As legacy press outlets have lost much of their ability to manipulate public opinion, these institutions have resorted to increasingly desperate tactics to shape public discourse. Enter tattletale “journalism.”
This genre of article consists of identifying something that offends the delicate sensibilities of the prestige press, and the elites they cater to, and then reporting the offensive conduct to various authorities under the guise of asking them for comment. The transparent goal of such pieces is to pressure those in authority to stamp out the behavior. This sometimes takes the form of a “journalist” alerting one of the tech oligopolies to material hosted on their platform that the reporter deems politically incorrect.
NBC Reporter Clutches Pearls
This tattletale culture was on full display when NBC News’ Ken Dilanian took it upon himself to alert the U.S. Secret Service to the sale of AR-15 lower receivers emblazoned with a censored version of an insult to President Joe Biden.
Those more lucid than Biden will know that the 46th president is not very popular. Some Americans have been quite vocal about expressing their displeasure with him. Chants of “F*** Joe Biden” have erupted at sporting events around the country. Others have also put the admittedly vulgar slogan on various items.
On Oct. 2, 2021, NASCAR spectators at Talladega Super Speedway broke into the chant as NBC Sports reporter Kelli Stavast interviewed race winner Brandon Brown. As the chant was being picked up on television, Stavast told viewers that the crowd was chanting “Let’s go, Brandon,” in honor of the driver. Justifiably suspicious that NBC was attempting to cover up the public’s vocal contempt for the president, Biden opponents began using “Let’s go, Brandon” as both a substitute for the original slogan and as a way to poke fun at the legacy media’s obvious bias.
“Let’s go, Brandon” is now being used as a political rallying cry to oppose the president and adorns all manner of materials. Recognizing that many Second Amendment supporters oppose Biden due to his anti-gun views, Palmetto State Armory developed a special-edition “LETSGO-15” AR-15 lower receiver. The front of the receiver features Biden’s likeness above a checkered flag, in reference to the race that gave rise to the phrase, along with the phrase itself. A censored version of the original chant adorns the safety selector settings.
Clearly, the “LETSGO-15” lower is an exercise in speech protected by both the First and Second Amendments. Political speech is at the core of what is protected by the First Amendment. In West Virginia Board of Ed. v. Barnette (1943), the U.S. Supreme Court explained, “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion … ”
Emblazoning political speech on an item protected by the Second Amendment does not change this calculus.
In a Nov. 1 news piece, Dilanian explained how he ran to the federal government with his concerns about Palmetto State Armory’s product. However, “A spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, which investigates threats against the president, declined to comment.” In an attempt to bring further attention to his baseless squealing, Dilanian tweeted out a link to the article along with the message “I called the Secret Service about this. They had no comment.”
The U.S. Secret Service appears to have a more comprehensive understanding of the First Amendment than NBC News, and at this point has demonstrated the requisite restraint after being confronted with conduct protected by the Bill of Rights.
NBC Enables Censorship
Less than a month after publishing the ridiculous “Let’s go, Brandon” piece, NBC struck again. According to an account from Ammoland.com, NBC News contributor Joshua Eaton contacted several firearms-related YouTube content producers to ask them about the material on their channels. The query focused on channels containing information on how people can exercise their Second Amendment right to build their own firearms.
NBC News then contacted (tattled to) YouTube with a list of channels containing this information, alerting (tattling to) the tech giant that these channels were supposedly not in compliance with the company’s “community guidelines.” This resulted in videos being deleted and demonetization of the channels.
“All channels on YouTube must comply with our Community Guidelines, which prohibit content instructing viewers how to make firearms,” Jack Malon, YouTube spokesperson, told AmmoLand News. “After careful review, we have removed the videos in question for violation of our firearms policy, and we have also suspended the channels sent by NBC from the YouTube Partner Program for failure to follow our Advertiser-Friendly Guidelines.”
With its recent behavior, NBC News has abandoned any pretense of objectivity and is now engaged in partisan activism.
This appeared in the February 2022 issue of America's 1st Freedom.