This Silly Error Says So Much About the Mainstream Media

posted on December 13, 2022

In writing his famous novel, 1984, George Orwell penned the famous phrase “ignorance is strength” as part of the fictional Big Brother government’s practice of giving misinformation to the general public.

Perhaps The New York Times is trying to emulate this very same method, as one recent piece from its editorial board showcased a stunning lack of knowledge on a topic they love to write about.

In a piece titled “America’s Toxic Gun Culture,” the Times tweeted, “The AR-15 has become a talisman for some right-wing politicians and voters. ‘That’s a particularly disturbing trend at a time when violent political rhetoric and actual political violence in the United States are rising,’ writes the editorial board.”

Tellingly, the accompanying image showed dozens of shotgun shells, and nothing else. The Times knowledge of this issue is so thin, they think it makes perfect sense to run a photo of shotgun shells with an article demonizing AR-15-style rifles.

It is incredible that a newspaper as large and storied as The New York Times doesn’t have one editor who can look over gun-related articles to save the staff from embarrassing mistakes like this. If they are going to attack a very popular type of product, such as a semi-automatic rifle, then shouldn’t they at least understand that this tool that they loathe is not a shotgun?

Actually, the word shotgun doesn’t appear once in the piece. Perhaps some writer or editor at the Times was thinking of President Joe Biden’s (D) advice when he said homeowners should “take [a] double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house” to scare away bad guys. 

This “advice would be illegal in most situations, and dangerous both for the potential victim, and for the general public,” wrote the NRA Institute for Legislative Action.

More likely, some Times social-media person found a photo that had something to do with guns and didn’t think it mattered to get the technical aspects right; after all, guns equal bad in the paper’s worldview.

The problem for them is this error is symbolic—indeed, emblematic—of their lack of understanding of guns and of the issues related to our Second Amendment rights. They take political positions without regard to facts or consequences. They want to ban things they haven’t even taken the time to begin to understand.


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