The Mainstream Media Guide to ‘Gun Violence’ Coverage, Part 2 – The Political Debate

You can read Part 1 here.

By Dr. Michael S. Brown

The Back Story

The ongoing public debate about the role of guns and gun laws in society has remained at a high level since the 1960’s. Although many good, restrictive laws have been enacted, it is important to make people believe otherwise. It is also good to imply that no debate has been going on at all when we should be having a “national conversation about guns.” Make your audience believe that the gun lobby has never given up anything. Our side just wants reasonable compromise and an honest dialogue that will give us common sense gun safety laws. There is a famous quote by John F. Kennedy, “What is mine is mine, but what is yours is negotiable,” that is our basic principle.

Mainstream Journalism mounted a massive and courageous attack on the gun lobby after the Sandy Hook gun massacre in December, 2012. By coordinating with our friends in government and gun safety groups, we were able to make our largest gains in two decades. One reason for this success is that we have finally overthrown the tired old concept that Journalists should appear to be unbiased.

Tactics

Corporate media managers have found that conducting hostile on-air interviews with gun lobbyists boosts ratings, so if you work on the air, you must be prepared for this kind of confrontation. Always refer to pro-gun organizations as “the gun lobby”. When talking to them on the air, give free reign to your feelings. This is a good time to be condescending and self-righteous. It is now acceptable to shout and call them names. They are evil, shameful and ignorant. We all know it, so why hide it?

Do not let them confuse you with facts. Do not try to engage them in a real discussion. Have your list of anti-gun talking points in front of you. If you must improvise, stick to the most emotional statements and questions you can think of. Don’t ever admit that any of their facts are correct. Just cut them off and move on to your next talking point without the slightest affirmation. At least half of those talking points should involve children and if your opponent disagrees, feel free to announce that they are in favor of dead children.

This is no time for honesty. For example, you can claim that you are a current or former gun owner. Our analysts believe that this gives you more credibility with the public, as long as you sound sincere, and of course that’s what you do for a living.

The Mainstream Media Guide to ‘Gun Violence’ Coverage

The Gun Lobby

The National Rifle Association should be a primary target of your words. A great deal of work has gone into nurturing a general hatred of this organization. Although the NRA is not among the top campaign contributors, you should always mention “NRA money” when discussing how they influence politicians. Their legislative lobbying efforts should be described as “arm twisting” or “threats”.

Whenever mentioning the NRA, it is important to frame that reference in the right way. For example, you can mention the most recent emotional gun incident: “On the four year anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings, the NRA announced a new program to promote gun ownership.”

The Mainstream Media Guide to ‘Gun Violence’ Coverage

courtesy theweek.com

There are many other gun lobby groups that are smaller than the NRA, some are national, like Gun Owners of America and The Second Amendment Foundation. Some are at the state level. Try to ignore these organizations, since it detracts from our portrayal of the evil, monolithic gun lobby.

Gun owners must never be seen in a positive light. Do not mention that these misguided individuals may actually be well educated, or have respectable careers and healthy families. They should be called “gun nuts” if you can get away with it or simply gun owners at best. Mention details about their clothing, especially if they are wearing hunting clothes or hats. Mention the simplistic slogans on their bumper stickers to show that their intelligence level is low. Many gun owners drive pickup trucks, hunt helpless animals and live in rural areas. Use these details to help portray them as ignorant rednecks.

Off-air interviews of gun lobbyists

When preparing a print article on the problem of gun violence, you will often wish to interview someone from the gun lobby. This allows you to include quotes that will make your coverage seem more balanced.

Your goal, of course, is to make them look bad and their arguments ridiculous. Don’t hesitate to take their quotes completely out of context. Be aggressive and insulting. Consider bringing a second interviewer to create a tag team effect. Always ask if the lobbyist is making their own recording; if they are, you should not completely fabricate a quote. If they are not, you are free to do as you wish.

The Mainstream Media Guide to ‘Gun Violence’ Coverage

courtesy denver.cbslocal.com

Pro-gun rallies

When a pro-gun group stages a public rally or demonstration, avoid covering it if possible. If you must cover it, underestimate the number who attended. Have your photo/video person arrive well before or after the peak attendance to show a smaller crowd. Pick out the most ridiculous hand-made signs and the oddest looking people, isolate them from the crowd, and make sure they are prominently featured in your visual coverage.

Try not to cover pro-gun rallies that are held on weekends. Since working people can attend, these are generally much larger than the weekday rallies. You will also find many young families with children, which is not the image you want for your story. Weekday rallies, which are scheduled to catch legislators at work, tend to be made up mostly of retired people. This fits our desired narrative of gun owners as old, white men who are on their way out.

