May 23, 2003, 08:12 AM
Did anyone catch this last night? He was supposed to be on and I forgot!:banghead: I figure he might be on a roll after his CNN appearance. Anyone?
May 23, 2003, 08:17 AM
I heard they let the Anti ramble, while LaPierre got cut off and couldnt speak nearly as much, but did not see it myself.
May 23, 2003, 09:17 AM
Missed this episdoe, but I have seen "hardball" a couple of times. And in my [not so] humble opinion, Matthews is a .............
Oh, I can't say that here, for this is "The High Road"
I didn't see this or the CNN thing, so maybe he's gettng better. BUt what I have seen of LaPierre in the past, you couln't come up with a worse spokesman.
The guy is just not front-of-house material. He's not quick enough on his feet and he doesn't come across as genuinely passionate. It also seems like his natural state is to be on the defensive.
I'm not a fan. WE need a big time charismatic unassailable spokesperson who is sharp, thinks fast and looks good.
May 23, 2003, 10:22 AM
I don`t normally watch the "Doughboy" either. It`s been said he finally got it and is presenting himself as a moderate.
His column the week before 9/11 lamenting the fact that Herr Klinton couldn`t rule for a third term put the manhole cover on his career afa I`m concerned.
May 23, 2003, 10:58 AM
I did watch it- Senator Lautenberg got to present his view, uninterrupted.
Wayne LaPierre was given about 30 seconds to reply to Lautenberg (who was gone after his little speech about how terrorists are going to go into the local gunshop to buy WMD and destroy America), and was interrupted by CM who kind of corrals you into saying what he wants you to say.
Then a commercial, and Chris and Wayne are back for the wrap-up of about 20 seconds.
Chris thanked Wayne for the autographed copy of Wayne's book (for CM's brother who is an NRA member, he says).
You didn't miss much.
May 23, 2003, 01:33 PM
Lautenburg got to present his side uninterrupted.
LaPierre was split into two segments. Never got to rebut Lauterburg. He did get a few good soundbites in.
Matthews concluded by saying he thinks there are lot of democrats out there who want to be pro-gun.
In spite of unequal treatment LaPierre came out pretty good.
May 23, 2003, 03:27 PM
Speaking of Wayne L. and the AWB, here's a letter that I wrote to a bunch of folks at Fox, hoping that they will expose CNN's bias and outright fabrication of material. I saw Wayne's rebuttal, and he did OK considering the hostile atmosphere and limited time. I don't, however, like his or the NRA's emphasis on the lack of crime as a reason why we can own guns - I'd like a Constitutional or moral argument. Anyway, here it is:
If you are interested in reporting the truth, garnering some large ratings, and in simultaneously dragging CNN in the dirt (which can only help Fox News), you should be interested in the following. This story is CNN’s equivalent to the Jayson Blair affair, and to NBC’s fabrication years ago of the gas tank fires in GM pick-up trucks - it is a HUGE story. Please bear with me, as a long explanation is necessary.
This story begins with the Thursday, May 15 edition of Wolf Blitzer Reports, anchored by Kyra Phillips. John Zarrella traveled to the Broward County, Florida Sheriff's Office's outdoor shooting range where Sheriff Ken Jenne narrated what viewers were seeing as a deputy fired two "assault weapons."
Jenne explained why he favors keeping the ban in place: "Because I think guns are the tools of hunters, but these weapons are really the tools to kill people and there's a major, major difference."
First, a deputy fired what Jenne described as "a AK-47, the Chinese version," which is "currently banned." Viewers saw bullets fired into a pile of cinder blocks and chunks of the cinder blocks flying off, leaving a big hole in one block. The problem is that the AK-47 fired by the deputy WASN'T banned by the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban (“AWB”), since it was a FULLY AUTOMATIC WEAPON (i.e. a machine gun), ownership of which has been highly restricted (though not actually banned, except in a few jurisdictions) since 1934. The AWB restricted new production only of certain named SEMI-automatic rifles, or non-named SEMI-automatic rifles with certain cosmetic features. Any law enforcement officer should know these facts, let alone the chief law enforcement officer of Broward County.
Then, the deputy fired into a bullet-proof vest. Zarrella observed that the bullets "clearly fired right through" the vest. Note how misleading this is: the vest in question was designed to stop HANDGUN ammunition, which travels at far lower velocities and is, therefore, much less likely to penetrate ANY material than a bullet fired from virtually any rifle. It was so misleading that it verges on intentional deception. Anyone with any knowledge of such vests (like, for instance, a sheriff standing right there), knows this.
Second, Jenne set up the next model to be tested:
"This is an AK-47 also, but a civilian model. It has some differences and right now this only has a clip of 10 in the magazine -- or 10 rounds in the magazine. So this is a big difference than the 30 rounds in the previous magazine."
