NEW YORK TIMES BLAMES GUN FOR LUNATIC’S MURDEROUS RAMPAGE AT BRONX-LEBANON HOSPITAL IN NEW YORK CITY
NEW YORK TIMES BLAMES GUN FOR LUNATIC’S MURDEROUS RAMPAGE AT BRONX-LEBANON HOSPITAL IN NEW YORK CITY
Introduction to multipart series article on New York Times fake news story
“Lux et Veritas”: “Light and Truth.” Don’t expect to find either in the New York Times.
After the tragic incident at the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, on Friday, June 30, 2017, when a lunatic, Henry Bello, an unlicensed, Nigerian-born “doctor” and irate employee of the Hospital—let go for good cause—sexual harassment—went on a shooting spree, killing one person, a physician, and seriously wounding several others before taking his own life, the New York Times wasted no time, casting blame and aspersion on the party the Times holds to be truly responsible for the crimes of murder and attempted murder: a firearm, variously and ineptly described by the newspaper reporters writing the story, Marc Santora and Al Baker, as an “assault rifle”—which it wasn’t or as an “assault weapon,” which it couldn’t be, since there is, really, no such weapon. The expression, ‘assault weapon,’ is nothing more than a legal fiction, drummed up by antigun media sorts, for psychological effect, and used by antigun groups and like-minded politicians to deny Americans their fundamental and natural right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution.
The firearm—that the “health care provider,” Henry Bello, used to deprive one health care provider, a physician, of her life, and who then seriously injured several more health care providers, attempting to deprive them of their life and well-being—would be described simply but at least accurately as a semiautomatic rifle, and more descriptively and accurately as an AM15 Optic Ready .223/5.56 Caliber M4 AR-15 Rifle, manufactured by Anderson Manufacturing, lawfully modified by a licensed New York gunsmith to conform to New York State law.
The Times reporters, Santora and Baker, clearly blame the rifle for the horrific crimes committed by a lunatic, in whom blame really, and solely, rests. The blame that Santora and Baker thrust more on the M4 AR-15 Rifle, and less on Bello, is tacit but nonetheless clear enough, as the reporters argue that, but for the rifle, the tragedy that occurred at the Hospital would not have taken place.
Santora and Baker create a fairy tale disguised as a news story to suggest the rifle is the principal perpetrator—not Bello, who pulled the trigger, because Bello couldn’t help himself. You see, Bello is, or rather was—before the rifle turned on him or before Bello turned the rifle on himself—mentally ill.
The Times newspaper in a follow-up article to the deadly Bronx-Lebanon shooting, posted on-line, on July 3, 2017, and published, in the print edition of the paper, on July 4, 2017, with the title, “Despite Strict Gun Law, Doctor was able to Buy Assault rifle,” makes abundantly clear that the M4-AR 15 rifle must be perceived as the central character and the main culprit in the incident as the reporters, Santora and Baker, who wrote the story, focus their attention on the rifle, rather than on Bello. That isn’t to say the Times reporters don’t also focus their attention on other culpable players in the tragic incident. For, Santora and Baker mention others who abetted the M4-AR15 rifle—the principal assailant—and who abetted Bello, who was more along for the ride.
The reporters cast a wide net. They blame the gunsmith who modified the weapon to conform to the New York Safe Act so that a New York gun dealer could lawfully sell the weapon. They also blame the gun dealer who lawfully sold the modified M4-AM 15 to Bello. And, finally, the Times reporters blame the NY Safe Act, itself, for the tragedy that occurred at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital because, as the Times reporters strongly suggest, the SAFE Act, strict as it is, isn’t strict and restrictive enough—not nearly strict and restrictive enough.
The Arbalest Quarrel explains in a series of in depth articles that follow this introduction, previously posted as one, unbroken essay on the Arbalest Quarrel website, and to be posted in multiple parts on Ammoland Sporting Shooting Sports News, how the New York Times’ implicit bias toward and against firearms generally and against civilian possession and ownership of firearms particularly colors its news accounts so that what the public takes to be factual news coverage of specific events, appearing in the news section of the publication, is really an opinion piece, masked as a factual news piece, that really belongs in the editorial section of the newspaper.
The New York Times newspaper, as with other mainstream media organizations, makes much of the notion of “fake news,” when vigorously attacking alternative media sources, but never once admits that the Times newspaper, itself, is often a main source of its own “fake news.”
Whence cometh “Fake News?”
“Fake news” is a thing conceived or contrived by the mainstream media as a device or conceit to attack alternative news and commentary sources, which the mainstream media perceives, and, admittedly and rightly so, as a mechanism to counteract mainstream news media influence over the American public.
“Fake news” is an expression that has, through overuse, principally by the mainstream news media that first commenced use of it, become nothing more than cliché. It is the mainstream news media that is truly the perpetrator of “fake news” and has used it to sway public opinion. But, what is this thing, referred to as “fake news,” really?”
