By Mark Anderson —
In the December 7 & 14 issue of this newspaper, this writer reported on the case of AMERICAN FREE PRESS reader Ron Avery of Texas and his lawsuit against the Houston Chronicle, which is based on the view that the mainstream media is actively working against the American people. The bigger picture here is that a “weaponized” media that is aligned with the state—not simply a biased corporate media—is controlling what we read, see, and hear for strategic reasons.
With nonstop undeclared wars abroad and a string of suspicious shootings at home weighing ever more heavily upon Americans, the pro-war New York Times rolled out a full-bore propaganda arsenal December 5 that seems to declare war on domestic gun rights, while presenting a fearful worldview that seeks to justify even more military violence abroad.
Echoing the late 19th-century “yellow journalism” dished out by the rival Hearst and Pulitzer newspapers that sensationalized the news and helped spark the Spanish-American War, today’s information technologies and 24-hour news cycles have brought media warmongering to a whole new level, severely disfiguring Americans’ sense of reality.
Consider the Times’s so-called “reporting” December 5 about yet another “mass” shooting—in this case the one which reportedly happened in San Bernardino, California December 2.
Highlighted with a rare front-page staff editorial headlined “End the Gun Epidemic in America*,” that day’s “news” blitzkrieg peddled a highly intensified fear of Islam with a flimsy account of that shooting, allegedly involving an Islamic man and wife. This scenario invoked an Islamic State (ISIS) invasion, moving the threat in the public mind from the Middle East’s distant sands to American soil.
To underscore how seriously the Times regarded that day’s edition, the paper’s anti-gun screed was recognized in a separate Page A15 piece as the first in-house editorial on its front page in nearly 100 years. Thus, the Times reserved a special place in history for placing a bullseye on the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution by calling for a deep ban on all “assault weapons” of the AR-15 variety and the relevant ammunition.
That clarion call is based on the story line that Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, are said to have left their child with a grandparent, grabbed assault weapons, and opened fire in a “rampage” that “killed 14 people and injured 21 others,” the paper noted, breathlessly adding that Ms. Malik is a “woman who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in a Facebook post.”
The Times, though, then noted that Facebook staff took the posting down on December 2, the very day of the shooting, before it could be verified. So the Times simply took the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Facebook at their word—a journalistic no-no—even though the FBI has been caught red-handed setting up terrorist attacks by baiting vulnerable people to take part as fall-guys and accomplices in false-flag operations that justify the ongoing war on terror. AFP writers and columnist Paul Craig Roberts have outlined several such cases over the years in this newspaper.
In addition, the Times, using the power of suggestion, claimed that the 2016 presidential campaign landscape is forever altered regarding the threat of Islam in general and ISIS in particular.
“The Republican candidates for president angrily demanded that the United States face up to a new world war, one that has breached its borders, threatens the safety of Americans and has brought the menace of Islamic terrorism deep into the homeland,” the Times bellowed in a front-page piece astride the anti-gun editorial.
The Times’s December 5 coverage—totaling some 10 reports, the staff editorial and two opinion columns tied to the California shooting and the ISIS threat, plus domestic gun control—was laced with stark quotes, dark inferences and highly subjective interpretations. A core point was that increasing the military’s armed violence, especially against ISIS, is fair game, and that only civilian gun violence is bad.
And there’s more.
On page A16 in the December 5 edition, the Times used the words “mass killings” or “mass shootings” nine times. A shooting of 14 people, or some similar amount, is tragic but, in my opinion, is more accurately defined as a multiple shooting, not a “mass” one. The atomic bombs dropped on Japan resulted in actual mass killings.
One of the Times’s reports referred to Australia’s 1997 national gun “ban” and buy-back. The Times called it a model for America to follow, downplaying the fact that just 20%, or 650,000, of guns in that nation were turned in. Another 2.6 million never were. Meanwhile, determined criminals anywhere are still able to obtain imported guns, included smuggled, steal legal guns, or use other weapons when gun supplies dry up. Moreover, Australia defines a “mass shooting” as consisting of as few as five victims.
While claiming AR-15-style assault rifles are “weapons of war,” the Times’s front-page editorial griped these weapons are “barely modified and deliberately marketed as tools of macho vigilantism and even insurrection. . . . It’s past time to stop talking about halting the spread of firearms and instead to reduce their number drastically—eliminating some large categories of weapons and ammunition.”
But these types of weapons in various design styles are used by hunters and target shooters for their reliability, light weight and accuracy. More importantly, they’re suitable for protection from the criminal element and, yes, conceivably from government tyranny.
And it’s not as if the Times wants the police or military to surrender any of their guns.
It’s worth noting that AR does not mean “assault rifle.” Rather, it stands for ArmaLite Rifle, the company that invented the general design in the 1950s.
In addition, several supposed facts in all the “mass” shootings over the last several years don’t add up, raising the possibility that civilian disarmament, more public surveillance and erosions of other basic freedoms could be enacted on the basis of false, exaggerated or misunderstood events.
Back to the recent shooting in San Bernardino, California: The mainstream media claims the Islamic couple stormed a holiday party in San Bernardino, killing 14 and injuring 21. Hours later, as the story goes, the couple died in a gunfire exchange with police. And the big media sticks with that narrative no matter what, acting as if other suspects or scenarios couldn’t possibly exist.
AFP writer John Friend in the December 21 & 28 issue documented some of the anomalies in the shooting in California.
According to PressTV and other sources, there are reports, worthy of more investigation, that witnesses in California saw three tall white men wearing black shirts, khaki pants, and tan combat boots, who may have been the actual shooters, sparking speculation of involvement by mercenary organizations that conduct false-flag operations to raise public fear and justify wholesale constitutional changes.
Most people, beset by media-encouraged “doublethink,” still won’t acknowledge that murder is murder no matter how it’s portrayed, and that modern no-win military missions, where real mass killings happen, are just institutionalized murder that threaten and do not defend Americans’ freedom. Our media-government-banker supervisors excuse any “battlefield” atrocity, including when Israeli forces mercilessly bomb Palestinian children, but condemn sporting and target guns that happen to be applicable to self-defense.
Yet if gun control has a place, how about denying Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and other aggressor states the frightful weapons that the U.S. peddles around the world, helping contractors make billions in profits as the real merchants of death?
*The headline was titled “The Gun Epidemic” in the print version of the Times.
Mark Anderson covers the annual Bilderberg meetings and is chairman of AFP’s new America First Action Committee, designed to involve AFP readers in focusing intensely on Congress to enact key changes, including monetary reform and a pullback of the warfare state. He and his wife Angie often work together on news projects.