[REVIEW] Sonia Saraiya: Megyn Kelly’s Pointless Interview of Alex Jones 

Kelly isn’t a pushover, and proves that Jones is newsworthy because of his connections to President Trump. But that’s it.

Sonia Saraiya writes: Megyn Kelly’s interview with Alex Jones was much less interesting than the conversation that led up to the broadcast.

The past week has been a tumultuous one for NBC News’ new star. Kelly is attempting to make an impression with NBC’s audience this summer in advance of the September debut of her 9 a.m. morning show. Jones, the founder and chief mouthpiece of the Infowars radio program and online channel, is an unstable right-wing provocateur who may be most notorious for his steadfast insistence that the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting was a hoax. His attention-getting assertion has convinced enough others that the bereaved parents have received death threats from angry Infowars viewers. This, in turn, has so horrified many Americans that Jones’ appearance on “Sunday Night” prompted outcry: In addition to a heated conversation about the role of journalism and freedom of speech, JP Morgan Chase withdrew its advertising, and the NBC-owned station in Connecticut opted not to broadcast the interview. Jones, in response, took matters into his own hands — distancing himself from the interview and leaking his recording of one of his conversations with Kelly.

Entirely on its own — aside from Jones’ prevarication, the chummy behind-the-scenes photos of Jones and Kelly that surfaced, the multiple third-party opinions on the topic, and the leaked audio — “Sunday Night’s” segment on Jones is mostly notable for how empty it is. The interview portion, where Kelly is actually sitting opposite Jones, is minimal — perhaps just a few minutes of footage when pieced all together. Read the rest of this entry »


Most Important Election 2016 Feature: Deep and Growing Ideological Divide

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Conservative and liberal extremes dominate primaries, but then Republicans and Democrats face a shrinking center.

Gerald F. Seib reports: As the nation heads into what figures to be a dramatic election year, its defining political liberal-huhcharacteristic isn’t love or hate for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

Instead, the most important feature of America’s political landscape is a deep and growing ideological divide.

This divide will be especially apparent early in the new year, when the most divided groups in America, the Republican and Democratic voters who show up for primary elections and caucuses, hold the keys to the presidential selection process. These folks disagree, deeply, on an array of social issues, on the nation’s top priorities, and on what kind of leader they are seeking in the next president.

[Read the full story here, at WSJ]

Collectively, these voters are driving Republican candidates to the right and Democratic candidates to the left—and ensuring that the challenge of bringing the country together will be tougher after the election, regardless of who wins.

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A clear picture of this divide emerges from the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, taken in mid-December. Consider:

— Almost 7 in 10 Republican primary voters describe themselves as strong supporters of the traditional definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman. Among Democratic primary voters, the figure is just 25%.

— Among Democratic primary voters, 62% say they strongly back immediate action to combat climate change. Just 13% of Republican primary voters share that view.

— A new issue splitting the parties at their bases is the Black Lives Matter Movement. Almost half of Democratic primary voters call themselves strong supporters of the movement. Only 6% of Republican primary voters do so.

— The National Rifle Association drives one of the biggest wedges of all. Among Republican primary voters, 59% strongly support the NRA, while just 11% of Democratic primary voters are strong backers.

Republican primary voters put national security and terrorism at the top of their list of priorities for the government. Democratic primary voters put job creation and economic growth at the top of the priority list. About a third of Democrats say health care is a high priority; among Republicans, a comparable share worry about deficits and government spending.

Republicans are more likely to say they worry that the U.S. isn’t projecting a sufficiently tough image abroad; Democrats are more likely to say they think the U.S. should be focused on concerns at home.

Among Democratic primary voters, 62% say they strongly back immediate action to combat climate change. Just 13% of Republican primary voters share that view. Here, a November rally outside the White House in support of the Paris climate talks.

