Only a few weeks before the horrific terrorist attack in Orlando, Fox News was focused on another major story of utmost importance; a new Katie Couric documentary about gun violence was deceptively edited, making a pro-gun lobby group appear ignorant and foolish. Of course, Couric went about this all wrong. If you really want to make pro-gun advocates appear ignorant and foolish, film a documentary about their bumper stickers.
Certainly, it's fair to confront Katie Couric about her documentary... though I'm not sure if this story is worth the excessive amount of time Fox News devoted to it. Badly-Edited Documentary falls somewhere between Moose Found Swimming In Backyard Swimming Pool and Kylie Jenner Is Dating A New Rapper on the scale of what should be considered newsworthy.
Actually, if you're really concerned about bad editing, let's see an exposé on Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.
But for Fox News, this is another "important" example of mainstream media bias- a liberal journalist distorting the truth for the sake of political correctness.
To which I ask "Is Katie Couric a journalist?" I like Couric, but she's a talk show host. Maury Povich is a talk show host, too. Does that make him a journalist? We interrupt your regularly scheduled program for this breaking news- DNA test show that you are the father! Next up: fat babies!
Unless the final cut includes Ultron and Tom Cruise jumping out of a CGI plane, I assume that Katie Couric's documentary is a low-budget labor of love intended for a small audience. This is not in the mainstream. This is in one of those little side ponds you step into with bare feet. Uh-oh, I feel something squishy between my toes. Gross. Now, the main stream is the one with the salmon and the fishermen and... Fox News.
What's that expression- you can't have your cake and eat it, too? Why the hell would I have my cake and not eat it? What else am I supposed to do with it? Use it to clean my bathtub? Nevertheless, Fox News wants to have its cake and eat it, too. For a news network that boasts about its immense viewer ratings, it seems a bit unfair to complain about the mainstream media. If so many people are watching your channel, then that makes YOU are the mainstream media. Hence, the mainstream media is focused more on a documentary about gun violence than actual gun violence. This is deceptive editing.
As for Couric's documentary, however, the editing couldn't be timelier. Couric asks a group of gun supporters, "If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from walking into say a licensed gun dealer and purchasing a gun?" Her question is followed by silence, presumably to brand the interviewees as dumbstruck and without answers. And this is the Fox News outrage. Because real time footage of the interview reveals that the gun advocates did indeed supply an answer. One man immediately responds, "One, if you're not in jail, then you should still have your basic rights." And then, conveniently, the documentary fails to show what happens next; Katie Couric rips off her mask. It's not Katie Couric at all! It's beloved prop comic Carrot Top!
The terrible attack in the Orlando nightclub, breaking yet another "worst mass shooting in American history" record, links many components: radical Islam, homophobia, FBI intelligence, etc. But nobody kills fifty people with a baseball bat.
In retrospect, after Orlando, what makes these gun advocates sound more foolish? Silence... or their actual answer? Does a mentally-unbalanced ISIS sympathizer, under federal investigation, filled with a raging, overt hatred for gay people have a basic right to buy an assault weapon? Silence is golden... which, coincidentally, also describes the audience laughter at a taping of 2 Broke Girls.
Something interesting has happened since the Sandy Hook Elementary School nightmare. No, Congress didn't step in to stop the madness. In fact, since 2012, thanks to our Congress, now it's even easier for evil people to acquire weapons capable of killing dozens of people in mere seconds. Though in fairness, after Sandy Hook, Congress did unite on a bill that specifies the size of the National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coins. I'm not making this up.
No, the change involves society's response to a mass killing. After the Newtown child murders and the immediate calls for sensible gun legislation, liberals were accused of "politicizing" the tragedy. It's "too soon" to talk about gun control. You're exploiting these murders!
Don't watch this clip. It's boring. But I'm simply fascinated by how much the guy on the left looks like 1970s songwriter and pop culture icon Paul Williams.
The moment we heard about the Orlando attack, the debate was re-energized and accepted. And people are talking. Nobody is condemned for politicizing a mass shooting anymore. One, because those condemners are now supporting Donald Trump- a man who politicizes whatever President Obama had for breakfast this morning. But also, "too soon" no longer exists. By the time we're finished discussing this act of gun violence, by the time it's no longer too soon, we're struck with the news of yet another gun attack.
The accusations of "politicizing" are over. Society is finally ready for serious gun debate. Unfortunately, Congress isn't.
Well okay, Fox News. And I'm talking to you, too, MSNBC and CNN and the evening network news shows. Are you really concerned about deceptive editing, what the audience isn't seeing? Then we want to see real news. Leave the prayers and petitions to Facebook. That's not news. The "heroes in the wake of tragedy" stories are nice- but Inside Edition and Entertainment Tonight have that covered. And leave the Donald Trump buffoonery to... oh, let's say... does the South Pole have a local newspaper?
Real news is what the Congress is going to do about the out-of-control apocalyptic gun violence problem that is eating away at our country. Nothing? Okay, then report on the nothingness. I want to see interviews with Senators and Representatives. I want follow-up questions. I want to see on-screen statistics. Who is voting for what? Who is responsible for this bill? Who is blocking this legislation? I want to see reporters interviewing our Congressmen while simultaneously asking the NRA the same questions. I want to hear how their answers differ. Do the answers differ? Why not? Real journalism digs for answers.
Are Congressmen dodging, ducking, or manipulating the questions? Then keep the interview going. Don't stop. Interview the same Congressmen tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that. We want answers and we want results. Congressmen are well-paid for doing a pretty easy job. It's the news media's obligation to inform the public when this job isn't getting done. Everyone knows when Beyonce comes out with a new album. Everyone should know which Congressmen are blocking legislation that hinders domestic terrorists' ability to obtain a gun. (Coincidentally, this information can also be found on track #5 of the Lemonade CD.)
Goddammit I can't stand the violence anymore. It has to stop. Here's Paul Williams singing his classic tearjerker Rainy Days and Mondays.