ShotSpotter (courtesy nydailynews.com)

NYPD’s ShotSpotter picking up otherwise unreported shootings. That’s the headline sitting above the story by Ryan Sit at nydailynews.com. “The majority of shootings picked up by the NYPD’s ShotSpotter technology would have gone unreported without the system, police said on Monday. ShotSpotter — the technology that triangulates where a shooting occurred and alerts police officers to the scene — was activated 186 times in October, but received 911 calls for less than half of those incidents,” Ryan writes. “The NYPD’s deputy commissioner for information and technology, Jessica Tisch, called the ShotSpotter activations a relatively standard showing, but she added that only 48 percent of those shooting incidents had 911 calls connected with them.” Now wait just a gosh darn minute . . .

How many of those alerts were false alarms triggered by random noises? How many times did New York’s Finest respond to ShotSpotter alerts to no avail – wasting valuable police time and money? How many times did ShotSpotter provide information that 911 callers did not? How much does this damn thing cost, anyway? The New York Daily News itself reported on this; Big Apple is spending $1.5m on a ShotSpotter trial. Which means both the company that makes the technology and the City have a vested interest in showing that it works.

Journalists have a vested interest in finding the truth – no matter what.  A “real” journalist doesn’t have an agenda beyond that. This story – like so many in the anti-gun rights mainstream media – is an epic fail. Sit fails to do what any good reporter should do: assume that everyone is lying. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking to Everytown for Gun Safety supremo Michael Bloomberg or NRA jefe Wayne LaPierre. A journalist should treat every piece of information as agenda-driven spin. And attempt to get to the truth.

Which is something we do here. BUT we’re a blog not a news source (hence Google’s refusal to put TTAG on their news feed). We come at all gun-related stories from a pro-gun rights perspective. So the question is, how biased against gun rights is the mainstream media? Is it getting any better? Will it get any better? How?

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45 Responses to Question of the Day: How Biased is the Mainstream Media Against Guns?

  1. Gangs shooting each other at a grade school basketball court 10:00pm on Saturday night= 3 shot in grade school gun violence. Lots of disingenuous phrasing and spin.

  2. As far as big news outlets, I read fox, Reuters, yahoo, and a bunch of others.
    The pro gun side can be counted on one hand. The antis? I need my hands, feet and need to unzip to start counting.

    • I noticed that if Yahoo doesn’t know your history (browsing on another computer or incognito mode), there really aren’t too many gun stories that are listed (maybe 1 or 2 on the whole news list). Compare that to when I browse on my computer and it’s gotta be 20% of the articles are mostly (anti) firearms related. I just do the incognito mode now when I check my email on Yahoo. It keeps my blood pressure down when I see the headlines on the homepage.

  3. As long as politicians are able to use public funds to purchase armor vehicles and other spending debacles like this, nothing will change. They steal from the public to give it to their friends who then support their campaigns. The more rights they can be stripped away from the honest people who want to defend themselves, the more victims will be available. Crime pays for the politicians. Drug dealers, rapist, politicians- they are all on the same side. Stealing from the public to enrich themselves. From their perspective the more ineffective policies and equipment the better. The more blood in the streets the better. It makes it easier to steal from people when they live in fear. This is a great example of that. An expensive program that provides false security, misdirects resources that could be used to actually stop violence, and makes someone who is connected wealthy. And it’s all great for the news ratings.

    • What do drug dealers have to do with rapists and politicians? The drug dealers are mostly interested in selling their products to willing customers. The “war on drugs” is what fuels the violence, and elimination of all government prohibition would have an almost miraculous effect on both crime and the economy.

      You don’t like drugs? Don’t take them. You don’t want to be a victim of aggression, regardless of where it comes from… then defend yourself.

      But don’t think you can use the power of government to prohibit things you don’t like, yet remain free to live your life as you see fit. You can’t have it both ways.

  4. NO-it won’t get better. That’s why millions get their news from non-traditional sources. AS I was flipping the TV channel from the GOP debates I happened upon the NRA hit piece on PBS frontline. Reminded again why we need to defund those azzwholes. Props to veterans!

  5. How bias?

    A whole hellova lot.

    Will it get any better?

    Not likely for the MSM. They will continue to lose power and influence to the 5th estate. That is until the FCC “saves” the internet in the name of “fairness and equality”.

      • How many were ‘hits’ from NYPD and afterwards they went “looking for a suspect”.

        It’s an inflammatory comment, sure.

        It’s also just as likely as me or my guns being involved.

        LOVE THE 1.5 Million TO STOP SOMETHING AFTER THE FACT. Systems did’t work too well in Iraq either.