Among Democratic primary voters, 62% say they strongly back immediate action to combat climate change. Just 13% of Republican primary voters share that view. Here, a November rally outside the White House in support of the Paris climate talks. Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press

When pollsters asked what voters are looking for in the next president, Republicans used terms like bold and a strong leader who could restore American strength abroad. Democrats were more likely to say they want a leader who is diplomatic and inclusive and who will preserve recent progressive gains. Read the rest of this entry »


Taking on the Sandy Hook Truthers: What Kind of Person Calls a Mass Shooting a Hoax? 

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This article originally appeared in The Trace.

Mike Spies writes: A year and a half after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Lenny Pozner called to set up a meeting with Wolfgang Halbig. The 68-year-old security consultant was the de facto leader of a community of conspiracy theorists, known as hoaxers, who claimed that the shooting had been staged by the government. To the hoaxers, the 26 victims — one of whom was Pozner’s six-year-old son, Noah — were fictional characters.

“Ever since his son’s death, Pozner had been dealing with the hoaxers. It was his habit to regularly post photos of Noah, a happy boy with soft blue eyes and a wide smile, on his Google Plus page. He would put up pictures of Noah hugging his twin sister, or playing on the beach…The hoaxers would see these images and offer comments: ‘Where’s Noah going to die next?'”

It was May 28, 2014, and Pozner, an IT consultant, was in Florida on business. He hoped to sit down with Halbig at a coffee shop near his home in Orlando, Florida. He wanted to talk to him face-to-face about Noah, who was his only son and never far from his mind. On December 14, 2012, the day of the shooting, Pozner had been the one to drop Noah off at school. As they drove, they listened to “Gangnam Style,” Noah’s favorite song. When they arrived, Pozner said, “Have a fun day,” and watched as his child headed inside, fiddling with his backpack and brown jacket.

Truther-propaganda-bananas

“Pozner was one of the rare Sandy Hook parents who confronted those who questioned his child’s murder. In response to their comments, he posted online his son’s birth and death certificates. He shared the medical examiner’s report and one of Noah’s report cards. The hoaxers said the records were counterfeits.”

Ever since his son’s death, Pozner had been dealing with the hoaxers. It was his habit to regularly post photos of Noaha happy boy with soft blue eyes and a wide smile,on his Google Plus page. He would put up pictures of Noah hugging his twin sister, or playing on the beach, or showing off the tooth he lost less than two weeks before he was murdered. The hoaxers would see these images and offer comments: “Where’s Noah going to die next?” read one.Another commenter, seemingly believing that Pozner had been recruited to help perpetuate the myth of the shooting, asked, “How much do you get paid?”

[Read the full story here, at VICE]

 Pozner was one of the rare Sandy Hook parents who confronted those who questioned his child’s murder. In response to their comments, he posted online his son’s birth and death certificates. He shared the medical examiner’s report and one of Noah’s report cards. The hoaxers said the records were counterfeits.

Lenny Pozner in an undated photo with his son, Noah.

“Every modern atrocity or disaster has its attendant conspiracy theories. Their shared thesis is that governments, needing a way to keep the populace in fear, orchestrate mock calamities, using the tools of the state to cover their tracks.”

Pozner remained undaunted. He thought that perhaps if he could show Halbig the documents in person, he and the rest of the hoaxers might at last relent. “I wanted to be as transparent as possible,” Pozner says. “I thought keeping the documents private would only feed the conspiracy.”

Within 24 hours of the recent mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, videos claiming the event was “staged” surfaced on Youtube and received thousands of clicks.”

When Pozner did not receive a reply from Halbig, he contacted Kelley Watt, one of the more aggressive hoaxers who showed up on his Google Plus page. Watt wrote back on Halbig’s behalf. “Wolfgang does not wish to speak with you,” her note said, “unless you exhume Noah’s body and prove to the world you lost your son.”

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Giving up on a meeting with Halbig, Pozner looked to engage in some sort of dialogue with the people who, around this time, made him their chief target. (One video montage that started making the rounds showed images of Noah set to a soundtrack of pornographic sounds.) In June 2014, Pozner accepted an invitation to join a private Facebook group called Sandy Hook Hoax. He told its members that he was willing to answer their questions. “I think I lasted all of eight minutes,” he recalls. One participant said, “Man, I’m gonna have to coach you up if you wanna go on TV and make money Lenny.” Another typical attacker proclaimed,”Fuck your fake family, you piece of shit.”

