Would you listen to somebody if they repeatedly got basic facts wrong, yet insisted on lecturing people despite knowing almost nothing about the topic?
That’s a question that Americans need to answer about the gun debate after countless media outlets have shown their ignorance on even the most general firearm knowledge.
One of the latest outlets to show off their absolute naiveté on gun issues is The New Yorker, a news magazine that sees itself as oh-so-sophisticated and informed.
In a recent piece published by the famous magazine, British-born journalist Rebecca Mead tried desperately to hold up Stoneman Douglas senior and now outspoken anti-Second Amendment advocate Emma González as a sort of modern saint — while falling for the liberal trap of emotionalism over facts.
Setting aside the bizarre and gushing comparison of González to Joan of Arc, the article couldn’t even go one sentence without leaving reality behind. The very first line began by demonizing the type of gun used in the Florida shooting … except it doesn’t actually exist, and was complete fiction.
“The most annoying part is exactly one sentence into the story, when Mead refers to the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle used in the Parkland slayings as a ‘semiautomatic machine gun,'” explained Becket Adams in The Washington Examiner.
What is a “semiautomatic machine gun?” Well, it doesn’t exist, but is actually an oxymoron — which anybody with even a passing knowledge of firearms already knows.
“The shooter, Nicholas Cruz, used a semi-automatic rifle, which is definitely not the same thing as a machine gun,” Adams pointed out. “Machine guns, which fire multiple bullets at one pull of the trigger, are illegal to own without a special and extremely rare federal license.”
The New Yorker edited its piece a day later to cover up the error, with only a small note at the end of the article admitting to the mistake. “A previous version of this article incorrectly described the weapon used in the Parkland shooting,” the footnote reads.
Yes, you could call inventing a completely made-up type of firearm “incorrectly describing the weapon.” You could also call it agenda-based journalism.
Everyone makes mistakes, but the fact that this was the opening sentence in one of the most elitist and well-known of news magazines forces us to ask the question: How does such a fundamental factual error go unnoticed by presumably layers of editors and proof-readers at such an esteemed journal?
More importantly, if nobody at The New Yorker knows even the slightest thing about firearms or rifle laws, why would any American take their breathless lecturing on the gun issue seriously?
“Correcting a glaring error doesn’t fix the fact that someone so completely ignorant about the basics of firearms and the law would write an entire piece about calls for increased gun control measures,” pointed out Adams in the Examiner. “Why should anyone keep reading, given the author’s general ignorance likely formed the ideas and views contained in this superficially corrected piece?”
“And for that matter, how does a professional member of national media manage to get this deep into the Parkland shooting conversation without absorbing even the most basic details about the weapons used or the laws governing them?” he wondered.
It’s an extremely good question. The point is even more relevant once you consider the repeating trend of media “experts” getting basic firearms knowledge wrong, time after time.
Take CNN, which recently aired a segment showing a retired general “explaining” the AR-15, while apparently unable to properly shoulder and fire a sporting rifle that even young girls are able to use proficiently.
CNN’s “expert” even made up a new term, “full semi-automatic,” which again does not exist and seemed meant to purposely confuse viewers and exaggerate the capabilities of the common rifle.
At some point, piles of mistakes are no longer innocent errors but the evidence of purposeful deception. When once-respected news outlets can’t even do honest or accurate reporting on firearms, it’s no wonder that so many Americans believe there is an anti-gun agenda at play.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.