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Earlier this month, I wrote a story that showed how USA Today had partnered with Bloomberg’s anti-gun propaganda factory, The Trace, for an investigative series – a collaboration which violated more than a few of the Gannett-owned newspaper’s ethical principles.

Now, it appears that the relationship between Bloomberg’s anti-gun activists and USA TODAY has grown even more cuddly. The Trace activists – I cannot call them reporters – are writing “news” stories directly for the paper, as if they’re on the staff.

To be clear, anti-gun advocates whose stated goal is further restricting your constitutional rights are writing biased stories for one of the country’s largest newspapers, and no one at the paper seems to care.

The Trace, as you’ll recall, describes itself as the “only newsroom dedicated to reporting on gun violence.” It has slick digital packages that are chockfull of stories, photos and videos, so it’s easy to confuse the Trace with an actual news website. But a news website it is not.

The Trace was founded in 2015 by former New York City mayor and staunch gun-control advocate, Michael Bloomberg. It operates as the propaganda arm for Bloomberg’s other anti-gun groups, which include Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, which Bloomberg also bankrolls.

The Trace advocates for more restrictive gun laws, but their message is a lot slicker than the handmade signs carried by Demanding Moms and Everytown employees. Reporters at the Trace are activists, not news reporters. They advocate for more gun control. That’s their job.

Last week, USA TODAY published a story titled: “The ATF’s failure to produce public records keeps the gun industry in the shadows.”

It was written by Daniel Nass, the Trace’s associate editor for data and graphics, and Alain Stephens, the Trace’s West Coast Correspondent. Stephens, you should know, describes himself as a veteran and a gun owner. There is no editor’s note explaining why the newspaper allowed a couple of professional anti-gun activists to write the story, rather than its own staff reporters.

This should tell you all you need to know about the newspaper, its leadership and their complete disdain for the truth, transparency, and of course the Second Amendment.

I spent 20 years as a newspaperman – both as an investigative reporter and an editor. It used to be difficult for an activist group just to get a letter to the editor or a guest column published on the opinion page. Now, USA TODAY allows activists to write their own stories, which it then publishes as if they’re legitimate news. For any activist group, this is like winning the trifecta.

This is unprecedented, even for Gannett.

The newspaper’s ethical principle concerning maintaining independence states: “We will maintain an impartial, arm’s length relationship with anyone seeking to influence the news,” and “We will be free of improper obligations to news sources, newsmakers and advertisers.”

How can the paper maintain an impartial and arm’s length relationship with anyone seeking to influence the news – as activists tend to do – if they allow the activists to write their own stories? How can USA TODAY be free of improper obligations if it allows advocates to write whatever they want?

Gannett’s editing skeptically principle requires editors to “protect against being manipulated by advocates and special interests.” The Trace staffers are definitely advocates, and it’s a special interest group, after all. How is this skeptical editing? How are the editors not being manipulated by advocates?

As I have said before on numerous occasions, when it comes to guns, the media could care less about ethics, accuracy or fairness.

Once again, I sent an email to Maribel Perez Wadsworth, president and publisher of USA TODAY, seeking comment for this story. I have yet to receive a reply.

That, too, is not a surprise.

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27 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t know about Gannet, but USA Today has always taken an anti-gun stance in its editorials published in my local paper (which is now owned by Gannet). The editorials always stood out because this is a conservative, gun owning, hunting/fishing/outdoors county with one of the highest rates of CCW in the entire state of California. So for USA Today to publish a Trace article is not at all surprising to me. And maybe it is why the paper edition of the paper is on the verge of failing…

  2. Little, one trick pony, Bloomberg is the ultimate American oligarch, who freely will state that he deserves the protection of a squad of hired goons with automatic weapons because he is “important” while you should be denied the ability to carry anything because you are not “important”!

    Frankly, the little “man” makes me ill, although it is kind of amusing to remember his failed Presidential candidacy.

    • Mike meet Liz…priceless moment…especially his “people don’t talk to me like that!” expression..

  3. Why even care what USA Today publishes? It, along with the rest of the Media, is a part of the propaganda arm of the “Progressive” far left.

    They are corrupt liars pushing a narrative, no different than Pravda or Izvestia. They’re scum, and the slanted stories they publish shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. No amount of outrage on our part will change them.

  4. This is the culmination of Stalin’s plot to topple the U.S. from within. They don’t care about truth, or ethics, all they care about are the anti freedom narratives they want to push.

  5. USA Today’s failure to adhere to their own ethics policy is a perfect mirror of the radio ad I just heard for MSNBC. Every line was a lie.

  6. I sent her an email too, and i suggest everyone send her an email or give her a call (Maribel Perez Wadsworth, president and publisher of USA TODAY).
    Here is her contact information:

    The email address for Maribel Perez Wadsworth, president and publisher of USA TODAY, is [email protected]
    and her phone number is 703-729-1949.
    However, the source where I got this still has her title listed as “Senior Vice President and Chief Transformation Officer”.

  7. You never thought USA Today was a free thinking publication, did you!? The Enqirer is about the last one left with any nuts!

  8. From its inception USA Today has always been McNews. It might have a large circulation but the usual places I have encountered anyone reading it are in airports and hotel lobbies where you can find it for free. I don’t see how anyone can take print media seriously these days but I know some still do.

    • Actor Charlton Heston did crash, I think, the Time Warner shareholders meeting. Back in the 1990s. He put on an outstanding performance. I think Rush Limbaugh play the X rated, edited audio tape, on his program for over a week.

  9. USA Today has the same type of flexible morality like he people who run YouTube. Both are unprincipled and both are private companies. So according to Libertarian thinking they can do as they wish. Without any type of consequences.

    The news media libertarian liberal and leftist claimed that President Trump gassed protesters at a church. That was false. The same news media claimed that President Trump was using his “secret police” to have people arrested in Portland. That was false as well. And there have been other stories we’re the same media Outlets have lied. But in the United States you have a First Amendment right to lie. So says the ACLU.

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