WATCH: CNN Reporter Incorrectly Attributes Gun Activist’s Phrasing to NRA’s Dana Loesch
In a segment on CNN’s Wolf on Tuesday, reporter Tom Foreman was covering the issue of “3D Guns,” which became a hot topic following the president tweeting about it this morning. During the report, he read aloud what he described as a tweet from NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch. The problem is that he wasn’t reading aloud a tweet from NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch.
“What’s the National Rifle Association, NRA, saying about this?” said anchor Wolf Blitzer — throwing to Foreman for reaction on the controversy and the President’s tweet.
“Well, they are all in favor of it from all indications out there,” said Foreman. On the display in front of him, the screen showed a tweet — which he pointed to and referenced as he described it and read aloud.
“There’s a tweet by Dana Loesch,” he said, pointing at the text he was reading, “that basically said, ‘3D printed ghost guns, as they call these, which can be made at home and don’t have serial numbers rendering them untraceable, symbolize freedom and innovation’.”
In what may have been intended as some sort of concession to intent, and to paint Loesch further on the fringe, Foreman said, “Now, that is not the view of all people out there. There are certainly a lot of hobbyists who simply find this very interesting.” He described the technology again and said it posed a concern for “the other folks out there.”
The tweet on the screen was not, of course “by Dana Loesch,” but was instead a tweet from The Trace, an activist group opposed to the NRA and Loesch, which describes itself as a “nonprofit newsroom dedicated to shining a light on America’s gun violence crisis.”
Also the tweet is a week old, not a reaction to the President.
NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch says 3D-printed "ghost guns"—which can be made at home and don't have serial numbers, rendering them untraceable—symbolize "freedom and innovation." https://t.co/xFMw5rJwSg
— The Trace (@teamtrace) July 24, 2018
The Trace quotes Loesch in part. What she says in the video is “I’m actually talking about what Democrats call quote unquote ghost guns, and the rest of us call freedom and innovation.”
In their tweet, as one does, The Trace offers their definition of ghost gun: “which can be made at home and don’t have serial numbers, rendering them untraceable”. This is a perfectly normal way of tweeting.
It’s CNN that attributes the tweet to Loesch.
Dana Loesch saying “rendering guns untraceable symbolizes freedom” would certainly be hot news, but that’s not what she said. You can watch the video in the tweet.
The words in a quote are no small thing. Changing them changes the character of Loesch’s comments entirely, from a remark about the technologies – the internet, 3-D printing, as she explains in the clip – into a remark about the untraceability. The NRA prefers illegal and untraceable guns is the absolutely clear and intended implication of the segment. That is why he drew a distinction to say that “other” people find the technology fascinating, or collectors find it interesting. He’s saying they feel that way *as opposed to* Dana celebrating the degree to which it can be traced.
It’s perfectly plain.
Watch the clips above, courtesy of CNN and NRATV.
[Featured image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org