Report: Major TV networks exploited Las Vegas mass shooting to further their gun control agenda
In the aftermath of the Las Vegas mass shooting, ABC, CBS and NBC “wasted little time in exploiting the tragedy to advance their anti-gun rights agenda,” writes Geoffrey Dickens, deputy research director for the Media Research Center, who released a study on Monday reviewing the coverage.
“In just six days of coverage, the networks filled their evening and morning show programs with statements favoring gun control over gun rights by a ratio of roughly 5 to 1,” Mr. Dickens said following a close analysis of all comments and statements that took any position on gun policy by anchors, reporters and guests — beginning on the morning of October 2 through the morning of October 8.
In total, there were over 30 minutes of statements which supported increased gun control — and about six minutes which took gun rights into account.
The study found that NBC was the most stridently anti-gun rights network by a 10 to 1 ratio. The network devoted over 12 minutes of coverage to gun control, compared with just over a minute of coverage that supported gun rights.
Mr. Dickens cited veteran NBC newsman Tom Brokaw’s comments in particular, which urged citizen action and lashed out at the National Rifle Association.
“I would say to this audience, and any audience before which I appear these days, we are where we are because of the power of people who wanted these kinds of guns. And the NRA managed to organize them and get them as a political force in America. So the question is, if you’re not happy with what has happened, your individual obligation as citizen is to organize on the other side,” Mr. Brokaw said.
“We’re a long way away from that Second Amendment in which we said that a militia is important to our country,” Mr. Brokaw later added. “I think that we have to step up, all of us, and speak up.”
This study rated CBS in second place for favoring gun control by a 4 to 1 ratio; ABC aired anti-gun stories by a 3 to 1 ratio.
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