Viewers then saw the deputy fire four shots toward the cinder blocks, but nothing happened, not even a speck of the cinder block flew off, never mind
any hole being created. The very clear implication: The illegal model punched right through cinder block with devastating and deadly force, but the legal model didn't even scratch the cinder blocks. The only problem, besides this being a physical impossibility, is that THE DEPUTY NEVER FIRED THE 2ND GUN AT THE CINDER BLOCK WALL!!!! This was admitted by a CNN spokesperson to the Miami Herald on May 20, 2003. Someone, either Sheriff Jenne or John Zarella, ordered the deputy to fire into the ground, in order to FABRICATE the illusion that the gun banned by the AWB is a highly destructive machine gun, whereas the "acceptable" gun is nearly harmless (or, in other words, to not-so-subtly make the political point that the AWB should be extended, in order to keep such “killing machines” banned). The FACT is that these guns fire the EXACT same cartridge, and bullets exiting a barrel of the same length of any gun, be it a machine gun, a semi-automatic gun, or a single-shot gun, would have the same velocity and create EXACTLY as much damage. This was a clear FABRICATION!
Sheriff Jenne, Zarrella didn't bother to note, is a Democrat. Being a Democrat is no crime, but given the politics of the firearms issue in this country it should have been reported. From Jenne's bio:
"Sheriff Jenne was elected to the Florida Senate in 1978 and retained that position for 18 of the next 20 years. He held all of the top committee chairmanships and was Senate Democratic Leader when Governor Chiles chose him to become Sheriff of Broward County in January 1998, replacing the late Ron Cochran." See: www.sheriff.org
CNN also “neglected” to inform viewers that Sheriff Jenne previously sponsored legislation to ban “assault weapons.” Again, it is no crime to be a partisan politician - but the volume and nature of blatant factual errors and ommissions in this report were so flagrant as to appear deliberate.
The second installment of this affair was on the Friday, May 16 Wolf Blitzer Reports, again anchored by Kyra Phillips. An angry Wayne LaPierre of the NRA charged at the start of a guest appearance:
"Apparently the only difference between the New York Times and CNN is that when a reporter for the New York Times fakes a story, he's fired, and at CNN he's not. Your bureau chief, John Zarrella, deliberately faked the story yesterday and intending to show that the performance characteristics of banned firearms on the list are somehow different from the performance characteristics of firearms not on the banned list. He was, he was implying that these were machine guns or fully automatic guns. That's not true."
Phillips retorted: "Mr. LaPierre, I have to stop you there. No one fakes stories at CNN and John Zarrella definitely did not fake a story at CNN. You're very off base." Apparently someone at CNN, in particular John Zarrella, DID fake a story, and Mr. LaPierre was not so “off base.”
Episode 3 was on Wolf Blitzer Reports, Monday, May 19, anchored by Miles O'Brien. CNN had, evidently, begun to feel some pressure to report things more accurately. After O'Brien conceded "that a more detailed report would better explain this complex issue," Zarrella offered a detailed explanation of the differences between a legal and illegal weapon:
"This is a semiautomatic firearm. It instantly self-loads and fires one bullet for each trigger pull. The 1994 Crime Control Act says it is unlawful for a person to manufacture, transfer or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon. The law defines a semiautomatic assault weapon by name and description, listing 19 specific firearms by name that are illegal.”
Note that this is factually WRONG - the possession and transfer of existing named firearms, or those with the prohibited cosmetic features, are NOT outlawed. There is a large market for “pre-bans,” which have prices far higher than they did previously. They also have far higher prices than newly manufactured (though functionally identical and legal) rifles that have slight cosmetic differences. The FACT is that the AWB didn’t take any guns “off the streets,” it only prohibited the manufacture and sale of guns to non-law enforcement individuals, if those guns had certain named cosmetic features that didn’t effect lethality one iota. Zarella and CNN didn’t report these facts, nor the fact that even with literally millions MORE of such firearms “on the streets” than when the ban went into effect, crime has actually declined. Apparently such facts are “inconvenient.”
Zarella went on to say:
“The law also bans certain rifles, pistols and shotguns by description, as well as large capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. The law is very specific. For a semiautomatic rifle to be banned, it must be able to use a detachable magazine and have at least two of the following features: A flash suppressor, a bayonet mount, a pistol grip, a folding or telescoping stock, or a grenade launcher."
WRONG again - the law only bans the manufacture of NEW “large capacity” magazines unless they are stamped “for law enforcement use only.” Existing magazines of any capacity can, and are, sold quite legally. Open any copy of “Shotgun News” and you’ll hundreds of advertisements for them. Literally tens or hundreds of millions of these “large capacity” magazines exist, and not one was “taken off the street.” As with the rifles, the only effect of the law was to limit supply and raise prices.
Zarrella admitted a major NRA talking point, and thus contradicted the clear implication of his Thursday demonstration: "In fact, if you fire the same caliber and type bullets from the two guns," one illegal and one legal, "you get the same impact."
Viewers then saw two of the "assault weapons" being fired at cinder blocks at an indoor range. Zarrella previewed the first rifle: "Here is a .223 caliber bullet fired from a banned AR-15 rifle." Big chunks of the cinder block fell away. "Now, the legal version of that rifle," Zarrella explained before the same person fired the second rifle. But this time, only a very small hole was created in the cinder block.