        NO ONE CAN PROTECT YOU ON AN INDIVIDUAL LEVEL (No, perhaps not even you)

  6. There isn’t an appropriate gauge to measure the anti gun bias in the main stream media. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being completely biased, the MSM register at infinity.

    It isn’t getting any better and won’t. Most these outlets are embracing narrative journalism aka propaganda. They know they are losing influence, trust, and power, but they won’t change and don’t care to change. They figure to use their waning influence to mislead the low information types for a long as they can. For most, they’d rather go Chapter 7 bankruptcy than report anything against the progressive cause.

  7. I own a rifle so that I may carry on my family traditions and hunt
    I own a pistol so I may protect myself and my family away from home
    I own a shotgun so I may protect my family while we are at home
    and….. because one day there might be a man who comes to my door to tell me that it is now illegal to be free
    I own an AR 15 so I may tell this man that freedom will never die while I draw breath

  8. “How biased is the main stream media against guns?”

    Ok, I’ll bite- any objective news reader paying attention to all sides for the last ten years doesnt already knows the trend, that is proven out by stats-

    Given that 90% of journolists self-identify as Democrat, (see Pew Research)
    and 80% of Democrats support gun control, depending on the poll-
    https://www.isidewith.com/poll/3507538/962370

    I think you can safely say the mainstream media is VERY biased.
    Lots more data and analysis here on news bias:
    http://www.mrc.org/media-bias-101/media-bias-101-what-journalists-really-think-and-what-public-thinks-about-them

    “Is it getting better? Will it get better? How?

    Answer- by grass-roots up. Cant stop the signal, Mal.
    a. conservative media filling a need- first in talk radio, then online- drudge/breitbart/blogs,etc
    b. its working- you only need look at the trends- the top leftwing papers NYT, WAPO, LAT, etc are bleeding subscribers, ad revenue, and those selling objective news are doing well – WSJ.
    c. See Pew for the rise of social media news.
    http://www.journalism.org/2015/04/29/state-of-the-news-media-2015/
    d. proof is in voting patterns, rise of conservative office holders at state level, congresses and Governors. 80% and rising.

    Lots more to discuss about the rise and implications of social media.
    I have my opinions, and my hope is with the Millenials, who grew up with the internet, and are hip to being marketed to online. The smart ones are fed up with The Narrative.

    The Kardashian-dumb Kos Kook Kids followers, not so much,
    but I am secure in the knowledge that Nature rules, and when times get tough,
    as they are now, slowly boiling frogs on the left and right,
    that Darwins Law will take care of that demo, eventually.

    • “….. my hope is with the Millenials, who grew up with the internet, and are hip to being marketed to online. The smart ones are fed up with The Narrative.

      The Kardashian-dumb Kos Kook Kids followers, not so much,
      but I am secure in the knowledge that Nature rules, and when times get tough,
      as they are now, slowly boiling frogs on the left and right,
      that Darwins Law will take care of that demo, eventually.”

      While I’m inclined to agree, I won’t be surprised if they take a lot of good people down with them.

  9. They canned ShotSpotter in Broward County, FL for too many false positives. Broward County is far less densely populated and far less noisy than NYC. I can’t imagine ShotSpotter does anything worthwhile in NYC.

  10. Very biased, notice how they go apeshit over anything involving a gun as a means to politicize it for more gun control yet when a knife is used (unless you are in the UK where knives are the new object of “evil”) barely a peep is mentioned and the story dies there because no guns were involved.

    Only a brainwashed Progressive could see the MSM as “fair and balanced”.

  11. Except when they are trying to sell action.

    Any movie or TV show will preview with endless pics of actors in Weaver Stance brandishing a black pistol, or the moving wedge of SWAT carrying ARs. Look at the trailers for “Gotham” or any of the CSI shows. Very irresponsible use and depiction of a very serious and deadly tool.

    They’re against guns except when they are for them~~in order to push their product.

  12. The general mainstream network media is extremely biased. I believe more so then ever and getting worse. Cable with the possible exception of Fox just as bad. Local media TV here isn’t as bad. Mainstream repeats the lies we all here already to access. I no longer have any faith in the reports on almost anything on generic TV to be even have a shade of truth.

  13. The mainstream “news outlets” are hopelessly biased against guns. You only have to read “40% of gun sales are unchecked”, “there have been x number of school shootings this year”, “assault weapon”, “buying guns over the Internet”, etc, etc, presented uncritically as established truth so many times before it becomes irrefutably obvious. That said–ShotSpotter is probably more about city-contract graft, back-scratching, and money-making than it is about gun rights.