Pozner eventually realized that, for Halbig and his brethren, this was a game without end. His efforts to combat them became a mission. “I’m going to have to protect Noah’s honor for the rest of my life,” he says. Read the rest of this entry »


Glenn Harlan Reynolds: Is the Gun Lobby Still Invincible? Yeah, Pretty Much

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A Power Derived From Mistrust of Police and Government

Glenn_Reynolds-thumbStandardGlenn Harlan Reynolds writes: Is the gun lobby still invincible? Yeah, pretty much. The reason is trust. And if you want more trust, police and politicians must be more trustworthy.

In 2012, Room for Debate asked ”Is the Gun Lobby Invincible?” Since then, the answer has turned out to be “yeah, pretty much.” And the reason is trust.

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According to a recent Pew poll, more Americans support gun rights than gun control. That represents a significant shift over the situation a few decades ago. And I believe the reason is that people don’t trust the government to protect them anymore, and, in fact, that they don’t trust the government in general….(read more)

Source: NYTimes.com

Glenn Harlan Reynolds is the Beauchamp Brogan distinguished professor of law at the University of Tennessee College of Law in Knoxville.


Oregon Sheriff: ‘Gun Control is NOT the Answer’, and Residents Agree

Sheriff John Hanlin informed the vice president he didn’t plan to enforce any laws he found unconstitutional. His deputies wouldn’t either.

Marisa Gerbe writes: “I think that’s the worst thing in the world that can happen,” said Kellim, 86, who runs KC’s Exchange gun shop out of her home.

The words “2nd Amendment” are pasted in a decal onto her front door and there’s a Rifle Range Street nearby. In Roseburg, deer antlers line people’s driveways and locals hardly notice the pop-pop-pop of gunfire from nearby shooting ranges.

“What I fear most, is that we’re going to create criminals … out of some of our most ordinary, normal, law-abiding citizens.”

“This is hunting territory,” Kellim said, smiling proudly. Her views about guns — and who should be able to buy them — didn’t change, she said, when a gunman shot and killed nine people and wounded at least nine others at Umpqua Community College not far from her home.

Iconic sign at the East Wind Drive In, Cascade Locks, Oregon

“Watch, listen, and keep an open mind.”

In Connecticut, state leaders called for stricter firearm laws after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

People in Tucson rallied behind then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who became a loud supporter of gun reform after surviving a 2011 shooting at a grocery store.

[Read the full story here, at the LA Times]

And when a 22-year-old man stabbed and shot several students in Santa Barbara County last year, one of the victims’ fathers, who grew up hunting, went on every national TV station that invited him and begged for stricter gun laws.

Ross William Hamilton/The Oregonian Dick and Gloria Shafer, pictured with their 9-year-old son, John, run an excavation business in Elgin. They are so frightened of drug violence, especially after a triple homicide at their town, that they say they sleep with handguns close at hand. Gloria Shafer keeps her 9 mm gun under her pillow.

Ross William Hamilton/The Oregonian. Dick and Gloria Shafer, pictured with their 9-year-old son, John, run an excavation business in Elgin. They are so frightened of drug violence, especially after a triple homicide at their town, that they say they sleep with handguns close at hand. Gloria Shafer keeps her 9 mm gun under her pillow.

The tone in Roseburg is different.

An ex-girlfriend of a surviving victim scoffed at the idea of tightening gun laws, and Kendra Godon, an elementary education student who hid from the shooting in a nearby classroom, said she hoped her community’s tragedy wouldn’t get spun into the national debate about firearms.

“That’s not the issue,” she said.

John Hanlin, Douglas County’s sheriff and the public face of the community since the shooting, is also an outspoken critic of increasing gun control.

On his work biography, the broad-shouldered lawman who once attended Umpqua Community College lists three interests: fishing, riding his Harley and hunting.

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When Vice President Joe Biden asked for stricter gun laws after the Newtown killings, Hanlin decided to speak up.

