This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, September 25, 2017:
Two recent polls show once again that the mainstream media’s attempt to influence the news isn’t working. For years Gallup has been tracking their cratering of credibility, noting last September that “Americans’ trust and confidence in the mass media ‘to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly’ has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with [just] 32% saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media. This is down eight percentage points from last year.”
Gallup’s conclusions were backed up by a more recent poll conducted by Harvard-Harris in May this year which learned that two out of every three people polled “believe there is a lot of fake news in the mainstream media.” Interestingly, that applies across the political spectrum, with Democrats siding with Republicans in their distrust of the media.
So, why would the Washington Post massage the data just to make a point? Why would they distort the data in order to promote its anti-gun agenda? Is that agenda so important that it would continue to risk whatever’s left of its credibility in its promotion?
Apparently so. In a wildly sensationalist screed published last week, the Post burnished its anti-gun agenda without regard to truth. In its editorial “Children Under Fire” it was hoped that emotions would override honesty in order to make its point: Youngsters are being shot at a terrible rate and something must be done! The reader is left to imagine just what must be done but it’s likely to have little to do with supporting the Second Amendment.
Its subtitle warned the skeptic what was coming: “Almost two dozen kids are shot every day in the U.S. This 4-year-old was one of them.” In the middle of this crudely crafted sensationalist diatribe was the heart of the article: “On average, 23 children were shot each day in the United States in 2015, according to a Post review of the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. That’s at least one bullet striking a growing body every 63 minutes.” It added:
In total, an estimated 8,400 children were hit, and more died – 1,458 – than in any year since 2010. That death toll exceeds the entire number of U.S. military fatalities in Afghanistan this decade.
The specifics of additional gun control laws were left to the reader’s imagination, but the article’s purpose was clear: Young children are being shot at a terrible rate and something must be done! That “something” would no doubt involve gun locks, fines for parents allowing their children to have access to firearms, and further incursions into precious rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
The 12-page philippic was devoted to young children suffering grievously from gunshot wounds. What was not explained was just how much the Post’s “review” altered or ignored some basic facts: The definition of “children” included young adults up to age 18. The article failed to mention that almost 80 percent of those suffering gunshot wounds that year were between 15 and 17, while the remainder who suffered were between ages 0 and 14. In order to make its point, WaPo combined the stats and then focused on youngsters caught in the line of fire.
Here is the data from the National Center for Health Statistics for 2015: among those between 0 and 14, the number of firearms-related fatalities per day was 1.2, while the average among juveniles and young adults ages 15-19 was 6.5.
Those are fatalities. What about gun-related injuries? Juveniles and young adults ages 15-19 comprised more than 83 percent of those hospitalized with gun-related injuries in 2012, with just 16 percent of those hospitalized aged 0-14.
The Post could have looked at accidental deaths in the U.S. in 2014. It would have learned that out of 138,593, just 586 of them involved guns. Or it could have investigated accidental deaths among children (properly defined as ages 0 to 14), and learned that out of 3,899 accidental deaths sustained by that cohort, just 50 involved guns, or 1.3 percent. When data from 2015 was analyzed, the total number and rate of unintentional firearms deaths among those ages 0-14 were tied for the lowest observed since 1981, and was less than a third of what it was in 1995. When combined with the fact that there are 61 million in the U.S. between ages 0 and 14, one comes to the startling conclusion that the chances of a child (again, properly defined) is less than 1 in a million.
None of this appeared in the anti-gun rhapsody sung by the Post. Obviously its anti-gun, anti-freedom, anti-Second Amendment agenda is more important than providing the truth, the whole truth, without massaging it to make its point.
Which raises an important, perhaps existential question for the Post and its liberal anti-gun brethren: without credibility, who will read them? Their readers might just as well stick with the well-known tabloid journals such as the National Inquirer, the National Examiner, andGlobe. After all, as the mainstream media’s credibility continues to crater, who can tell the difference?
NRAILA.org: Gun Safety
Gallup.com: Americans’ Trust in Mass Media Sinks to New Low