One recent development is the staging of rallies where participants carry guns openly. On one hand, carrying guns makes them look scary and menacing to good progressive folks. On the other hand, there is never any violence at these rallies, which tends to support their point that guns prevent violence. If you must cover such a rally, I suggest that you rely on close up visuals of the weapons and try to interview a Progressive bystander who felt threatened.

The Mainstream Media Guide to ‘Gun Violence’ Coverage

courtesy Getty

Anti-gun rallies

Rallies to end gun violence and support common sense gun legislation are fairly common and every one must receive as much coverage as possible. Your goal is to maximize the impact by minimizing these negative factors:

Anti-gun rallies tend to be quite small, so you must overestimate the size of the crowd. Arrange your visuals so that the small number of participants seems larger. Make sure several of the professionally printed signs are in each view. Include images of moms, kids and minorities, if any, to create contrast with the image of old, white, male gun owners.

Quite often, the participants are given free transportation and free lunch by a gun safety organization. There is no reason to mention this.

If prominent public figures arrive to speak, they will often be protected by armed bodyguards. Do not point this out and do not include the bodyguards in your visuals. You must also avoid showing any counter-demonstrators or hecklers from the pro-gun side.

Face to face with real gun owners

When you are building a piece on new gun laws, you will appear less biased if you get comments from some local gun owners. This can be more productive than interviewing experienced gun lobbyists.

The Mainstream Media Guide to ‘Gun Violence’ Coverage

courtesy gawker.com

Don’t be afraid to interview gun owners, they are harmless even though we portray them as a menace to society. Try to solicit comments that show them in the worst possible light. Veteran reporters call this “bumpkin hunting.” Gun shows may not be your best hunting ground. You will not be allowed to conduct interviews inside a gun show, but the parking lot may be available. Gun shop owners are excellent targets. They find it hard to refuse an interview request and can usually be relied upon to make statements that play into our preferred stereotype.

You must only interview white males over age 50 who sound and look unintelligent. Make them look ridiculous, especially when they talk about gun ownership as a barrier to tyranny. Find ways to blame them for the gun violence in the inner cities or the horrific mass shootings. Never show or refer to any gun owners who are women, minorities or liberals.

If you come into contact with many gun owners, eventually one will offer to take you to a local shooting club and teach you how to shoot. This can be a very tempting offer, especially if, like most of us, you have never fired a real gun. It may also seem like a good way for you to better understand the enemy. Unfortunately, this seemingly harmless activity has led to many defections and articles that are damaging to our cause. You must not, under any circumstances, accept such an offer.

The Mainstream Media Guide to ‘Gun Violence’ Coverage

courtesy prweek.com

Gun safety organizations

Anti-gun organizations must be treated with care. They currently prefer to be called “gun safety” groups, but this may change in the future. Do not attempt to investigate their finances, their campaign spending or their membership, which is embarrassingly small compared to gun lobby organizations. Their money comes from a small number of millionaires and billionaires who don’t like the idea of ordinary people being armed. Do not mention this or the fact that these wealthy donors are protected by heavily armed security personnel who are not affected by gun control laws.

Dealing with inconsistencies

One of the largest problems facing the gun safety movement is that violent crime has dropped substantially in the last two decades, a time when misguided Americans have purchased guns at frightening rates and several million have acquired permits to carry hidden guns. It is critical that we keep this paradox from coming to the attention of the general public. You must avoid any mention of it, even under the most severe pressure.

Another major problem is the lack of any evidence showing that gun control laws have reduced gun violence – ignore this and say that restrictive laws are just common sense.

The Mainstream Media Guide to ‘Gun Violence’ Coverage

courtesy kut.org

Many states have weakened their gun laws by allowing hidden guns or even allowing guns to be carried openly. During the debates preceding these changes in state law, predictions were made of gunfights over parking spots and “blood in the streets” of our cities. None of these predictions came true, which is somewhat embarrassing for our side. In spite of this, we should still make these same predictions in future articles about weakening gun laws. People have very short memories.

Conclusions

Feel secure in your advocacy journalism. The vast majority of your fellow Journalists support your activism. Simply being an urban, liberal journalist makes you one of the elite and the people should let you guide them.

The nation will be a better place when only the police and military have guns. Remember that you are doing it for the children so the end justifies the means. Some day we will all drink the Kool-Aid of victory.

