for gun owners.

    So no, I think the evidence shows that you can’t protect gun rights and restrict gun rights at the same time.

  12. avatar surlycmd says:

    Choice: the opportunity or power to make a decision. The exercise of freewill.

    I tried to read the linked article but it wouldn’t load on my PC. I suspect the Media Matters people are truly surprised that many, if not most, Americans are able to decide for themselves about guns. These Statist regime supporters wholly believe their elitist icons know what is best for us average folks. Media Matters and their ilk do not truly understand, much less support, the concept of a Citizen of the Republic.

  13. avatar Avid Reader says:

    It’s only misleading because they don’t agree with the outcome. If it fit their narrative, they’d be promoting it instead of denouncing it

    1. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

      Bingo, you beat me to it.
      Our side has been saying for years that these polls often produce suspect results. Their panties are only in a knot now because they don’t like the results. I still don’t care that much for the results even though they now skew in our favor. These poll results are only useful in showing a changing trend in public opinion.
      The thing is, it doesn’t matter if 99.9% of the people want to attack the RKBA. Our constitution was written to protect the rights of the few from the misguided attacks from the many.

      1. avatar The Trouble with Timbo says:

        Yes, apparently for the other 11 years shown on the Pew graph it was OK that the question to be “misleading”

  14. avatar Mina Smith says:

    Andrew Breitbart exposed Media Matters as a propoganda arm of Obama. It’s an outgrowth (pun intended) of Organizing for America (also a propoganda group) & is now Organizing for Action.

    Media Matters is therefore a mouthpiece of the Left even more so than our supposedly neutral but primarily Leftist mainstream media.

    1. avatar IAB2 says:

      +1. Thank you. Except to “know your enemy” you can simply stop reading and dismiss anything from Media Matters as nothing but more left-progtard propaganda.

      Media Matters is the George Soros funded spin group, headed by John Podesta, Clintons former chief of staff.

      Anyone who gives ANYTHING coming from that source any sort of credence, or credibility, has an agenda, and its not about truth, or the news, or what is good for America.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_Matters_for_America

    2. avatar publius2 says:

      An article today by John Lott, in Fox News about deliberate lies, distortions, and propagandizing of reporting, including banning of comments not in agreement at Media Matters:

      http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/12/09/media-matters-facts-and-me/

  15. avatar Sian says:

    Broadly popular. LIke how Washington state only came out 59% in support of something that supposedly 90% of the public wants.

    Super-offended by them calling it ‘gun safety regulations’ too. Can anyone name even a single crime or accident or suicide stopped by background checks?

  16. avatar dwb says:

    Along with former MoveOn consultant Tom Matzzie and John Podesta’s Center for American Progress, it is behind Progressive Media, a liberal messaging campaign launched in 2008 and expanded in 2009 to become a ‘war room’ for promoting the foreign and domestic policies of Barack Obama.

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Media_Matters_for_America

    Why should we give an organization that thinks the New York Times is too right wing on guns (because they posted the same false perception) the time of day?

    This is just a gateway for progressives to generate income donations.

    1. avatar juliesa says:

      Uggh, that Matzzie guy is a thug. He’s the one who a few years ago sent threatening letters to Republican donors, and bragged about it. I’d always been in favor of the current practice of full disclosure of names of political donors, but with what the Democrats have been doing, I’m now in favor of donor privacy.

  17. avatar SpecialK says:

    I never heard any objections to the way the question was phrased when the antis were receiving the desired result.

  18. avatar Jay-El says:

    Just read the Media Matters report, and two things leaped out:

    1. Every “expert” quoted is affiliated with a pro-“gun safety” (aka regulation) organization.

    2. Those quoted, and the writer, either naively or deviously equated being in favor of protecting gun rights with being opposed to gun trafficking laws. That is simply infuriating. Then again, it’s peanuts compared to the common talking point suggesting that law-abiding gun owners don’t care about children killed by wackos.

    3. The article entirely missed the relevance of the change In public opinion since the last time the poll was conducted using an identical question. To wit, more people are in favor of protecting gun rights. Unless that’s what scares them, and that’s why they’re attempting to discredit the results by nitpicking the poll instrument.

    4. They further missed the likelihood that people answered the poll based on their belief that it’s not possible to enact further “gun safety regulations” without encroaching on Americans’ rights, because they know that the so-called safety regulations have little to do with safety, and are intended specifically for the purpose of encroaching on rights. In other words, maybe people aren’t stupid.

