While mainstream media typically take the wrong side of the gun rights issue, conservative political commentator S. E. Cupp is a welcome exception to that rule. A staunch gun rights supporter, Cupp addressed the crowd at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum last month in Nashville, Tenn., explaining her role as watchdog over the anti-gun media.
“I like to think that I fight for gun rights by keeping the media honest, which believe me, when it comes to guns, is an uphill battle,” Cupp said. “There is no issue about which the media is more opinionated and less informed than on guns.”
While most NRA members know exactly what Cupp is talking about, she was still happy to give some telling illustrations from recent events.
“Take some recent examples,” she said. “During the riots in Ferguson, one journalist took a picture of orange foam earplugs that we all use for hunting and shooting, and tweeted it, saying, ‘I think these are rubber bullets. Can anyone confirm.’
“On CNN, where I work, one anchor claimed he easily bought an automatic weapon in a store, until he was corrected by his own guest that that was probably illegal.”
Cupp then targeted Rolling Stone magazine, which has, of late, become more activist in its anti-gun slant.While Cupp knows many in the media are devoutly anti-gun, she takes heart in the realization that more and more Americans are recognizing the importance of private firearm ownership.
“No one considers Rolling Stone a bastion of good journalism anymore,” she said. “But back in July, readers called their list of the ‘5 Most Dangerous Guns,’ quote, ‘The worst piece of journalism of all time.’ Why? Well for one, it listed handguns, rifles and shotguns—otherwise known as all guns. For another, it singled out derringers as particularly dangerous? When was the last time you heard someone committed a crime with a derringer?”
Cupp considers the fact that many journalists don’t care at all that they nearly always get facts wrong when reporting on firearms even more annoying than their constant misreporting on the issue.
“Journalists seem totally unconcerned that they routinely get gun facts wrong,” she said. “The next time you meet a journalist, ask him his opinion of guns, and then ask him to define an ‘assault rifle.’ You’ll think you just asked him to divide pi by 13.9. While you’re at it, ask him to explain what the gun show loophole is. He can’t, because there isn’t one.
"Or ask the Washington Post headline writers what they meant by ‘high-capacity ammunition.’ Or the Politico headline writers what ‘high-capacity weapons’ are. These are journalism outfits. The least we can ask of them is to get basic facts straight.”
While Cupp knows many in the media are devoutly anti-gun, she takes heart in the realization that more and more Americans are recognizing the importance of private firearm ownership.
“When it comes to the media, there is little or no daylight between law-abiding gun owners and pariahs,” she said. “Literally, for one MSNBC host, lawmakers who vote against gun control are responsible for gun crimes—not the criminals. For another on CBS, taking on the NRA is like taking on the Nazis. It’s a really sad state of affairs in my business.
“But luckily, the ignorance and arrogance of many in the media are not the majority view of guns in the rest of the country. I promise you this, there are people out there in the media who are just like you, who are representing your views and keeping the rest of the liberal media honest. I will never stop fighting for your gun rights, and I know you will never stop fighting for mine.”