This self-righteous editorial in the New York Daily News has gotten a lot of attention:
Blood on hands of Obama, Mitt and NRA!Strong words. Surely they come from a news organization that's been tireless in fighting the NRA's extremism and dishonesty -- right?
The police chief in Aurora, Colo., said he is confident that massacre gunman James Holmes acted alone. The police chief was dead wrong.
Standing at Holmes' side as he unleashed an AR-15 assault rifle and a shotgun and a handgun was Wayne LaPierre, political enforcer of the National Rifle Association.
Standing at Holmes' side as he sprayed bullets and buckshot into a crowded movie theater were Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, a President and a would-be President, who have bowed to the NRA's dictates and who responded to the slaughter Friday with revolting, useless treacle.
... Through their inaction and their silence, Obama and Romney have fallen into line with all those who enabled Holmes to take hold of that AR-15 and will enable others to do so in the future unless America's political leaders develop the courage to fight to save lives.
Well, no, not exactly. Wayne LaPierre is a villain to the Daily News? You'd never know it from the paper's scant coverage of him, which includes an appalling article about Jackie Rowe-Adams, a Harlem mother who's lost two suns to gun violence, who. She traveled to the NRA convention this year and spoke to LaPierre -- and came away actually believing LaPierre's dishonest blather about being a sincere opponent of gun violence who really has Rowe-Adams's best interests at heart. The Daily News article takes LaPierre's pious protestations at face value. Some villain.
Oh, and the Daily News editorial page has taken Darrell Issa's side on the question of document releases in the Fast and Furious case, without ever acknowledging a prime motivating factor in the pursuit of Fast and Furious by House Republicans: the loony theory, advanced by the NRA and others, that the Obama administration wanted to use the violence that resulted from the program as a pretext for strong gun control measures.
LaPierre has been relentlessly pushing the notion that Obama intends a massive gun grab in his second term. If the Daily News has ever denounced this, I'm not aware of it.
It's not just the ews. Over the years, big-city media outlets have largely been silent as the NRA steadily accrued power -- the gun issue is too rural; the lobbying aspect is too process-y to interest readers. When a gun story goes national, the press takes notice of the NRA, but otherwise the NRA just goes its way -- and gets its way.
The press needs to treat the NRA the way it treated David Duke when he ran or governor -- as a clear and present danger to society. The press can't just say that at moments like this, because the NRA doesn't just operate at moments like this. The press needs to treat the NRA as an ongoing menace. Otherwise, it has blood on its hands, too.