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<I>CNN</I> Caught Lying Red Handed!

Monday, May 26, 2003

NRA`s Wayne LaPierre Takes Them To The Woodshed!

CNN, which bills itself as "the most trusted name in news," was caught lying during its "reporting" on so-called "assault weapons." On May 15, CNN aired two pieces which deliberately misled its viewers into believing that the semi-automatic firearms banned under the 1994 Clinton gun ban are more powerful than other guns that weren`t banned.

CNN`s John Zarella arranged a live-fire demonstration with Sheriff Ken Jenne of the Broward County (Fla.) Sheriff`s Department. The exercise began with a deputy firing a Chinese AK-47 Zarella claimed was targeted by the Clinton gun ban. Down range, viewers saw the rounds punching holes in cinder blocks and penetrating body armor. Next, the sheriff fired what was referenced as a different civilian AK-47 model that was not covered by the `94 ban. Incredibly, viewers saw no bullet holes, dust, or smoke on the cinder blocks during this demon-stration, as no rounds hit the cinder blocks! In fact, CNN later acknowledged, the deputy was actually firing into the ground. Obviously, the biased point the report was promoting was that the firearms banned by the Clinton gun ban were somehow more powerful than those that were not banned—a notion, of course, that is without any factual merit.

In a later segment that same day, a deputy was aided by CNN in promulgating the most blatant distortion of the truth. This time the gun used was a fully-automatic firearm, and it obliterated the cinder blocks. Of course, not one of the guns banned in `94 is fully-automatic. All of the firearms covered by Clinton`s ban are semi-automatics. Fully-automatic firearms have been strictly regulated since 1934.

This demonstration attempted to bolster the justification for Sheriff Jenne and the Sheriff`s Department supporting the gun ban. This should come as no surprise, though, since Jenne, who was a former Democratic state lawmaker in Florida, supported a state bill banning semi-automatic firearms which was defeated.

Thankfully this sad saga didn`t end here. On May 19, CNN offered viewers this tepid explanation:

"On this program on Thursday, we aired a live demonstration on CNN set up with law enforcement officials of a banned semi-automatic rifle and its legal counterpart. We reviewed that demonstration and one on another CNN program, and decided that a more detailed report would better explain this complex issue."

NRA`s Wayne LaPierre called CNN on the carpet, forthrightly stating, "We caught them red handed in the act. Now they`re backpedaling." Wayne also noted, "Either it was a deliberate attempt to fake the story, or the reporter had a complete ignorance of the story he`s covering." Either is unacceptable. Wayne pointed out a glaring difference between CNN and the New York Times, who recently fired a reporter for his long and sordid history of fabricating stories, noting how when New York Times reporters lie, eventually they get fired. But, such is not the case with CNN. If you wish to contact CNN to convey your outrage, you may reach them at: One CNN Center, N.W., Atlanta, GA, 30303-2762, (404) 827-1500, e-mail: [email protected]; website: http://www.cnnradionet.com/PUBLIC/Home/default.htm.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.