Lack of Diversity Explains Why NY Times Got NRA Story So Wrong: Instapundit


The New York Times had to retract what appeared to be a great gotcha. The paper of record reported that attendees at the National Rifle Association's annual convention in Nashville had to remove the firing pins in their guns as a condition of entering the gathering. Alas, that turned out not just to be wrong, but spectacularly so.

A damning assertion of hypocrisy — except that it wasn't even close to true. The only guns with firing pins removed were the display guns on the convention floor. In fact, several gun bloggers tweeted a photo of themselves carrying fully functional firearmsfrom the press room, forcing The Times into an embarrassing — though still incomplete — correction. It was especially embarrassing because a simple check of the NRA website or The Tennessean would have revealed the truth. But The Times' editors saw a chance to score a cheap shot and got carried away in their excitement. (MSNBC got burned, too.)

Glenn Reynolds, the University of Tennessee Law School professor who runs Instapundit, argues that the Times needs more diversity in its newsroom. As with other recent major mistakes in the mainstream media (Rolling Stone's story about gang rape at University of Virginia and a bizarre Bloomberg bit about Nancy Reagan endorsing Hillary Clinton for president), Reynolds writes that major newsrooms aren't just filled with groupthink but with people who share the same worldview.

There are a lot of those lately, it seems, and they have a couple of things in common. The first is that they are a product of ignorance stemming from a lack of newsroom diversity. Anyone with any knowledge of guns, or the NRA, would have doubted the claim that firing pins were removed from people's carry guns. But such familiarity is apparently unwelcome at The TimesRolling Stone's lurid gang-rape story read like bad fiction (which it was) but fed prejudices about fraternities and "white privilege" in a campus "rape culture." And the notion that Reagan might endorse Clinton was believable only to people who didn't know much about Reagan but had high hopes for Clinton.

The other thing these stories have in common is that they all served Democratic Party talking points, whether based on anti-gun thinking, "war on women" sloganeering, or pro-Hillary sentiment. For whom journalists are rooting, of course, is no mystery to most news media consumers, but it's telling that the errors so often point in the same direction. (As columnist Kurt Schlichter tweeted, the corrections to news stories never seem to make conservatives look worse than the original.) That's a diversity problem, too, of course: When everyone in the newsroom shares the same political leaning, groupthink and outright propagandizing get a lot easier.

Read the whole thing.

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  1. In other news… water is wet.

    Seriously, the only people who buy these things are people already IN the echo chamber… right? Well, them and old people. Apparently old people believe anything.

  2. because a simple check of the NRA website or The Tennessean would have revealed the truth

    Hell, a check of Snopes would have done

    1. The world would be a better place if people checked snopes before writing any articles.

      1. Pass this on to everyone you know!

        1. Try this one, weird trick to avoid being tricked by misleading claims!

      2. I know, that article about the FDA admitting that they let people inject arsenic in chicken keeps popping up on my facebook newsfeed. It’s always the same type of people too: super crunchy middle class white chick, white dude with dreads who is going full vegan, obese mother of 4 who blames her problems on “not enough organic” and so on.

      3. The monkey-trial guy?

    2. Hell, a check of Snopes would have done

      Not that simple. Snopes confirms that guns are banned — not by the NRA by one of the venues, hosting “the marquee event”, a night of country music and Jeff Foxworthy.

      It’s kinda scary watching both the left and the right report this wrong. Does Reason need more diversity? 🙂

      This is the event — Alan Jackson and Jeff Foxworthy, at the Bridgestone Arena.…..orthy.aspx

      The arena as a “gun-free zone” as stated in their event policies…..t-policies

      1. That does not contradict Reason’s critique of the original article.

        1. Right. They were both poor. What the left is really screaming about is the arena event where guns are banned, quoting LaPierre on the tyranny of gun free zones, etc. Banning guns entirely is worse than allowing guns with no firing pins — which several media on the right have reported is common at gun shows

          1. What the left is really screaming about is the arena event where guns are banned

            No, they aren’t. Exhibitors are required to remove the firing pins from their guns. The media reported that as meaning that all attendees had to do the same, which is flat out wrong. Anyone with a valid permit is free to carry a loaded weapon at the gathering.

