One cannot possibly accept that the media are ignorant on this issue. While that is a probability on most issue, one month has passed in which media types were given every conceivable explanation for the distance between AR-15s and other rifle platforms, why AKs are not ARs, why a .223 is not a monster bullet, the difference between semi-automatic and fully automatic, and so on.How bad is the situation? So bad that the best case scenario for the Media - the one that most preserves the scraps of their tattered reputation - is that the entire MSM is institutionally incompetent to report on anything relating to guns. That's the best explanation, and the others are, well, precisely as your Autocrat describes.
The smallest amount of fact-checking would have cleared this up in no time.
Instead, you have active suppression of evidence followed by an informed distortion of the record.
And so to my snark from yesterday, about the Gun Control crowd whining that the evil NRA is using fear to whip up support. The two are inextricably joined. Gun owners (and more importantly gun sympathizing non-owners) see the lies that are not the accidental rarity, but rather are the core argument of the anti-gun crowd. They see the blatant misrepresentation by the media. They hear the calls for confiscation. What is their natural reaction?
Panic gun buying. Joining the NRA. Deciding that this is the time to make the stand.
And so all the complaints that Diane Feinstein's and Andrew Cuomo's calls for confiscation were "taken out of context" fall on deaf ears - after all, if the Media is seen to always exaggerate to the benefit of the Gun Control agenda, this is just more of the same, right?
And the same goes to pro-gun Democrats. And while there are a lot of them, they are in terrible danger of not getting credit for it. After all, a bunch of their fellow Party members lie through their teeth - aided and abetted by the Media - and so why shouldn't we wonder if they're lying, too?
And so there are two clear lessons from this debate: The Media has destroyed their credibility with the entirety of the American public: everyone (both pro-gun and anti-gun) read their statements as code words and both sides assume that the Media secretly is firmly on the side of gun control - and therefore slants its coverage to push that agenda. Both sides discount the actual content of the reporting, correctly only perceiving the agenda. This means that the Media has absolutely no ability to shift opinion in favor of further gun control. Since everyone thinks that they're rooting for their "home team", there's no possibility of being seen as a neutral broker. In fact, the only impact they could have would be to report the facts correctly which would likely have a massive swing of popular opinion in favor of gun rights.
The second lesson is that the Media is now damaging the Democratic party. The majority of the population simply doesn't believe them on this topic, and when the Media reports that Senator Manchin (D-WV) "supports gun rights" they read this as code reporting - even if it may be true. Given that gun rights is a topic that energizes voters like few other topics - especially voters who are not political junkies - this is very, very damaging to Democratic candidates in competitive districts.
There's a quite good chance that the damage has already been inflicted on the Democratic Party's 2014 hopes. The message has been sent, and it has been received. The Media can only make this perception worse with their coded support of gun control. What remains to be seen is whether the NRA will take this as an opportunity to explain to "pro-gun" Democrats that they're simply not believable any more, and as long as (say) Nancy Pelosi is still their leader in the House that even those politicians who were once considered pro-gun are presumed to be at the beck and call of their anti-gun political party.
Because until there is a cost to the Democrats for pushing this anti-freedom agenda, they'll keep pushing it. Sure, they'll claim that the "support the Second Amendment" and the Media will dutifully report that. And everyone will watch this and think "They're lying. It's what they do."