A Tale Of Two Networks

Yesterday, the lead news story on both ABC and CBS was the growth of the U.S. economy in the fourth quarter of 2011. How they treated this news was a study in contrasts.

First, ABC which trumpeted the news as the best growth in 18 months which it was. What was not said is that the growth in GDP of 2.8% was less than the expected 3.1%. The stock market reacted negatively and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by 74 points.

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Next, CBS discussed the same story and even interviewed the same economist – Diane Swonk of Chicago’s Mesirow Financial – as did ABC News. However, unlike ABC News, they gave the full story. Included in Anthony Mason’s report was the fact that much of the growth came from business restocking inventory and that the recovery was weak. They also discussed how the stock market reacted negatively to this information.

If you had just interviewed President Obama like Diane Sawyer did this week, you don’t want to release information that doesn’t portray him and his policies in the most positive light. However, it doesn’t say much for your network and honesty.

Cultivating The Local Media

We as gun owners need to stop seeing the media as a monolithic entity and, more importantly, always assuming that they are against us.

There is the elite media consisting of the networks, the cable news channels, and the major urban daily newspapers. Then there are local TV and radio stations along with the hometown newspapers. While the former is full of those who wish our Second Amendment rights were curtailed, the same can’t be said for the latter.

The local media is always on the lookout for a good story and they can be cultivated. If they say something stupid on the air about guns, it is most likely out of youthful ignorance rather than malice. Rather than jumping down their throats when they say the stupid stuff, seek to educate them. The results can be worthwhile.

A case in point. Sean Sorrentino of An NC Gun Blog has become friends with NBC-17 Raleigh’s Jackie Faye. After he did a blog post last week on the increase in Concealed Handgun Permits in North Carolina, he sent it along to her. The result was the on-camera story below.

I think Ms. Faye did a very fair story on the topic. If Sean hadn’t established a relationship with her earlier, the story about the double digit growth in Concealed Handgun Permits probably would not have been aired.

Thanks are due to Sean for taking the time to build that relationship with a local reporter. More stories like this one is what it will take to re-normalize firearms in American society.