            1. No, they aren’t.

              Just to clarify, the they in that sentence refers to the Left.

              1. No, they aren’t

                Of course they are,

                Exhibitors are required to remove the firing pins from their guns

                In should have been more specific on WHO was removing the firing pins at gun shows.

                Anyone with a valid permit is free to carry a loaded weapon at the gathering

                Right, except for the “marquee event” at the arena.

                1. Ooops! “In should have been more specific” should have been:
                  I should have been more specific.”

                2. The article wasn’t about the “marque event” (but you knew that)

                  1. The article wasn’t about the “marque event” (but you knew that)

                    Uhh, yeah. It’s the NRA which calls it “THE marquee event” I even gave you a link. Here it is again.


                    Count down to the fourth paragraph (my emphasis)

                    To be clear, this is THE marquee event and culmination of the 144th NRA Annual Meetings in Nashville, and there can be no better way to end it than with a country beat and a baritone voice from one of Nashville’s finest, Alan Jackson.

                    Point being: the NRA’s “marquee event” is at a venue which bans guns. (see the link to bridgestonearena.)

                    Anything else?

                    1. Point being: the NRA’s “marquee event” is at a venue which bans guns. (see the link to bridgestonearena.)

                      Point being: this has nothing to do with either the NY Times article or the Reason article.

                    2. “Anything else?” Yes. Do ou have trouble processing information, or are you merely dishonest?

                    3. You

            2. What the left is really screaming about is the arena event where guns are banned

              No, they aren’t. Exhibitors are required to remove the firing pins from their guns

              The Arena as no exhibitors. Read the link. Learn the facts.

      2. Re: Michael Hihn,

        Not that simple.

        “I am so stunted by my ideological bent that I can’t even research simple things on the Internet.”

        At least you’re being honest about it.

        1. “I am so stunted by my ideological bent that I can’t even research simple things on the Internet.”

          At least you’re being honest about it.

          Honesty? YOU? After you invented a quote out of thin air?

          research simple things on the Internet.”

          How’d ya miss the two links? Here’s a third, which confirms what I said about snopes.

          my ideological bent

          Is that why you invented the phony quote?

          1. Re: Michael Hindered,

            After you invented a quote out of thin air?

            I didn’t invent a quote. I am merely pointing out to your lack of perspective through a funny sentence.

            1. With quotation marks. (lol)
              When will you read the links.

  3. But such familiarity is apparently unwelcome at The Times.

    Well, yeah. Anyone with such familiarity is an intolerant person, and tolerant people do not tolerate intolerance.

    1. How dare you, sir?! I will not tolerate your claim that I am intolerant of intolerance. How closed minded of you.

  4. Look, if gun nuts weren’t so gun nutty the Times would never have made this mistake. It’s obviously the NRA’s fault for being so extreme and nutso that they made such an error believable.

  5. You know who does require the firing pin to be removed? The US Army on every charter flight I’ve been on.

  6. Arnold sure did have some nice lats, didn’t he?

      1. I prefer the bodybuilders of the 50s to the 70s. These days they all have tiny little heads – no classic proportions.

        /no homo

          1. Reminds me of the Joe Weider “98 pound weakling” ads in comic books in the late 60’s / early 70’s. Classic come on to get into lifting.

            1. FYI: It’s Steve “Hercules” Reeves

        1. The 50s bodybuilders were pretty much not on drugs, and looked human. The 70s bodybuilders just took anabolics, mostly, and still resembled humans. Nowadays they take insulin and all sorts of crazy shit in addition to anabolics and they’re not even human anymore.

        2. Hermann Goerner. Deadlifted 800 at some time in the 20s. That’s the look to shoot for. Hitler moustache and all.

          1. You know who else rocker the “Hitler” musta… Never mind…

    1. True story – bought a bodybuilding magazine recently just to get the Ahhhhhnold centerfold to hang on the wall when we watch “Commando”, “Predator”, “Terminator”, “Conan”, “True Lies”, etc.

