This feature appears in the February ‘17 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association.
In his final weeks in office, President Barack Obama crusaded against the rise of “fake news.” He saturated news and entertainment media with the message that Russian hacks resulted in fake news that impacted the presidential election—stopping just short of blaming Vladimir Putin directly for Hillary Clinton’s defeat.
“If fake news that’s being released by some foreign government is almost identical to reports that are being issued through partisan news venues, then it’s not surprising that that foreign propaganda will have a greater effect,” he warned in a press conference. He insulted the intelligence of “voters who’ve been listening to that stuff for years, who have been getting that stuff everyday from talk radio or other venues, they’re going to believe it.”
Illustration by Gary Locke
Of course, if that were true, then we’d be sending congratulatory messages to all those celebrities who gave birth to aliens. In reality, “Fake News” is the new fake news; it’s a thinly disguised effort to rebrand “propaganda.” By labeling it as a Russian threat to national security, he hopes we’ll confuse it with an episode of “The Americans.”
NRA knows all about fake news; we’ve been fighting it for decades. We remember when media labeled hunting ammo as “cop killer bullets;” how politicians demonized small, inexpensive handguns as “Saturday Night Specials;” and how gun control organizations rebranded themselves as “gun-safety groups.” Let’s not forget, too, that every time a reporter calls an AR-15 an “assault weapon,” a gun owner spits up coffee.
For perhaps the most egregious example of anti-gun fake news, just Google “CNN John Zarrella Fake.” Put away all sharp objects first.
This is especially galling coming from Obama, the King of Fake News. Remember “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor?” That the Benghazi attack was due to “the natural protests that arose because of the outrage over the video?” That there was “not a smidgeon of corruption” when the IRS targeted conservative groups?In reality, “Fake News” is the new fake news; it’s a thinly disguised effort to rebrand “propaganda.”
When it comes to disseminating fake Second Amendment news, Obama is second-to-none; his administration has maintained an eight-year-long anti-gun news feed. See how many of these fact-free Obamanouncements you can recall:
-Banning those on the no-fly list from buying guns will keep them out of the hands of terrorists.
-Congress made it harder for public health experts to research gun violence.
-90 percent of Mexican crime guns come from the United States.
-90 percent of Americans want “universal” background checks.
-The Sandy Hook murderer used a “fully automatic weapon.”
-The United States leads the world in gun violence.
-Mass shootings don’t happen in other advanced countries.
-Criminals buy guns on the Internet to avoid background checks.
-Criminals buy guns at gun shows to avoid background checks.
-Criminals hide behind trusts to buy more dangerous firearms.
-Slashers in China would be even more effective if they had access to more powerful weapons.
-The ATF never knowingly allowed the sale of guns to Mexican straw purchasers (see Fast and Furious).
-The AR-15 is a “weapon of war.”
-It is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book.