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Good Writing, Bad News; Reality Vs. News Coverage [2014 NRA Meeting]

Original article by Brian Anse Patrick

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Up until fairly recently, most Americans were likely unfamiliar with a UK publication called “The Guardian.” That changed about one year ago. The newspaper gained prominence or, for many, notoriety, insofar as it was the original source of and, to date, the primary source of the Edward Snowden revelations. It was through Edward Snowden, an NSA contractor, that the American public, and the world, learned, beyond refutation, the extent of NSA data collection activities taking place in the U.S. and abroad. The NSA, has, arguably, been operating – at least in terms of its domestic operations – beyond its authority – assuming it has authority to eavesdrop on and collect any or all data of and on Americans while Americans are on U.S. soil at all.
“The Guardian” clearly emulates America’s regard for privacy as embodied in the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Yet, that emulation does not, apparently, extend to the Second Amendment right of the American people to keep and bear arms. A clear admiration for America’s Fourth Amendment and disdain for the Second is apparent in the paper’s reporting. Unfortunately, “The Guardian” newspaper isn’t alone in engaging in such “cherry picking.” A peculiar schizophrenia – and therefore inconsistency – pervades much thought and written commentary on America’s Bill of Rights. The First and Fourth Amendments are considered by most, if not all, writers and thinkers in a positive light. But several of those same writers and thinkers view the Second Amendment in a negative light. This is symptomatic of a misunderstanding of the reasoning behind the Bill of Rights and the historical context within which it was written.

The Founders of the Republic conceived the Bill of Rights as a unified, cohesive whole. To select out this or that Amendment among the first ten Amendments comprising the Bill of Rights, ordaining one Amendment as “good” and another as “bad,” and, perhaps, the remainder as neutral, is to denigrate the entirety of it. All ten Amendments are equally important and, together, they serve as an express and constant reminder to a central authority – the Federal Government – that such central authority exists at the pleasure of the People and not the other way around. The People have given to the Federal Government certain limited authority. And, the People, who created that authority, reserve the right to take that authority away.

If one Amendment, among those ten Amendments comprising the Bill of Rights, falls, they all fall. And, if the Bill of Rights falls, the Nation ceases to exist. For that Nation was conceived and designed as a Republic, respecting the autonomy and sanctity of the individual citizen and respectful of the authority and integrity of the individual States.

The “Guardian’s” reporter, Ana Marie Cox, who happened to attend the 2014 NRA National Convention, in Indianapolis, came across as vivacious and congenial to those who met her. But that was merely a cloak. She betrayed her hosts, writing a rancorous, blistering piece, attacking the NRA’s policy stance and, by extension, attacking the sanctity of the Second Amendment. Was Ana Marie Cox deliberately duplicitous? Of that, there can be no doubt, for she admits to being “somewhat undercover at the convention.” Thus, it’s clear she had no intention of writing a straightforward, honest and fair account of the Convention for “The Guardian’s” readers. And, she didn’t.

The extent of Ana Marie’s invective toward America’s Second Amendment is on full display in Brian Anse Patrick’s blog post, titled, “Good Writing, Bad News; Reality Versus News Coverage at the 2014 NRA Meeting.”

Brian Anse Patrick is Professor of Communications at the University of Toledo, in Toledo, Ohio. Professor Patrick is intimately familiar with the techniques of mass persuasion and propaganda. In fact, he has written several books on those subjects. They include, inter alia, “The Ten Commandments of Propaganda,” “Rise of the Anti-Media,” and “The National Rifle Association and the Media.” Thus, Professor Patrick is eminently qualified to criticize and dissect “The Guardian’s” unfair attack on both the NRA and on America’s Bill of Rights.

Professor Patrick aptly and amply illustrates the childish, simplistic and illogical arguments apparent in Ana Marie Cox’s reporting of the NRA Convention. He gives example upon example of informal fallacies existent in her news Article. Through it all, Professor Patrick argues convincingly that “The Guardian” was intent not on providing a factual account of events – the purport of honest journalism – but in creating an illusion in lieu of reality, in order to mold and shape public opinion. In that effort, “The Guardian” ceased to be a newspaper and became, instead, a tabloid. Ana Marie is an instrument of deception. She is not a reporter, respectful of her
profession, but a propagandist and deceiver and betrayer of her profession. She should be ashamed.