What “fake news” really refers to is fabricated stories. It is not merely false news—in the sense that the reporters or distributors of the news are delivering false news of events inadvertently as they are not aware that the news is false—but a more serious affront to conscience, where the reporters or distributors of the news deliberately conceive and distribute contrived stories—stories that are specifically designed to deceive the target audience–to induce, in the target audience, false perceptions of events—stories designed to mislead the target audience and to sway public opinion in a specific direction, a direction designed to further the aims and goals of mainstream media’s powerful wealthy benefactors—those forces at work, behind the scenes, whose aims are antithetical to the aims of and antithetical to the best interests of this Nation and of its people. The mainstream media has, accordingly, evolved into a propaganda machine—a well-oiled and well-funded tool of those forces that seek to undermine the rights and liberties of the American people—especially the right of the people to keep and bear arms, as codified in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
While the First Amendment guarantee of Freedom of the Press precludes any attempt by the Government to abridge that Freedom, there is nothing in the First Amendment that precludes the Press from presenting biased reports of the news. But bias in the news is what the American public receives daily from the mainstream media. A prime example of implicit bias in the news is seen in mainstream media’s attempt, to sway public opinion on the matter of civilian ownership and possession of firearms.
In the Times article, “Despite Strict Gun Law, Doctor Was Able to Buy Gun,” that we deconstruct, we point to specific factual errors made pertaining to the firearm the Times reporters, Messrs. Santora and Baker, talk about in the story. To those individuals who might assert that the Arbalest Quarrel is merely quibbling, we point out that factual errors about guns is a serious matter.
If the mainstream media attempts to make a case for restrictive gun laws, it should, at the very least, know of what it speaks. But, obviously, the mainstream media knows little about the technical aspects of firearms that it writes about. Worse, it doesn’t care. Worst of all, the mainstream media concocts a mythology about guns that has absolutely no basis in reality and is designed to induce, in the public, fear and loathing toward firearms and to mistrust those who support and respect the right embodied in the Second Amendment that the framers of the U.S. Constitution felt strongly enough about to set in stone.
The mainstream media, which includes the NY Times newspaper, apparently believes it can, when it chooses, be sloppy when talking about the news, and the Times is often sloppy. Now, it is one thing for a news source to provide erroneous information about firearms out of ignorance, and we see that constantly in articles about firearms. Sloppiness in news articles may be the result of ignorance or it may be the result of a rush to make a deadline. In either event such ignorance may be forgiven if a correction or retraction is in the offing. However, when a major news source, that reaches millions of Americans, makes the same error over and over, it is reasonable to conclude, and we do conclude, that erroneous remarks about firearms are the result of something more than ignorance or a casual disregard toward reporting on them and about them. What we are seeing is nothing less than a deliberate, callous, deceitful, orchestrated program of conscious deception, to make the public induce Americans to relinquish their fundamental right to keep and bear arms—our birthright.
“Truth in reporting” on the news involves more than disgorging statements that ostensibly cohere with or correspond to specific “facts” about the world.
A trustworthy news organization should ever be mindful of the subliminal effect the narrative of a story has on the audience because the narrative—the theme of the story—is always inextricably intertwined in and linked to the statements made.
Narratives of articles appearing in the news section of a paper should always be functionally neutral. That is not always possible, of course. Still, a reputable news organization should—indeed, must—strive to achieve neutrality in its news accounts. That should always be the goal of any news organization. That is what news organizations and publications, such as the New York Times, will pointedly say that it delivers. But that is a double lie. The Times does not invariably provide accurate news accounts of the events and subjects its reporters write about even if it says it does. And, with mainstream media news accounts pertaining to firearms, the public rarely, if ever, sees accurate, neutral reporting of the news—for that isn’t the aim of the Times or of other mainstream news organizations and publications. We, personally, have never seen neutral accurate reporting about firearms in mainstream media.
The Bronx-Lebanon Hospital tragedy is merely the latest, or certainly one of the latest of serious tragedies to occur in this Nation. But, by making the firearm the deceased killer, Henry Bello, used in the shooting, the focus of the story, rather than Henry Bello, himself, the reporters suggest that the firearm has a will of its own. The reporters induce an irrational fear of firearms in the mind of the public.
You would think that Times reporters would attempt to alleviate fear of guns—as guns are merely inanimate objects. Instead, the Times Reporters, Messrs. Santora and Baker, magnify that fear, intensify it, suggesting that fear of guns is a healthy response to guns—suggesting that guns have a will of their own and that will—an evil will—is one that influences the wielder of the firearm to commit heinous acts, such as those committed by Henry Bello. It is a ridiculous notion, but one that we see conveyed over and over again in the mainstream media–usually tacitly, but sometimes, bizarrely enough, overtly too.
