No one at the networks waited to begin the campaign advertising disguised as "news." On the first night after the Newtown shooting, just hours after the grisly story broke, "CBS Evening News" anchor Scott Pelley was already pushing: "One wonders if the nature of this crime and the age of the victims might create the debate in Washington that could push legislation along?"
Over on NBC that night, reporter Tom Costello connected liberal dots: "In Colorado, still haunted by the Aurora and Columbine massacres, the governor of that western pro-gun state also said it's time to begin a discussion about sensible gun control. ... Tonight, with dozens dead, including so many children, the debate over guns is back."
The bias here is just loaded with urgency, because every politicized "news" advocate knows that the policy debate on guns operates on emotion, and not on facts. The facts might be the same in the first 10 days as they are three months later, but liberal journalists feel like they're going to lose the debate to the NRA's army of members in fly-over country as soon as the emotion subsides.
That's why the Senate launched an emotional gun control hearing on Jan. 30 starring former Democrat Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, a famous and tragic victim of a madman shooting. Even that Gabby story was a rerun, since the networks also promoted her saying "Enough" to the NRA on Jan. 7 on the anniversary of the Tucson shooting.
Six days before the hearing, a Senate staffer told Broadcasting and Cable magazine that the hearing would not be confined to gun control issues and could include mental health and media violence issues: "I think everything is going to come up." But while the witness panel was balanced, there was no panel of Hollywood executives to face tough questions, the way that Senators love lining up tobacco or oil-company CEOs.
After Newtown, the networks again demonstrated that there's no story on which they can't dramatically stack the deck. Liberal news stories lead to liberal legislation. They know it; and relish it.
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. To find out more about Brent Bozell III, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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