The times they are a-changin’ at CNN. Now that the bottom-dwelling (ratings-wise) “news” network is under new ownership, it has shed such journalistic eminences as Chris Cuomo, Don Lemon (from prime time) and Brian Stelter in an effort to at least appear more objective and informative and less, well, doctrinaire.
Apparently in an effort to burnish its journalistic credentials and attempt to present both sides of an important issue, CNN announced yesterday the launch of something called their ‘Guns in America’ beat team. It’s the inclusion of one member of that team that has our friends in the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex foot-stompingly apoplectic with outrage.
CNN says these newly-hired analysts will be “dedicated to tracking and unpacking all aspects of the complex and divisive issues surrounding guns and gun violence in the country.” Toward that end, the group will be comprised of Josh Campbell, Jennifer Mascia, Abené Clayton…and Stephen Gutowski.
That’s one CNN talking head (the network’s “guns and security” correspondent), one Bloomberg-paid gun control advocate, one “Guns and Lies in America” beat journalist for The Guardian…and Stephen Gutowski.
Gutowski, if you’re not familiar with him, was a journalist for the Washington Free Beacon before hanging his own shingle and starting The Reload Substack site to provide, as he describes it, “sober, serious reporting on–as well as analysis of–firearms policy and politics to accomplish those goals. No hot takes. No screaming. No manipulating. Just reporting.”
Wait…so CNN will have someone on staff who’s actually knowledgeable of and objective about firearms, gun control laws, the gun culture, and the politics surrounding all of that? Someone who can reasonably be characterized as supporting the Second Amendment?
Well we CAN’T HAVE THAT!
That pretty much sums up the reactions of people like Shannon Watts, Fred Guttenberg and Keith Olbermann upon learning of CNN’s new hire. Their response to hearing the news was — how to put this — less than nuanced.
Chris Licht – the guy who when we were at MSNBC I used to think ate paste – continues to please his fascist master John Malone. https://t.co/ZwpNXoEbNp
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) October 20, 2022
Mayor Mike’s bought-and-paid-for hoplophobic harridan was, as always, OUTRAGED.
If you’re keeping score at home here, folks, you’ve noticed something. CNN’s new gun crew or ‘Guns in America’ beat team — whatever — will consist of an anti-gun talking head, a hack who’s paid by Michael Bloomberg to generate anti-gun agitprop, an anti-gun “journalist”…and Stephen Gutowski.
A three-to-one ratio — whatever the topic may be — is about as balanced as anything you’ll see on any “news” program these days. That’s what now passes for objective issues analysis.
You have three (or four, or sometimes five) people representing the network’s official viewpoint and/or the conventional wisdom…and — maybe — one poor sap on the panel who’s there as a sacrificial lamb. Someone who’s been given a seat at the table, but is really only there to be run over by the other panel members and shouted down when he or she presents an alternate viewpoint. All so the producers can claim objectivity.
It’s actually noteworthy that CNN will be paying someone like Gutowski to take that seat. They’ll have someone on board who knows that an AR-14 isn’t really a thing. Someone who can distinguish between a semi-auto rifle and a machine gun (and who’s actually shot both of them). Someone who is aware that America’s 85 million gun owners aren’t all Nazis, white supremacists, racists, or fascist sister-humpers.
But this — someone actually communicating facts rather than discredited talking points — is precisely what people like Watts, Guttenberg and the mentally unbalanced Olbermann simply can’t abide.
They oppose the inclusion of even a single, outnumbered voice on a little-watched news channel who can’t be relied upon to spout the party line when the subject is “gun violence” in America, someone who doesn’t support outlawing some (and eventually all) civilian-owned firearms, someone who doesn’t see the moral imperative of rolling back Second Amendment rights.
They’re so knee-knockingly insecure in the factual underpinnings and level of public support for their deeply held beliefs that they can’t allow a Stephen Gutowski to appear on one of their once-safe talkfests if he’s going to refuse to toe the party line on civilian disarmament.
So kudos to CNN for taking a step — if a minuscule one — in the direction of balance and objectivity. We can’t wait for the reactions from all the usual suspects when he points out on air that Americans defend themselves with guns about 14 times more often than people are killed with them (you are going to mention that, aren’t you Stephen?).
But whatever Gutowski says and however many times he appears on air, the squealing, shock, and howls that CNN’s announcement has already produced have already been more than worth the price of admission.