He wrote Biden a letter. Read the rest of this entry »


White House Lets Guard Down, Accidentally Agrees to Fly U.S. Flag at Half-Mast to Honor Marines Killed in Tennesee Shooting

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Breaking news from CNN’s Jake Tapper: President Obama has ordered all flags to be flown at half-staff to honor the four Marines and one Sailor killed in the recent systemic assassinations in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The news came just a few hours after Tapper fact-checked Donald Trump’s email blast to the media noting that Trump had ordered all flags at Trump properties around the country to be flown at “half-mast.” So, just to be sure: even Donald Trump ordered flags lowered before President Obama did?

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@TheLeadCNN @jaketapper What took so long?

— Winningest (@winningatmylife) July 21, 2015

@TheLeadCNN took him long enough

— Jim Polk (@JimPolk) July 21, 2015

Read the rest of this entry »


Charles C. W. Cooke: Why Gun-Control Advocates Lie about Guns

Liar

The facts aren’t on their side

Charles C. W. Cookecooke writes: Angered by the news that American voters are now more supportive of the Second Amendment than they have been in two decades, the New York Daily News’s Mike Lupica used his weekend column to vent. Over the course of 900 words, Lupica lambasted the public for continuing “to protect gun nuts,” chided the “mouth-breathing” NRA for its murderous myopia, and contended emotively that “there are no words” available to describe the horror of “a recent poll that says a majority of Americans believe it is more important to protect the right to own guns than it is for the government to limit access to guns.”

[read Charles C. W. Cooke’s complete article here]

And then, having established his moral bona fides for all to see, he tried to sneak a brazen lie past his audience:

The flyers on the table feature a picture of a beautiful, smiling girl with a pink bow in her hair, with Christmas and her whole life ahead of her until Adam Lanza walked into her school on a Friday morning with an automatic weapon — the kind of gun we are told must be protected or the Second Amendment is turned into a dishrag — and started shooting.

That Lupica would knowingly write these words should be of great concern to anybody who is concerned with the truth. There were no “automatic” weapons used at Sandy Hook. Rather, Adam Lanza used a standard semi-automatic rifle of the sort that millions upon millions of Americans have in their homes. Moreover, Mike Lupica knows this full well, for on every other occasion he has written about the AR-15, he has described it correctly. In March of 2013, Lupica called for the federal government to ban “a semiautomatic rifle called the AR-15.” A few months later, railing against the same weapon, he explained to his readers that AR-15s are “semi-automatic” — and explained not just once, but twice. Elsewhere, he has proven himself to be more than capable of identifying different gun types when it has suited him to do so. Why, then, the change?

The answer, I suspect, lies in this famously dishonest piece of advice from the Violence Policy Center’s radical founder, Josh Sugarmann:

Assault weapons – just like armor-piercing bullets, machine guns, and plastic firearms – are a new topic. The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons – anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun – can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.

Bingo. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Adam Lanzas Father: ‘I Wish He Had Never Been Born’

The father of Newtown, Conn. school shooter Adam Lanza told a writer for The New Yorker that he and his ex-wife, Nancy, never suspected their son was dangerous.

“He said…that he really felt that he wished Adam had never been born, and he said he struggled with coming to that, but what happened was so horrific he could only wish it away…”

Peter Lanza, left, has spoken out for the first time since the murders committed by his son Adam, right.  TODAY; Getty Images

Peter Lanza, has spoken out for the first time since the murders committed by his son Adam. TODAY Getty Images

“Adam had what was then called Asperger’s syndrome and what would now be autism spectrum disorder…He had a certain amount of autism, and the autism made him as his father said, ‘very weird.’”

— Andrew Solomon

Nancy Lanza had grown up a ‘live free or die’ New Hampshire gal, and she had a sense that guns were part of everyday life,” author and journalist Andrew Solomon told Savannah Guthrie on TODAY Monday. Nancy, a gun enthusiast who was shot and killed by her son, kept several firearms in the house. The Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle that Adam used belonged to her. “I don’t think guns should be a part of everyday life, but I think they had no sense that Adam was dangerous. They thought he was peculiar, but they never thought he would hurt anyone. Peter, who taught him to drive, said he was the ‘safest, most cautious, most rule-following person I ever met.”’