When common people are eventually disarmed, the government will be all-powerful and the media will guide the government. If things don’t work out as planned, just contact me then for more helpful hints.

 

Dr. Michael S. Brown is a pragmatic Libertarian environmentalist who has been studying the gun debate for three decades and considers it a fascinating way to learn about human nature and politics.

This article originally appeared at drgo.us and is reprinted here with permission. 

comments

  1. avatar drunkEODguy says:

    love a good satire. Fun stuff

    1. avatar Michael says:

      WOW, I read this Article, when it first was published here but was in a hurry to leave my comments. It is called razel dazzel with bullshit while telling a lie over and over again until it sticks. A Waffen NAZI SS Leader under NAZI General Hitler once made that comment telling a lie over and over again until it seems to be true.

    1. avatar JohnnyL says:

      This is great video that just came out this week form Nuance Bro. It just goes to show you that the Anit-Gun groups are coordinated and instructed not do interview’s with anyone that will not advance their agenda.

      They have their message and if you are not willing to promote it or if you try to question their ideas they will not do it any interviews with you. During this whole video they do everything possible to try stop him from interviewing any of the March For Your Life Supporters.

      It reminds me of North Korea where you can only show the Great and Dear Leader in a Positive Way….

  2. avatar MouseGun says:

    I read the first part yesterday, and then left for work. While I was driving, I didn’t realize that the radio was on a news station, and I actually noticed a lot of what you’ve said in the articles. It’s worrying how deceptive the media tries to be.

  3. avatar anonymoose says:

    Mmm…the Kool-Aid of Victory! *dead*

  4. avatar Rocketman says:

    There’s a piece of disinformation that I imagine 99 out of a hundred people reading this didn’t catch. You will notice that this Dr. Brown who wrote this article describes himself as a “pragmatic Libertarian environmentalist” indirectly implying that Libertarians are anti-second amendment. I was active in the Libertarian Party for about 13 years, and have been the former county chairman of Allen County Indiana LP (Fort Wayne) and the speechwriter for the 1992 Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate and therefore am a qualified source when I tell you that Libertarians are definitely NOT anti-gun but are for the most part hard core pro-second amendment. I suspect that this Dr. Brown is applying the old divide and conquer strategy to separate gun owners from the Libertarian Party ranks since the Democrat party has been doing so poorly election wise lately and in the last presidential election Libertarians actually tripled the number of votes that they received. In this article they have come out and plainly admitted that they are liars and will do anything to get their way which is the exact same thing that the communists have always done to take over. Don’t be taken in by these traitors to the Constitution.

    1. avatar WadeJ says:

      Yes, you were the one … that didn’t catch that this is satire.

      1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

        The problem is that it gets harder and harder to do satire about the anti-gun left. They see satire and think, yeah, we should do that! Some of their slightly more extreme members have even started shooting at Republican Congressmen.

    2. avatar CZJay says:

      Ben Shapiro, Alex Jones and Steven Crowder also have been working against the Libertarian types. They are neo conservatives like the Bush era Republicans. I don’t know when exactly Alex Jones sold his soul; he is not the man he was during the Bush years. There are others “conservatives” doing the same on Youtube, such as Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux.

      I won’t go into more detail because I will be censored.

      1. avatar Ingenero says:

        You mean the Ben Shapiro who is open about concealed carrying, and the Steven Crowder whose show is sponsored by (and who advocates for firearms made by) Walther? They aren’t Trump fans, but they are Libertarianish pro-2A Conservatives. And Alex “Gay Frogs” Jones has always been a tin foil hat nutter so far as I can tell, he’s been working against the Illuminati Reptile Space Alien government for Time out of mind.

        1. avatar CZJay says:

          Ben isn’t against all “gun control.” Go listen to previous episodes… He is against Libertarian ideals. He is for the military industrial complex and tangling alliances like the Republicans were during Bush. His investors have a nice grasp on him.

          Steven Crowder is best friends with Ben Shapiro; they have many things in common, they are allied. I think Steven is a French Canadian who moved to America and settled in Austin where Alex Jones resides. He claims to be against socialism yet advocates for socialist things — it’s like how people don’t want to be called a “Democratic Socialist,” they want to be called a “Social Democrat.”

          Alex Jones used to criticize the military industrial complex, FEMA, NSA, TSA, DHS, ICE, DEA, ATF, FBI, CIA, Saudi Arabia. Israel, Neo-Cons, etc. He used to be on Ron Paul’s side of things and campaigned for Paul to get elected instead of Obama or other Republicans. Now Alex supports the opposite of a lot of things he used to believe and expose. At some point in Obama’s two terms he switched to blaming Muslims and Democrats for everything. He is now ride or die for Trump at the expense of America.