    Oops, that’s four.

  19. avatar Anhydrous says:

    I don’t know whats more sad, that media matters still exists, or that some people actually like getting their “news” from them.

  20. avatar AnonInWA says:

    They claim that the poll question was poorly worded and give the people a choice between gun control and gun rights. They fail to realize that gun control in itself is a poor choice for gun safety and it is yet to demonstrate that actually works. So it is they that mislead the public with BS proposal that does nothing to achieve the stated goals. They throw a tantrum when the public realizes that.

  21. avatar JeffR says:

    “According to experts ….” That single phrase from the article is what angers me the most about progressives. They simply do not believe people can think for themselves, and we should all defer to their “experts.” People are not that dumb and, frankly, most issues aren’t that flipping complicated to begin with.

  22. avatar Ralph says:

    “Misleading” is what Media Matters does for a living. In less polite circles, Media Matter’s nasty habit can also be referred to as “bullsh!tting.”

  23. avatar mirgc says:

    What’s funny (and sad) is that Media Matters goes to great lengths to hide the fact that the question hasn’t changes since 1993 (see the PEW poll, page 8).

    1. avatar the ruester says:

      Good call. The original wording may very well have been intended as a “push” poll to influence public opinion concerning the (then) upcoming ’93-’94 AWB.

    2. avatar ropingdown says:

      Agree. What I found telling was that even after this fact was clarified in the comments section, most of the Media Matters commenters acted as though it was irrelevant. They didn’t even pause to consider that the same question generated a very different balance of responses when asked in a different opinion climate. They seem to cheer for (or boo) polling organizations strictly according to their liking of some result, with essentially no reflection on the underlying processes.

      MM’s characterization of the Pew Charitable Trusts as conservative made me laugh. J.N. Pew (the founder of Sun Oil Co., Sunoco) and J. Howard certainly were conservative, associated, for example, with the very anti-union N.A.M. However, the management and boards of the CPT’s have been very moderate, occasionally left-of-center, over the last twenty years.

    3. avatar NYC2AZ says:

      Good find.

  24. avatar Johnny says:

    So funny he is addressing the rhetoric of polling yet in a heart beat will spew that 40% of guns are sold without background checks. Oh little Timmy the activist, I mean “journalist.”

  25. avatar Slick says:

    Good, good, let the jimmies rustle through you, media matters.

  26. avatar Another Robert says:

    Define “misleading”? OK : “There have been almost 100 school shootings since Newtown”.

  27. avatar Roymond says:

    Just because….

    Those who led the American Revolution were conservative first and liberal second: the revolution was a conservative movement seeking to retain the “traditional rights of Englishmen”; the means they later set up (the Constitution) to keep those rights once they’d won was indeed liberal. The Constitution itself, for that matter, is both liberal and conservative: liberal in that its intent was to restrict government and uphold individual rights, conservative in that changing it was made purposefully difficult.

    I would argue that anyone who supports liberty has to be both liberal and conservative.

  28. avatar BDub says:

    That’s funny. They weren’t making the same argument when Pew was finding the opposite – even though it was the case then. Let’s face it PEW sucks – they design horrible surveys with crappy unthought-out questions most of the time. I was married to a woman who designed surveys for businesses, she used to rail on about horribly designed surveys, and how much easier (even accidentally) it was to design a survey that either gave you no useful info, or supported a presumed position.

    1. avatar BDub says:

      Here is a classic shitty question example from this very Pew Poll:
      ———–
      ASK REPUBLICANS AND REPUBLICAN LEANERS ONLY (PARTY=1 OR PARTYLN=1):
      TEAPARTY3
      From what you know, do you agree or disagree with the Tea Party movement, or don’t you
      have an opinion either way?
      ———–

      First, bias of the group being asked, followed by forced commitment to an overly-broad generalization. Why not ask that question broadly and then correlate it to the political sentiment? Then, agree on what? What topic specifically am agreeing or disagreeing with…abortion, taxation, government size..WHAT?

  29. avatar preston says:

    what questions? what article? wtf are you talking about? a little info goes a long way to help your readers understand what it is you are talking about.

  30. avatar the ruester says:

    I’m starting to think preston is some confused old person who accidentally enabled your RSS feed.

  31. avatar Silver says:

    I must have missed the part of the Constitution that states any rights can be rendered null and void if “broad popularity” is in favor of it.

    Silly me, I thought the point of a Constitutional Republic was to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority.

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