  14. They hate freedom in general, and love their positions as arbiters of the “truth” that their viewing public sees. I’m 24 and haven’t regularly watched the news since high school.

  15. The difference between the number of 911 calls and Shot Spotter hits isn’t surprising, even if the story is accurate and the system works 100%.

    A large fraction of “gun violence” is driven by the black market created by the war on drugs, with rival factions fighting over turf or settling scores over deals gone wrong. The majority of shots fired in these circumstances will not hit their intended targets. Neither the shooter (who is a criminal, and poor shot) nor the shootee (who is a criminal, and lucky) have an incentive to report the incident to the police.

    Also, gunshots fired in an urban environment don’t sound like they do on TV, or on a shooting range, so many nearby residents will not recognize them as gunshots. Combined with apathy, and an unwillingness to “rat out” the criminal element, this will reduce the number of third-party reports.

    So even if the system were working perfectly, the number of 911 calls should be significantly less than the number of Shot Spotter reports.

  16. Will the MSM ever be fair? No, that would be like asking Der Stürmer to advocate for universal circumcision.

    The media is at the point now where most people just tune out the propaganda issued by the leftist broadcast and print networks. As a result of its bias, the media has gone from being trusted and admired to being distrusted and, shortly, universally despised. In the long term, that’s good for gun rights.

  17. Biased? Downunder the anti gun groups can on interview state out-and-out lies and they are never questioned or called out on their statements. The truth of the issues from the pro gun groups is never heard, at least publicly.

  18. I don’t trust any news source to be objective anymore. They know there’s no market in that. Fox is no different in this respect, just a different flavor. Everyone wants to hear news in a way that confirms their own personal beliefs and there are so many places to turn for that now that that the closest one can come to obtaining an objective viewpoint is to read accounts of the same item from various sources and then believe or disbelieve what you want to anyway. As was stated, a journalist should treat every piece of information as agenda driven spin and attempt to get at the truth. Sadly, that job now falls on the news consumer.

  19. If “Journalists have a vested interest in finding the truth – no matter what”

    then there are no longer any journalists, only talking heads pushing an agenda.

  20. I think that’s pretty telling whether the media is biased or not just by the Google is willing to add it to the news feed. Slate/Salon/Wonkette are certainly no more than vehicles for bloggers offering commentary as “news”, yet they appear on the Google feed. MoJo and Daily Beast are a sliver away from blog status.

    I think that shows the bias right there.

  21. NYC pay for Shotspotter??? Hardly likely Obumer admin (our grandchildren) have been “paying” for these POS. Same as everyother bright “high tech” toy the popo come up with. Uncle Ivan video street corner video, body cams, MRAPs etc. The piece of junk is everywhere.

    https://www.cctvcambridge.org/DoesShotSpotterWork

    Washington Post is, predictably, gullible. https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/shotspotter-detection-system-documents-39000-shooting-incidents-in-the-district/2013/11/02/055f8e9c-2ab1-11e3-8ade-a1f23cda135e_story.html

  22. It will only get better when it starts to hit them where it hurts. The wallet. Mainstream media is far more focused on making money than they are about remaining ethical. So, if they come to the conclusion that stories focusing on eroding the natural, civil, and constitutional right to keep and bear arms is harming their bottom line, then you will see the bias change.

  23. Is it worth it making the jump from “blog” to news service with “editorials?” How can you make that distinctive change?

  24. Recognizing just how bad it’s gotten with main-stream media in their tireless “crusade” against the RTKBA was one of the things that moved me solidly into the pro-gun rights corner.

    If the media truly cared about “gun violence” then they would be reporting daily about the gangland murders being committed in progressive utopias. They would be asking the question about why the Feds are asking for more gun laws when they don’t even prosecute people for ones on the books.

    The overwhelming majority of mainstream journalists are already tainted when they leave college.

  25. The first thing I thought when I heard about this is “I wonder what the response would be to a firecracker”. Is that bad?

  26. IN reverse order……

    “…NYPD’s ShotSpotter picking up otherwise unreported shootings”

    No one has explained how knowing that something happened over there at this specific time does anything at all to reduce crime or violence in any way. My fair city is trying to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for cameras on poles and trying to sell it as a crime reduction tool. They do not like it when I ask them how.

    Then to the specifically asked question…. “So the question is, how biased against gun rights is the mainstream media? Is it getting any better? Will it get any better? ”

    *How* biased is not relevant. Recognizing the bias is more important because then it can be countered and minimized.

    Better? Depends on your definition of better. If you mean better that it the media’s bias is more obvious then yes it is getting better.

    Will it get better? Only if we remain vigilant and point out the bias so that others can then work to minimize it.

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