The Lying News Media, Part IX

The Miami Herald weighs in.

BSO and CNN stepped into the fray Thursday with footage of an on-air demonstration purportedly designed to show the difference between banned weapons and their legal counterparts.

When a BSO employee fired a banned weapon, the camera showed bullets ripping through a cinderblock target. When a legal semi-automatic weapon was fired, the camera showed another cinderblock seemingly unharmed.

In fact, the bullets from the legal gun never hit the cinderblock. CNN spokesman Matthew Furman said the camera operator didn’t realize the sheriff’s employee had switched targets and was firing into the ground.

”When we learned that the demonstration was less than clear, we told our viewers that,” Furman said.

Yeah? AFTER the piece aired and all the viewers who know nothing about guns thought a POST BAN rifle couldn’t damage a cinderblock.

NRA officials also protested the use of a fully automatic AK-47 in the piece and the reporter’s claim that it was among the targets of the 1994 ban. Fully automatic weapons have been regulated since 1934 and aren’t mentioned in the 1994 law.

Sheriff’s spokesman Jim Leljedal said Jenne favors extending the 1994 ban but never meant to misinform the CNN audience by participating in the Thursday segment.

”There was never any intent to mislead,” Leljedal said. “They wanted to talk about it, so we did, and on very short notice we got some guns out and we did some demonstrations for them.”

So, you’re saying Zarella was complicit in the mendacity? That it was his fault, not yours?

”The idea is that these weapons . . . will penetrate a bulletproof vest, they will go through a concrete block. And that’s what our homes are made of,” Leljedal said.

Yes, but so will any centerfire rifle cartridge REGARDLESS of the type of rifle it’s fired from.

CNN followed up the Thursday broadcast with a taped report that aired twice Monday in the same time period and explained the ban in its full complexity.

Like HELL it did. It left the impression that the weapons and magazines that were “banned” are illegal to possess. They are not. It left the impression that it is illegal to put a PRE-ban 30-round magazine in a POST-ban rifle. It is not. The only thing that report did was clear up the “firepower” question.

That, said Furman of CNN, was “a reflection of our desire to always be forthcoming, to always air all sides.”

Then how about talking to some ACTUAL EXPERTS when it comes to the topic of guns? What happened to Wolf Blitzer’s “check, recheck and triple-check”?

Or does that now mean “Ask the same person the same question three times?”

UPDATE: Professor Volokh asks:

So the question: If the sheriff’s office ‘never intend[ed] to mislead viewers,’ then why was ‘the sheriff’s employee . . . firing into the ground’?

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