I went over to MediaMatters to see what they had to say about Obama’s press conference shout-outs yesterday (surprise, surprise, surprise…they got bupkis) and saw this post on one of their blogs:
According to a check on TVeyes.com, the phrase “gun control” has not been mentioned once* in the context of the Ft. Hood shooting by any reporter, anchor or pundit appearing on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox News, or MSNBC.
In the dozens and dozens of cumulative hours of Ft. Hood coverage amassed by those television outlets, as they focus on the latest mass, workplace shooting, the phrase “gun control” has not been uttered once. Once again, in the wake of epic gun violence, the topic of guns and non-stop gun violence in America is not on the media table and is not open for debate.
When the Columbine killers unleashed their fury inside a suburban Denver high school in April 1999, killing 15 and wounding more than 20, the horror show set off all kinds of media-driven debates about gun control. i.e. Were current laws too lenient, etc.
Today, the press couldn’t care less about the issue or the related policy debate. It seems gun advocates have cowed the press corps, even as we watch wave after wave of mass shootings.
The blogger, Eric Boehlert, updates his post to note that the phrase “gun control” was finally used one time in new coverage by a guest.
He seems disappointed that the media isn’t driving more debates about gun control. He’ll get over it. Or not. Who really cares?
We’ve had a lot of those debates and the momentum is clearly on the side of those who think we already have enough or too many controls in place that aren’t doing any good. Or actually doing harm.
It could be that the media isn’t using this incident to drive gun control debates because it’s been less than 24 hours since it happened and they just haven’t started up yet. It could be that they are waiting so as to not appear too overeager to capitalize on a tragedy. It could be that they’re being careful due to the momentum that the Supreme Court decision on the DC gun ban has given the civil rights side.
Regardless, I’ve got no doubt that we’ll be hearing more noise in that direction soon.