Responding to the shooting last week at Sandy Hook Elementary School, National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre accused the media of “rewarding” mass killers with “wall-to-wall” coverage and called news organizations “silent enablers, if not co-conspirators” in the violence.
“How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame, from a national media machine that rewards them with the wall-to-wall attention and sense of identity that they crave, while provoking others to try to make their mark?” LaPierre said at a press conference Friday, according to his prepared remarks.
LaPierre took no questions. NRA President David Keene described the press conference as the start of a conversation, saying the organization would make itself available to the media starting next week.
LaPierre wove his criticism of the media throughout his 30-minute remarks, blaming last week’s massacre in Newtown, Conn., on anything but guns. Journalists, he said, spread falsehoods about the guns they report on and shelter the entertainment industry bombarding America’s children with violent video games and movies.
After rattling off a list of violent video games, LaPierre pointed to another game called “Kindergarten Killers,” which he said has been online for a decade. “How come my research department could find it and all of yours either couldn’t or didn’t want anyone to know you had found it?” LaPierre said.
It amounts to a “race to the bottom” as media organizations compete for the most vile content in the name of “entertainment,” he said. “Rather than face their own moral failings, the media demonize lawful gun owners, amplify their cries for more laws and fill the national debate with misinformation and dishonest thinking that only delay meaningful action and all but guarantee that the next atrocity is only a news cycle away.”
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com