Jon Stewart accuses ABC News correspondent Brian Ross of hitting the “I’m feeling lazy” button.
In the early hours of the media coverage of the Aurora, Colorado, shooting rampage, ABC News reporter Brian Ross (egged on by George Stephanopoulos) ridiculously rushed to judgment with a claim that James Holmes was a member of the Tea Party. It turned out of course that the James Holmes in question, 52, was a completely different person in the local area than the alleged 24-year-old shooter. Ross later backtracked. The innocent James Holmes apparently received death threats as a result of Ross’ irresponsible reporting.
Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart subsequently slammed Brian Ross for his false report and wondered why ABC hasn’t at least suspended him. Before commenting on Ross, Stewart mocked those who insist that it is premature to discuss gun laws at this time (see first clip below). Stewart, although a liberal, acknowledged the complexity of protecting Second Amendment rights while toughening up gun regulations. Jon Stewart makes a good point that no related subject should necessarily be off the table (as long as it isn’t politicized) following this tragedy. Whether it is too early to talk about new gun control laws, however, begs the question to some extent.
That’s because law-abiding citizens will follow present and future regulations on guns. That’s the definition of law abiding. Criminals–not so much. They can’t be bothered.
History has show that they can easily get their hands on weapons (even in areas with strict gun laws) regardless of any restrictions on the books or seek alternative means to carry out their misdeeds. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, said much the same thing, as did Ice-T, among others across the spectrum
You don’t have to be a gun owner at all–in fact you can want nothing to do with firearms or any gun rights organization–to be in favor of the constitutional right to bear arms.
It’s also interesting to note that big gun control advocates like New York City Mayor Bloomberg surround themselves with armed bodyguards at all times.
That being said, the incident with Brian Ross is hardly the first time the mainstream or elite media committed”media malpractice” by blaming the Tea Party for unrelated crimes. Contrary to the caricature in the mainstream-liberal media, Tea Party members are just the ordinary people next door or down the block. They’re the ones who actually slow down at the yellow light. Previously apolitical, these solid and peaceful citizens have become active under the First Amendment because of out-of-control government spending, the deficit, and the debt.
In the New York Post, Gabriel Malor provides a partial list of these wholly false media narratives, including…
[February 2010] a professor at the University of Alabama, Amy Bishop, shot and killed three colleagues at a faculty meeting. The gun-loving Tea Party came under immediate suspicion. But Bishop was a lifelong Democrat and Obama donor.
May 2010: New York authorities disarmed a massive car bomb in Times Square. Mayor Bloomberg immediately speculated that the bomber was someone upset about the president’s new health-care law. The media trumpeted the idea that crazed conservatives had (again, they implied) turned to violence. In fact, the perp was Faisal Shahzad, an Islamic extremist.
January 2011: Jared Lee Loughner went on a rampage in Tucson, Ariz. Again the media knew just who to blame: the Tea Party and its extremist rhetoric. In fact, Loughner was mostly apolitical — a conspiracy
theorist who, to date, has been judged too mentally incompetent to stand trial.
Jon Stewart comments on whether it’s too soon have a new gun control debate after the Aurora, Colorado, shooting:
In the same episode, Jon Stewart blasts ABC News reporter Brian Ross for making uncorroborated accusations against a Tea Party member for the Dark Knight Rises rampage:
The following discussion on FNC’s Hannity with Tea party activist Jennifer Stefano calls attention to among other things the media’s contrasting unwillingness to jump to conclusions in the Ft. Hood shooting case:
Do you think the traditional mainstream media has a double standard when it comes to reporting (or misreporting) about the Tea Party?