That prompted Zarrella to clarify: "The smaller hole made by the second gun has nothing to do with the gun or ammunition. The shooter just hit the second target more times in the same place." In other words, the Thursday demonstration, in which the legal assault weapon caused no damage to the cinder block, was at least very misleading and very probably an outright fabrication. The Miami Herald story of May 20 confirmed that this was, indeed, a fabrication.
I strongly urge you to have your staff research this issue and, when it verifies the facts above, for you to report this blockbuster story. A few errors and/or ommissions in a story about a subject as admittedly complex as “assault weapons” is understandable. What is unacceptable is for the facts to be so twisted that they bear no relation to reality, as is ommitting so many pertinent facts that it appears to be deliberate. Worst of all, and completely beyond the pale, is CNN’s FABRICATION of the effects of firing the legal AK-47. This goes far beyond mere mistake or innocent ommission - it is a deliberate fraud perpetrated on CNN’s viewers and the American public. You should expose this for the world to see.
Some questions for you to explore are:
1) Why did CNN not disclose Sheriff Jenne’s previous political affiliation, or his sponsorship of “assault rifle” legislation?
2) Why did CNN allow a machine gun to be fired, when the AWB doesn’t ban such firearms?
3) Did the deputy indeed fire at the ground with the second AK-47? If not, then how could the fired bullets have had no effect upon the cinder blocks?
4) If the firing was fabricated, why hasn’t CNN admitted so on the air, let alone to viewers of Wolf Blitzer Reports?
5) If the firing was fabricated, why hasn’t CNN fired John Zarella?
6) If the firing of the 2nd AK-47 was fabricated, what other stories has CNN lied about?
7) What are the implications of this story for the future of the AWB?
Thank you for your patience in reading this letter, and a million thanks if you devote all or part of your show to this critically important story.
May 23, 2003, 04:00 PM
That was a pretty hostile interview situation to be sure. Mathews is a sick joke. Being biased is one thing; but Chris Mathews does it in a way that is a disgrace to his profession.
I've gotten to be less hard on Lapierre. I don't necessarily want the NRA to win (ultimately, it's unwinnable); but I want them to try, and I think they are.
LaPierre's got stones after all. He's getting on them on the AW ban, and it takes stones to walk into these horriffically biased interviews.
The NRA (currently) is fighting hard, and that's all I can ask for.
May 23, 2003, 04:04 PM
Between CNN and CNBC, the fact that LaPierre is even agreeing to interviews shows he is a man of great patience.
May 23, 2003, 04:36 PM
On the bright side. CNN and MSNBC are loosing out on the ratings, while Fox News is doing great with less stations. There are very few people who watch Chris Matthews. I doubt very much if Lautenberg would have the nerve to face the Fox News people. I had to laugh when I saw Sen. Boxer question the owner of Fox News, Rubert Murdock. She really was angry and said she didn't think his news was fair and balanced. He replied with a big smile, I know someone hurt your feelings on one of my stations. I am sorry and I will look into the matter. Boxer answered, That is not what I'm talking about! She was so angry at him. I think TV will soon be as conservative as Talk Radio someday.
1 John 2:7
Brethren I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.
May 23, 2003, 05:17 PM
I honestly don't think Fox News is conservative.
We are so used to the incredible bias on CNN etc. in story coverage and story SELECTION that it's not funny.
Take OReilly. He's basically an environmentalist a lot of the time, or authoritarian on SUV drivers, etc. Yet he's "conservative" on other issues, and his STORY SELECTION has him rubbish kiddie porners, criminals and idiots. But he's a biased/conservative reporter because he isn't a 100% Ralph Nader.
"Hannity and Colmes" is right-wing Biased because Hannity is on it. To have it be "neutral", it would just have Colmes (According to media standards we're used to).
One strategy Murdoch has used to win in media is to pick a sub-demographic and give them programming. In this case, he has a news channel that doesn't snidely rubbish and belittle the conservative part of its audience, or southerners. Surprise surprise if to get the same news such people tune in to watch reporters who aren't insulting them at the same time.
It is here that Murdoch has conservative "Bias". He reached out to half of the country: "Come to my channel and I won't insult you".
It is for this alone that Fox is different and appears "biased". Through true neutrality and respect for its audience.
May 23, 2003, 05:20 PM
I saw that too. I thought Babsy was going to jump out of her skin when Murdoch said they`d invite her to come back.:neener: She knows she`ll be "outgunned".:D
May 24, 2003, 05:16 AM
Well FOX is a whole lot better than CNN or Msnbc. That is a start.
May 24, 2003, 07:08 PM
Dude, what did you mean you think it's unwinnable?
I hate it when I see people treated unfairly. That fossil Lautenberg being given plenty of time to talk and Wayne getting cut off is as Daschle would say, "That is wrong!" Daschle....what a candyass.
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