Former chief-of-staff for President Obama who is now Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel uttered what has become an integral part of the political lexicon: “Never let a crisis go to waste.” He was referring to using any terrible event for political advantage. No event could establish the validity of Emmanuel’s cynical admonition than the tragic events in Parkland, Florida where 17 young lives were ended by a mentally unstable killer.
In taking up the cudgel for the liberal Democrats, the elitist media has again proven itself to be more the political propagandists than ethical journalists – taking on the role of prosecutor in the court of public opinion. The once hallowed ethical tradition of objectivity by which reporters were to focus on facts and refrain from opinion, interpretation, conjecture and spin has been largely abandoned in the name of advocacy journalism.
The Big Seven partisan news outlets (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times and the Washington Post) are strategically aligned behind one goal – to help Democrats take over the Congress and eventually the White House. As an integral part of the New York City/Washington D.C. cultural environment, they have long been the communications and public relations vehicles for the liberal wing of the Democratic Party.
Within 24 hours of the murderous rampage at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the Big Seven shifted from news reporting to partisan political promotion. While most Americans grieved and mourned, the media elite undertook a full-scale political assault on those they consider enemies. As responsible leaders called for a dialogue to discuss what measures might be taken to prevent such tragedies in the future, the Big Seven rigged their reports to focus on what they see as a politically advantageous issue with their base – the gun.
As is so often the case with the liberal media, they promoted their partisan opinion as if it were not only factual, but that it was the ONLY answer to the series of mass killings that have plagued America. Those with other thoughts and ideas were brutally demonized. CNN’s Don Lemon, in one of his characteristic left-leaning hissy-fits, said that anyone who did not agree that guns are the problems should “shut up.”
On the Saturday morning broadcast, CNN shamefully recruited a carefully selected panel of Douglas High students expressly to vent partisan hostility against Republicans — one young man calling Senator Marco Rubio and other Republicans “murderers.” The station took advantage of their emotional pain and their youthful naivety. They were prodded by leading questions by CNN Saturday morning host Victor Blackwell — just as a good prosecutor would do.
MSNBC’s Morning Joe aired a long clip of one of the mothers of a murder victim ranting hysterically against President Trump. One was left with a deep pity for her loss and a total disgust for a so-called news organization that would take advantage of her distress to advance a political agenda.
The media rolled out the liberal Democrats favorite bogeyman – the National Rifle Association. They contend that every legislator in America that is endorsed or receives contributions from the NRA are beholding to the money. To the media, there is no principled opposition. The industry is driven by heartless greed and the millions of Americans who oppose liberal gun policies are either stupid or evil. The elitist media bias is again evident in that they do not report on the many Democrats who are endorsed or accept contributions from the NRA.
Though it may run contrary to popular notions, political contributions do not drive legislative votes. Votes drive contributions. Yes, there may be a rare – with emphasis on “rare” – examples of a specific legislator taking a bribe for a vote. Generally, however, money is used to support legislatures who already hold certain views. This is true of the NRA as well as such major partisan contributors as big labor unions, the National Educations Association and Planned Parenthood. The fact that the media obfuscates these facts is just more partisan parsing.
Virtually every report from the scene in Parkland and from the newsrooms in New York devoted minimal time to the facts and maximum time to the singular issue of the need for Draconian national gun legislation. This politically motivated obsession with the gun was pursued even as facts demonstrated that mental illness and system failures were more causal than the weapon.
There were multiple systems in place supposedly to interdict people like the shooter. Most horrendously, was the failure of the FBI to respond to a very detailed and specific warning about the shooter back in January. We are yet to learn how that system failed so badly, but it did.
The local police had responded to “problems” in the shooter’s home 39 times – several calls as the result of violence. Why these did not sound alarms or result in a deeper investigation of the shooter is yet to be learned.
The school board and the high school administrators had been aware of the potential threat of this troubled young man. He was expelled because of his violent behavior. High school staff was warned against allowing him on campus – especially and specifically with a backpack. That alone would establish that they saw him as a threat. In fact, it was recommended that the school board review the situation to see if the shooter presented an imminent threat to students in the school. If there was such a review, it did not lead to any action.
The shooter had an extensive history of mental treatment that, according to the law, should have had him banned from purchasing and possessing a gun. But somehow – like the shooter in Las Vegas – that information never got to the agency that maintains the list.
No past shooter had ever left a clearer trail of intent. The shooter identified himself as a potential school shooter. He showed the world his armament and used social media to make sure his intentions were widely known. It appears that only one person took the threat seriously enough to take action, and that was the person who tipped off the FBI with detailed information – enough information to motivate any rookie cop to zero in on the person.
No new laws would have prevented these compounding human failures. A lack of adequate early response was a major factor in the tragedy in Parkland. The shooter’s self-proclaimed desire to kill people and to become yet another infamous celebrity was so strong that even the strictest laws are not likely to have prevented him from acquiring one illegally – as so many other killers have. Chicago’s high murder rate stands out as an example of the futility of gun bans. If not an AR-15, then maybe another semiautomatic rifle or semiautomatic pistol that can also discharge rounds as fast as a person pulls the trigger.
There is certainly room to look at gun laws to see if there are changes that will have a positive impact on our sad culture of violence – gun and otherwise. We should outlaw bump stocks on general principle, but also know that such a law would not have prevented the Parkland shooter. We should also address the slow-motion slaughter of mostly minority Americans in our cities and the violence from pseudo-Islamic radicalization of American citizens.
Virtually every American was horrified and deeply saddened by the deaths, the injuries and the trauma of those wonderful high school students and families in Parkland. We are united in a desire to seek solutions and end such craven acts of senseless violence. That desire is not encouraged by the acrid political environment being promoted by a biased and virulent media that at once politicizes these tragic events and unleashes a campaign of character assassination on those who do not accept or appreciate their highly partisan viewpoint.
We can look at current gun laws, but more importantly, we need to see where the current systems are failing and how we can more effectively identify and act against the mental instability that is the underlying causal problem. If initial tips are received by one person, perhaps the system should have two people receive them. Without much investigation, it is probably safe to assume that there is a lack of information sharing between the FBI, local police and others – in this case the school board. It needs to be a two-way communication system.
We already have systems to take people who are a threat to themselves and society off the streets, but they are obviously ineffective. The challenge is to identify those with dangerous mental problems without creating a large net that swoops up those who are just different or marginally impaired. The case of the Parkland shooter would have been easy, but there are more borderline cases than this simple one.
It is obvious, however, that the systems need to be improved. This has the potential of being a very dangerous slippery slope that could lead to incarcerating people as mentally ill over political differences – as is the case in Russia and China. If you think that cannot happen here, just remember that some liberal Democrats have suggested criminalizing those who do not agree with the government on climate change.
Rational people do not look at a gun and suddenly want to kill people. It is the person who wants to irrationally kill people that seeks the means. If we do not start on that side of the problem, we will continue to engage in political Kabuki Theater again and again – and more innocents will die. The one-sided partisan dialogue perpetrated by a cabal is also part of the problem. It has skewed the public discourse by putting politics ahead of journalism.