MSNBC, CNN Give Aaron Alexis An AR-15 'Shotgun' (That He Didn't Actually Use)

The DC navy yard shooting is already being politicized (because: America), giving left-wing pundits and pols another reason to talk about their favorite distraction issue: Gun control.

Yet so desperate and rabid are they that they seem to be creating the story that they want to report instead of performing simple fact checks (and by simple, I mean Google) to get the story straight. I'd like to think that mainstream networks like MSNBC and CNN are doing this on purpose and manipulating the story intentionally, because the only other option, that they are stupid, is somehow worse.

Forgive the rant. I realize that I have to actually report something at some point here, so here goes.

Monday's horrific massacre at the Washington D.C. navy yard claimed 13 lives (per latest reports) including the life of the shooter, Aaron Alexis. For posterity's sake, there have been reports that Alexis was mentally ill, had priors involving guns, and legally purchased his firearms. You can read all about those reports by clicking those links, but every single one of those points is completely moot.

The reason they're moot is because the media's handling of the navy yard shooting and Aaron Alexis isn't about access to firearms, it's about one firearm: The AR-15. A firearm which actually failed to make an appearance at this shooting. But you wouldn't know it from watching cable news.

The facts: The FBI reports that an AR-15 was not used in the massacre. A shotgun and two handguns were recovered, but it seems that the shotgun was brought in my Alexis. The handguns he used were actually recovered from his earliest victims.

What NY Daily reported:

NY Daily News

That could be construed as just an early reporting error, except, as Noah Rothman of Mediaite points out, Mike Lupica's accompanying article is pretty much just an essay on the evils of the AR-15. Rothman says that Lupica effectively embarrassed himself with his column, and given the fact that the AR-15 had nothing to do with this massacre, we'd at least concede that his piece was... awkwardly timed. It betrays bias on Lupica's part, but hey, it's a column. He can be biased, ill-informed, and cantankerous all he wants. Unlike...

What MSNBC reported:

It's no secret that MSNBC is the "liberal" Fox News, what with cherry-picked guests, selective editing, and an air of intellectual superiority over the "other side" (the only difference, as I understand it, is that Fox actually has viewers).

But MSNBC's enthusiasm to parade the AR-15 at the front and center of their coverage of the navy yard shooting was pretty sad, even for them. All day long, hosts like Joy-Ann Reid couldn't believe the AR-15 had been used in yet another mass shooting, and shook their fists at the Republican obstructionism that will prevent any meaningful gun control legislation from passing another round of public and political scrutiny.

Worse, MSNBC doubled down Tuesday on Now w/ Alex Wagner around noon, six hours after the FBI shot down the rumors (not even reports, rumors) that an AR-15 had been used in the massacre. They did do subtly, merely mentioning that "three weapons were recovered," without specifying that the three weapons were two handguns and a shotgun, and showed a re-enactment of Alexis' rampage. Guess which gun he used?

MSNBC navy yard

With a grenade launcher!

Piers Morgan:

Do I even need to say Piers Morgan? Piers Morgan of CNN, of course, waded into the debate to rage, not against guns, just against the AR-15 "shotgun."

ar-15 shotgunThe debate on his program was not so much news reporting as it was a re-run of previous episodes.

Of course, none of this has anything to do with the issue of gun control or with whether or not American citizens should be "allowed" to have AR-15s. Go ahead and hate the AR-15, bemoan the strange surge in violence over the last few years in our country, and place the blame on guns.

Furthermore, let's have substantive discussions on background checks, mental health, gun registries and such. Let's use the Washington DC navy yard shooting and Aaron Alexis' mental illness to revisit the issues. Sure. But for Pete's sake, let's demand more of our mainstream media. Like, you know, accuracy.

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