In an article in this week’s issue of The New Yorker, Peter Lanza spoke to Solomon, the author of “Far From the Tree,” a book about how parents deal with children — including criminal children — who are different from them.

Read the rest of this entry »


Gun-Control Dishonesty

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The push to “do something, anything,” has nothing to do with preventing deaths.

Charles C. W. Cooke writes:  Earlier in the year, as the gun-control movement tried clumsily to transform an abomination into a cudgel, the Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker distilled its problem into a single sentence. “Nothing proposed in the gun-control debates would have prevented the mass killing of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” Parker contended plainly, “and everybody knows it.”

This was abundantly clear at the time, and it is even more so in retrospect. And yet I must nitpick ever so slightly with Parker’s excellent contention, for it is missing the crucial word “almost.” Almost everybody knows it. The public seems to know it. Legislators seem to know it. But, judging by the abundance of vexed anniversary columns, a significant cabal of journalists and activists have never got the message. A year later, their cry is as it was at the outset: Why won’t we act?

Yesterday, Michael Bloomberg delivered a speech in which he utilized what I have come to regard as the Newtown Template. Having established the tragedy in the audience’s mind — December 14 “will mark a very somber anniversary,” Bloomberg noted, correctly — he went on to claim that “unlicensed sellers of firearms” were “illegally flooding the Internet with weapons,” causing “a massive online, unregulated, second-hand firearms market that threatens public safety.” Then, for good measure, he took a swipe at the government for “doing nothing.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Media Super Fail: Newtown Results in Avalanche of More Relaxed Gun Laws

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John Nolte reports:  The failure of the mainstream media’s months-long crusade to exploit the horrific murders at Sandy Hook Elementary into restrictions against our Second Amendment civil rights was already apparent. On the federal level, no new gun controls were passed, and the only electoral fallout has been the recall and resignations of gun control extremist Democrats in Colorado. By way of actual legislation, we now know that the media’s campaign was an even bigger failure.

In the year since the murder of 20 children in Newtown, The New York Times reports that, at the state and local level, 1500 gun bills have been introduced. Of the 109 that have actually become law, 39 have tightened gun restrictions, while almost twice as many, 70, have loosened gun restrictions.

“Not only have gun purchases soared since gun-control advocates began their push for new legislation; The National Review‘s Greg Pollowitz adds: “We can see that the majority of new legislation getting passed hurts their cause more than if they were silent.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Memo to Media: Respect Newtown’s Wish, Stay on Shooting Anniversary

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Joe Concha writes: Newtown residents are asking the media to stay away this Saturday. The day, December 14th, marks the somber one-year anniversary of the despicable mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that killed 26 people, including 20 small children.

And if the media were wise, they would do exactly that.

The logic behind this request stems from the same thought process around the Newtown 911 tapes released last week that can be summed up in three simple words:

Show some respect.

Show some respect for the families who are forced to relive the horror every day when seeing an empty chair across the dinner table for the rest of their lives. Show some respect for the children who were there that day and will have nightmares about it well into their adulthood. Show some respect for a community that has conducted itself with pride, honor and dignity since this horrific event made the town the central front on the gun debate.

Read the rest of this entry »


Pistol Permit Applications Up 110 Percent in Newtown

Gun-background-check-APApplications for pistol permits in Newtown, Connecticut from January to May of 2013 were up 110 percent over the same time period of time from last year.

While politicians were talking about using gun control legislation to make guns harder to get in the wake of the heinous crime at Sandy Hook Elementary, citizens were taking steps to get guns for self-defense.

According to The Hartford Courant, Newtown citizens applied for 87 pistol permits during the time period of January to May 2012. That number rose to 183 during the same time period this year.

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Second Amendment Foundation Launches New Effort to Defend Equality

Equal Gun Rights

Read the press release: SAF Launches new effort to defend equality of gun ownership

Visit EqualGunRights.com for more information.

Second Amendment Foundation Online