          Essentially Alex is a “double agent.” Ben and Steven have the U.S. lower down on their priority list; they have at least one other country that comes first. So don’t allow them to bring your guard down for you to be conquered. We see how easy Borat can flip people…

        2. avatar Ingenero says:

          Steven Crowder is half-Canadian, and hates the Socialist state with a passion. He left and never wants to go back. As he relates at most any opportunity..And while I haven’t heard what you’re talking about from Shapiro, even if he supports some gun control, he’s open about being against the vast majority…you’re going to attack Crowder and Shapiro as socialist gun control shills because they don’t agree with you on every bit of your agenda, even though they both are far more pro-2A than most of the population? You throw many babies out with the bath water? We should focus attacks less on people we agree 90% with, and more on the Brady Campaign, March for our Lives, and other people who want to ban guns.

          And enough with the idiotic, “Jews are more loyal to Israel than the US” nonsense. You whine about Catholics and the Vatican much? Mormons and Salt Lake? This has been pretty well disproven over the years, take your conspiracy idiocy where it belongs, the trash heap.

        3. avatar CZJay says:

          What I am telling you is to not to let people control your mind.

          A con artist gains trust through the appearance of credibility. They have to setup a building that looks like a clinic, post up a diploma on the wall, wear the coat, speak like a doctor, etc. Once they establish your unwavering trust they can manipulate you into doing what they want. If they are smart they can drag you along for a long time. When you start to get suspicious they break off contact with you before you can figure it all out or they completely disappear without a trace. By then you have lost so much. That’s one of the ways the Yakuza operate in Japan.

          Apparently you do not listen to Ben and Steven that much. If you did, you would have heard them rooting for a particular country and talking bad about a particular group. You would know that they want the U.S. military to help out specific countries and kill a specific people regardless if it’s bad for Americans. You would have heard them criticize politicians for not doing things to benefit particular countries and you would have seen them happily praise Trump when he does the opposite.

          I do talk about Catholics… I don’t have a religion, thus I don’t pick sides based off of it. I choose America first.

          http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2018/07/john-boch/fr-pflegers-reckless-anti-gun-protest-to-shut-down-chicago-expressway-saturday/#comment-4024107

        4. avatar Ingenero says:

          I don’t unwaveringly trust many people, and I try to be vigilant. But you’re singling out some well-known conservative pro-gun types for criticism because they aren’t “pure” enough for you. I do listen to them both periodically, and they do support “a certain country” (I’m assuming from your thinly-veiled antisemitism you mean Israel) and are against most of the Islamic Middle-East. I’m neither “Pro-Israel” or anti-everyone else, but Israel is both the only functioning democracy in the Middle East and an ally, so while I don’t share all of their passions (or support the interventionism), I can support some of what they do like I do many countries I’m not a part of, and also understand and politely disagree with some of the more strident pro-Israel cheerleaders without trying to quietly claim T3H J00Z run everything. Supporting allies isn’t “being controlled” or having divided allegiances. Unless you expect everyone to pretend they don’t have a heritage, be strict isolationists, and worship the founders and the US, people are going to have different ideas about what we do in the world. I can accept those disagreements and not lash out at people who I agree with on many, but certainly not all, points. Heck, Libertarians have mini wars over Anarchocapitalsim vs Minarchism vs a smaller state or how non-interventionist our foreign policy should be. They (well, we if you include libertarians) should take allies where they can, and realize that the left doesn’t really support any of their goals (they want to maximize “freedom” by government diktat across the board), while the right at least supports some.

    3. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      “and i think it’s going to be a long long time” before this guy is a rocket scientist.

  5. avatar Michael says:

    Brilliant case of pouring gasoline on a raging fire. With comments like that, it’s a wonder why they would bother to conspire at all. Let’s keep our fingers off the keyboards until we’re sure we’re not shooting ourselves in the foot, OK. 30

  6. avatar LarryinTX says:

    Have someone explain “satire” to you.

  7. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    for some reason i thought dirk’s pearl necklace would be less brilliant and much more consuming.

    1. avatar BLAMMO says:

      Where’s he been lately? Haven’t seen him.

      And yeah, I have to admit, I’d wreck her too. And not in a nice way.

  8. avatar jh33 says:

    Thanks for the photo of the Clown Militia. I forgot all about those clowns.

  9. avatar Chris Miller says:

    Is this the leaked handbook from Bloomberg’s School of Journalism?

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