Here is my latest article on LewRockwell.com, On Award-Winning ‘News’ Radio and Objective Coverage
In response to the Orlando nightclub mass shooting, the U.S. House Democrats are making fools of themselves in their sit-in filibuster, as they display their childishness and ignorance on the gun control issue. Their purely emotional calls for more gun control and denying guns to people whose names are placed on a no-fly list or a terrorist watch list without due process are thoroughly lacking in rational thought.
But I’m more disappointed in the news media who are covering the pro-gun control crowd’s emotional arguments, but not covering any actual intellectual, historical and empirical arguments against gun control.
For example, I listen to news radio WBZ in the morning and its newscasts are typical of such a description. WBZ and its morning news anchor Joe Mathieu most recently have been boasting of their 2016 National Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast, in addition to their “2014 Peabody Award for Overall Excellence; a 2014 National Edward R. Murrow Award for Continuing Coverage; and the 2013 National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Award for News Talk Station of the Year,” according to their website.
Now, I obviously can’t listen to this one station all day, so it’s possible that in WBZ’s newscasts they have covered both sides of the gun debate. And if they have, then my apologies. Although WBZ’s weeknight talk show host Dan Rea did interview gun rights advocate John Lott after the Orlando shooting, what I am talking about more is the mainstream media’s actual newscasts, which purportedly are “objective,” and “fair and balanced” (or they’re supposed to be).
For example, in the discussion of the no-fly list, which causes many innocent people to be denied their right to travel, and the terrorist screening database, in which the Washington Post notes that “auditors found that 38 percent of the records contained errors or inconsistencies,” the gun control crowd make the assumption that such government lists of people are legitimate. Why don’t Joe Mathieu and his award-winning WBZ news team and other media outlets ever cover the issue of names falsely placed on those lists, which thus denies people their right to due process?
Besides those who are uninvolved and haven’t been accused but nevertheless had their names wrongly placed on a list, those who are actually accused of something also have a right to not have their names on a no-fly list or a no-buy-guns list, when they haven’t been charged with anything let alone convicted, as Glenn Greenwald pointed out. Perhaps Joe Mathieu and his WBZ news team or other media outlets could interview Glenn Greenwald on the importance of due process?
As Judge Andrew Napolitano observed, “… if the government wants to silence your speech or deny you the right to self-defense, it must meet a very high burden in a public courtroom. It must demonstrate to a judge and jury that its need to silence or disarm you is compelling, and its goals may not be attained by any lesser means. Americans need not demonstrate a compelling need to speak or bear arms; the government must demonstrate a compelling need to prevent us from doing so.” Judge Napolitano could also be someone of interest to WBZ News on these matters.
Besides the issues of rights to self-defense and due process, there are the matters of practicality when it comes to gun restrictions imposed by the government. For example, in covering all the “who, what, why, when, where, and how,” do the news professionals ever bring up cities such as Chicago which has the strictest gun laws in the country yet the highest rates of gun-related murders? Do these mainstream media news people ever interview gun control researchers such as the aforementioned John Lott, author of More Guns, Less Crime?
Dr. Lott wrote in the Wall Street Journal in 1998, “Americans use guns defensively about 2.5 million times a year, and 98% of the time merely brandishing the weapon is sufficient to stop an attack.”
Do the mainstream newscasters ever quote someone who asks, What if someone at that Orlando nightclub had been armed? Has WBZ News pointed out that many of the recent mass shootings have occurred at “gun-free zones,” areas in which people are disarmed by local or state governments?
UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh listed several instances in which a private citizen (not a police officer) used a firearm to stop a mass shooing.
What about the fact that criminals don’t obey the law, so if they want to go kill a lot of people they will get their guns illegally on the black market, or steal them? I haven’t heard that point made on the award-winning WBZ news radio.
By the way, I myself am not a gun person. The “right to keep and bear arms” also means that individuals have a right to not keep and bear arms if they don’t want to. But the right of the people to defend themselves is very important, in my view.
And regarding the Orlando shooter, if he couldn’t get guns, then he might very well have made a bomb just as the Boston Marathon bombers did, and still could have killed a lot of people. That might have been even worse, because a bomb can kill a whole lot of people in an instant.
Terrorist murderers or murderers-wannabe will find the means to do their killing without guns. And that’s another thing. If Islamic extremism is associated with recent mass shootings, what exactly is causing the Islamic extremism? Do the WBZ and other media news people ask those questions?
As I pointed out in this article, the main contributors to radical Islamic extremism are the bureaucrats of our own U.S. government. Do mainstream media news outlets ever inform their listeners that the FBI intentionally radicalizes young Muslim males at the mosques, and that the CIA funds and arms ISIS as well? Or that up to 90% of those killed by the CIA’s drone-murder program are innocent civilians? The U.S. government needs to end the interventionism, the warmongering, and the invading and occupying of foreign countries which provokes foreigners.
The mainstream news media outlets also do not seem to cover alternative, non-statist solutions given to local gun-related violence in the cities such as Chicago and Boston.
Why are the city youths getting involved in guns, violence, gangs, or drugs? First, they actually are bored and have nothing to do. So let them get a part-time job, especially now when school’s out. But the problem is there are very few jobs available for them. And that is mainly because of the minimum wage. The minimum wage makes it illegal for an employer to pay an entry-level, low-skilled worker below what the government tells the employer to pay. Many times the employers can’t afford to pay entry-level workers higher wages, so the employers end up cutting those jobs.
As Murray Rothbard wrote, the minimum wage is the government’s way of outlawing jobs.
If the minimum wage is, in short, raised from $3.35 to $4.55 an hour, the consequence is to disemploy, permanently, those who would have been hired at rates in between these two rates. Since the demand curve for any sort of labor (as for any factor of production) is set by the perceived marginal productivity of that labor, this means that the people who will be disemployed and devastated by this prohibition will be precisely the “marginal” (lowest wage) workers, e.g. blacks and teenagers, the very workers whom the advocates of the minimum wage are claiming to foster and protect.
WBZ might consider interviewing economists Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, and Walter Block on those minimum wage issues.
Besides abolishing the minimum wage, the second solution to the problem of gun violence in the cities is ending the drug war. The war on drugs has caused a black market in street drugs, thus causing a rise in price which incentivizes those in need of money to get involved in that kind of illicit trade. The drug war creates pushers, traffickers, gangs and turf wars, and corrupt police and bureaucrats profiting from the drug war. End the drug war.
I never hear on WBZ or other news media outlets any inclusions of those alternative perspectives in their newscasts regarding the problems of gun violence. The news media outlets mainly relay the government’s propaganda toward reducing the people’s freedom and toward the further empowerment of government’s bureaucrats and police, and the news media act as stenographers for the Left’s agenda of civilian disarmament, economic disempowerment of those at the bottom of the economic scale, and for bureaucrats’ insatiable desire for control.