This irrational fear of guns is broadcast in the mainstream media, throughout the Country. Today a child in public school who so much as points a finger at another child, suggestive of a gun, and says, “bang,” is forthwith immediately suspended and that child’s parents are contacted by the School Board officials who then encourage the parents to seek psychiatric care for the child. Really? Who is it that is in dire need of psychiatric care, here? Is it the child? Is it the young child who likes to play “soldier” or “cowboys and Indians” with a toy gun, or is the members of the School Board who have been conditioned and brainwashed by false narratives they see on “news” programs or that they read about in newspapers, such as the New York Times?
A retired U.S. Marine Corps Colonel, Jeff Cooper, has coined a word to describe this irrational fear of guns—a fear that manifests, in the mind of a susceptible person, that a firearm is a sentient being, harboring evil intentions—that a firearm is a demon. This irrational fear of guns is called, “hoplophobia,” and this fear is not ameliorated by mainstream media news accounts. Rather, mainstream media news accounts deliberately generate this fear. Such behavior by seemingly reputable news organizations is reprehensible, unforgivable.
If publications like the New York Times intend to thrust their animosity toward firearms and toward civilian ownership of firearms on the public, then there is a place for the publications to do so. It is called the editorial section of a newspaper. Opinions belong in the editorial section of a newspaper, not in the news section. Reporting on the news and commenting or reflecting on the news are two different things. The New York Times, as with many if not most other mainstream news publications and news broadcasting organizations, is notorious for intermingling and conflating news reporting and news commentary, suggesting, deviously, to the target audience, that, what happens to appear in the news section of its paper, is neutral news report, not opinion, when in fact, the New York Times and others of its ilk are deceiving those members of the public that do not and cannot see the difference—which even for astute communications and propaganda specialists—is not often readily discernible, except through careful analysis. This conflation of news reporting, on the one hand, and news commentary or news opinion, on the other, is by design. And the Times, unfortunately, isn’t the only mainstream news publication that does this. News commentary that appears in the editorial section of a newspaper is understood to be biased. That is fine. That is opinion, and the public knows or should know that opinion equates with implicit bias. Opinion is not expected to be neutral. And, implicit bias, when it isn’t cloaked as such, is acceptable, even welcomed. Public policy is grounded as much on opinion—about what a government should do—as much as by the events in the world that may require the development and implementation of policy to deal with those events. But when news is intertwined with opinion, as we see regularly in mainstream news publications and broadcasts, then news reports are “colored.” What is happening in the world becomes blended with what a particular reporter of the news believes is happening in the world—and that belief is always colored by one’s personal biases and values, and by ones hopes and fears and expectations, and all too often those beliefs are false.
When assertions cohere with or correspond with facts, we say assertions are true. When assertions do not cohere with or correspond with facts, we say assertions are false. When assertions, true or not, are blended with value judgments, “ought” statements or “should” statements, such statements or assertions are not about the world. They are, rather, about one’s personal beliefs about the way the world ought to be, not the way the world is.
Messrs. Santora and Baker have, in their “news article, made statements, knowingly or not, that are false. Worse, they have taken those false statements, predicated on their own false beliefs about firearms, and have concocted a fairy tale about guns. They have taken events, accurately reported about Bello, and about the NY Safe Act–factually true statements about the world–but, surreptitiously, blended those facts with fiction. They then draw tacit conclusions about reforming the NY Safe Act to make the Act ever more restrictive, consistent with both their personal distaste for firearms and with their false beliefs about them. Thus, they turn what is supposed to be a neutral news story into an opinion piece, but masked as a news story since it appears in the news section of the Times publication instead of in the editorial section of the paper. This is not acceptable, honorable, journalistic behavior, unfitting for any organization that prides itself “on all the news that’s fit to print.”
The Arbalest Quarrel explains in detail exactly how Times Reporters Santora and Baker distort the news by inserting or injecting personal biases into their story, and, how, by tacitly arguing for reformation of the SAFE Act, consistent with their biases and false beliefs, they represent powerful interests in this Country and abroad, who seek to undermine the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The Arbalest Quarrel has attempted to contact Messrs. Santora and Baker, to defend their distortions about firearms. Mr. Bill Frady, host of the famed, “Lock N Load” Radio Show, has invited these two Times reporters to appear on his program. The Arbalest Quarrel would look forward to debating Messrs. Santora and Baker over the manner of their reporting and on assertions they make regarding the particulars of firearms and ammunition that they talk about in their article.
If the New York Times wishes to engage in dialogue with us over the “gun” issue, the Arbalest Quarrel will be more than happy to do oblige. We would look forward to an open dialogue about the technical aspects of firearms, and the manner in which false information about firearms is delivered to the public. We would specifically like to engage the New York Times in a frank discussion over their news narratives that we see as no less than editorials and arguments for more restrictive gun laws, disguised as neutral news reports.
As of the posting of this article on the Arbalest Quarrel weblog and on Ammoland Shooting Sports News, we have not heard back from the NY Times reporters.
Copyright © 2017 Roger J Katz (Towne Criour), Stephen L. D’Andrilli (Publius) All Rights Reserved.