You’d Think They Would At Least Get One Thing Right

You’d have to be deaf and blind not to know that the Trayvon Martin shooting has gone big time in the media. As such, it is playing everywhere including a site called The Root. I wasn’t familiar with The Root so I checked its “About Us” page.

The Root is the leading online source of news and commentary from an African-American perspective. Founded in 2008 under the leadership of Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr. of Harvard University, The Root offers a unique take on breaking news, provides solid analysis and presents dynamic multimedia content. The Root raises the profile of black voices in mainstream media and engages anyone interested in black culture around the world. The Root is owned by the Washington Post Company.

Prof. Gates you may remember was part of the Rose Garden Beer Summit involving Gates, President Obama, and the Cambridge policeman who had arrested Gates. Nonetheless, given the The Root is owned by the Washington Post Company you would expect that they would employ a fact checker or two. Alas, it is not to be.

In an op-ed by Steven Gray which combined discussion of the Trayvon Martin affair with a call for a discussion of gun policy in the United States, there was this tidbit. It is referring to S. 2188 – the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2012.

Here’s some contrast: On March 13 a trio of Republican senators, led by Alaska’s Mark Begich, introduced a measure to allow people to carry concealed weapons across state lines — even into states like New York and New Jersey, which don’t recognize out-of-state permits.

It gives the impression that those evil Republicans are cramming concealed carry down America’s throat right after a black teenager was shot by a concealed carry holder. But wait you say, isn’t Alaska’s Mark Begich the Democrat who beat Republican Ted Stevens? And you would be correct. Moreover, that trio of Republican senators is actually one Republican, Sen.Mike Crapo (R-ID), who is no longer a sponsor of the bill. The real sponsors of the bill are actually Democrats Joe Manchin (D-WV), Max Baucus (D-MT), and Jon Tester (D-MT) along with the aforementioned Mark Begich.

If Steven Gray is going to attack gun rights in the United States and is calling upon President Obama to veto S. 2188 if it ever gets to his desk, as a journalist he has the ethical responsibility to get his facts right. The party affiliation of Begich, Manchin, Baucus, and Tester is a fact and not an opinion. Mr. Gray can have whatever misguided opinions he wants and that is his right. However, he has no right to mislead on the facts.


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