The Hill departs from objectivity
on restaurant “gun ban” story



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By David Codrea, October 3rd 2014
JPFO writer contributor, © 2014.

“Major chains, such as Starbucks, Chipotle, Sonic, Chili’s, Panera Bread and Target have all recently banned firearms from their stores,” Ramsey Cox, “reporter ... covering the Senate,” writes for The Hill’s Floor Action Blog.

That’s an impressive and exclusive megaphone to spread the word from. The newspaper, which bills itself as “the premier source for policy and political news,” boasts “the largest circulation on Capitol Hill ... read by opinion leaders, including 100 percent of Congressional offices, the White House, political pundits, association executives, lobbyists and corporate leaders.”

“Influential” hardly seems sufficient. Too bad they’re being influenced with deliberate misinformation.

None of those chains has banned guns. Words have meaning. And "professional" journalists know that.

“Starbucks is asking customers to leave firearms behind when they are in its stores and its outdoor seating areas,” The New York Times reported.

“Chipotle is asking customers not to bring firearms into its restaurants,” USA Today chimed in.

“Sonic Drive-In and Chili's Grill & Bar have added their corporate voices to a growing list of food firms asking patrons to enjoy their meals without their guns,” USA Today informed its readers in another report.

“[T]he CEO of Panera Bread is asking customers to leave their guns at home,” MSNBC added.

“[T]he American retailing giant Target asked their customers to keep guns out of their stores in a statement released Wednesday morning,” weighed in.

Asking is noticeably different from banning. The companies perceived a need to do the bare minimum to get the well-financed Bloomberg public opinion-manipulating machine off their backs without actually imposing any substantive changes that would result in gun owner boycotts. Their marketing professionals have no doubt crunched the numbers and seen the difference between grassroots and Astroturf, and in real world buying power.

Ramsey Cox

But of course, Ramsey, her editorial bosses and her publisher ought to be fully aware of this, and using the word "banned" hardly seems a casual mistake. It’s tough to credibly argue this is not a calculated addition to a deliberate anti-gun media meme about armed citizens in restaurants.

More credible would be the argument that the paper is just doing its part to help the MILMs appear more impressive and effective than they actually are, and to sway lawmakers into believing that. The target readership relying on “The Hill’s powerhouse of vehicles” for an accurate understanding of the issues makes such misuse of language all the more inexcusable.

Dianne Feinstein-approved "real reporters" and editorial boards are just doing their part to live up to Joe Biden's expectations for "legitimate news media" when it comes to guns. That's why I added a "Fourth Estate Fifth Columnist" side order to the "Authorized Journalists" menu.

I need to flesh out the idea for an annual RMVP Award. Perhaps the trophy should be called the Julius?

Also see:
Campaign to shame Kroger ignores real dangers
Panera Bread armed robberies show futility of corporate anti-gun policies

David Codrea is a field editor at GUNS Magazine, penning their monthly "Rights Watch" column. He provides regular reporting and commentary at Gun Rights Examiner and blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance. David Codrea's Archive page.

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