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Saturday, May 7, 2016

Mainstream Media: Background Checks For Thee, But Not For Me

There has been much hand-wringing in the journalistic community following a Secret Service announcement that for the first time, those wishing to attend the Democratic or Republican conventions will need to pass a background check. There are no established criteria, and those who don’t pass will be denied entry. 

Of course, gun owners have been fighting this battle for years. The media’s calls for increased scrutiny of gun owners recently reached fever pitch in a New York Times editorial—on the front page, no less—decrying defeat of legislation mandating use of FBI’s terrorist watch list—itself possessing no established public criteria—to prohibit gun purchases.

While the Times hasn’t commented on the recent announcement, the Daily Beast spoke with Newark Star-Ledger’s Jonathan D. Salant, who said, “I personally think it’s the government deciding who can and can’t be a journalist, and I don’t think the First Amendment allows that.” 

Ironically, Salant’s recent articles have promoted gun control via the no-fly list—without mentioning the constitutional violations this would entail—and extolled requiring private sellers to register as dealers to force them to conduct more background checks.