In beginning newswriting classes, students are taught to write a lead sentence that gives the most important bits of information critical to understanding the rest of the story.
That being the case, an Associated Press writer apparently decided on Tuesday to use fake news as her hook. “They [silencers] are the stuff of legend, wielded by hit men and by James Bond,” began the story about the Hearing Protection Act currently under consideration in Congress.
The story did go on to be fairly unbiased and quoted some who are in support of the legislation, which would largely deregulate the sale of firearm suppressors. But with the propensity of many people to read only headlines and lead paragraphs, it’s likely the damage was already done before this story made it to a real discussion of this important issue.