      Probably latent HOMO

      1. Once in a while I like to put on Pumping Iron – the “documentary” was pretty much BS but still good viewing for the 70s vibe.

        1. Arnold is saw awesome in that movie! Seeing that convinced me he’s one smart motherfucker. Subsequent retardation caused by living in CALEEFORNEEUH too long apparently stunted that somewhat, but still – he was a self-marketing genius on the level of Madonna.

          Plus…..the perfect body (NO prolly a little HOMO)

      2. What do you hang on the wall when you watch Kindergarten Cop?

  7. You mean living in some sort of echo chamber gives us journalism like this?

    World leaders are once again racing to avert disastrous levels of global warming through limits on greenhouse gas emissions. An agreement may be in reach, but because of the vast supplies of inexpensive fossil fuels, protecting the world from climate change requires the even more difficult task of disrupting today’s energy markets.

    The White House last month released a blueprint to reduce United States emissions by as much as 28 percent by 2025. The plan lays the groundwork for the formal international climate talks this December in Paris, where the goal is a treaty on emissions that will seek to limit the rise in global temperatures to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above preindustrial levels. Beyond 3.6 degrees, scientists say, the most catastrophic climate consequences will occur, possibly including the melting of the Greenland ice sheet.


    Since the industrial revolution, fossil fuels have warmed the planet by about 1.7 degrees. We are already experiencing the consequences of this warming. In recent weeks, we have learned that the world had its warmest winter on record and that Arctic sea ice hit a new low, even as intense storms continue to inflict harm on communities globally.

    Too good to fact check, indeed.

    1. Michael Greenstone, the Milton Friedman professor of economics at the University of Chicago,

      The fucking UNCLE MILTY SCHOLAR of econ!! The irony – it burns….

    2. Is there any breaking news on today’s weather in Santa Monica, CA?
      Which has nothing to do with this page?
      Do you get paid for trolling?

      1. Re: Michael Hindered,

        Which has nothing to do with this page?

        It is further evidence of the Times‘ penchant for reporting talking points rather than news. World leaders are once again racing to avert disastrous levels of global warming… Such hyperbole is not the staple of a credible news organization but of a mouthpiece for little red Marxian (i.e. anti-capitalist) causes. What the FUCK is “disastrous levels of global warming” if the globe hasn’t warmed but a mere 0.5?C in 30 years (very well BELOW the projections)?

        1. If gloabl warming is such a disaster, then the reverse- nuclear winter- must be paradise. Indeed, a nuclear winter resulting from a global thermonuclear exchange would mitigate the damage caused by nuclear war.

    3. Clearly, what we need to do uis unleash our entire nuclear arsenal on the Gaza Strip. (Gaza is at war with Israel, and has yet to unconditionally surrender.)

      According to a mathematical theorem proven by Carl Sagan and four other scientists, this would freeze climate change in its tracks. See Nuclear Winter: Global Consequences of Multiple Nuclear Explosions
      R. P. Turco, O. B. Toon, T. P. Ackerman, J. B. Pollack, Carl Sagan We could not only save Israel, but have record cold winters, sea ice expanding beyond the Arctic, and no storms. What would be the downside?

  8. This is the sort of thing that only a gun-control fanatic could invent: such a rule, even if true, would just prevent rule-abiding attendees from defending themselves against the guy who simply reassembles his weapon after getting it into the convention. I mean, the derp is strong in these people.

    1. but but but RULES!!

      if they still don’t understand that “gun free zones” aren’t some magical force-field-protected area which no criminal will ever violate, do you think they’re going to get hip to something like this? or simple things like, “there aren’t very many mass-shootings at firing ranges”?

  9. The Gray Lady:

    All the Narrative that’s fit to print.

    “All within the Narrative, nothing outside the Narrative, nothing against the Narrative.”

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