In the process of suppressing vital information, the conservative media refocuses on guns.
Glenn Beck recently lambasted the notion that “we’re militarizing our country” on his radio show, citing the Defense Authorization Act and provisions such as the state’s right to detain citizens without a fair trial. This, interestingly, is something that almost all of the alternative media has agreed to target, as both progressive and right-wing groups have managed to cause enough popular outrage that President Obama has promised to veto the bill. As Cenk Uygur points out, “when there’s bipartisan agreement in Washington, we’re all screwed.”
What Beck forgot to mention is his responsibility in militarizing the media—a phenomenon within right-wing publications that has yet to be reported.
The editors of Glenn Beck’s news-blog, the Blaze, clearly understand their audience—most of which is caught up in an irrational frenzy of jingoism and racial tension courtesy of GBTV. This is the same audience that’s worried about the black helicopters piloted by sushi-eating liberals coming from Manhattan’s Upper East Side to redistribute their property. Therefore, “they cling to their Bibles and guns,” as Obama pointed out prior to the 2008 campaign.
Although the Blaze reports on both subjects, the latter is of utmost concern (the former simply isn’t a surprise). The Blaze routinely delves into the specifics of heavy duty rifles (Want to see a customized .700 Caliber ‘Dinosaur Hunting’ Rifle in Action?), which are quite useful for protecting thy family, as the Blaze explains: “when a Tyrannosaurs Rex rampages through your neighborhood, this would seem to be the perfect tool for the job.”
But it gets far, far worse than just appealing to the gun-fanaticism of the manly, church-going, ‘brush-cutting’ audience. It’s almost like the Blaze editors plagiarized the Nazi archives for the following headline: “Here are Two New Russian Guns That Our Troops Could Face on the Battlefield.” The Blaze further illustrates that the AK-47 “has become an emblematic symbol for many of America’s enemies. It appears on the Hezbollah flag, and in countless films as the ‘bad guy’ weapon of choice.”
Obviously, the Blaze doesn’t have to mention that we (the counterterrorism operatives) are the good guys, and the Arab insurgents (most of whom we trained, or else radicalized) are the bad guys. This is a striking example of deep totalitarian strains consistently expressed by the media, be it alternative like the Blaze or the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman.
The article concludes with old-fashioned fear mongering—almost entirely absent of evidence: “given the history of the AK, it’s probably only a matter of time until these high-tech shooters turn up in the hands of our enemies abroad.” Unfortunately, this example is just one of many.
Consistent publishing of this kind of material is damn close to a call to arms, or at least a call for popular support of more Pentagon spending. It also has a chauvinistic appeal, which is why one could easily guess that these articles are relatively popular with right-wing audiences.
Unsurprisingly, the highly unoriginal Daily Caller picked up on this trend, and launched an entire section dedicated to “Guns and Gear“. It features lengthy gun reviews, from tactical rifles to lite carry guns, and offers analysis of exactly which Republican presidential candidates “actually practice what they preach?” regarding their support for the 2nd Amendment.
For example, Jon Huntsman, who according to former Clinton adviser Dick Morris “should be running on the Democratic side,” packs a ”.22 rifle, 12 gauge shotgun and .38 pistol.”
Irrelevant information, like the fact that Huntsman “would drop the marginal rate paid by the richest Americans by more than a third to 23 percent” and ”eliminate all taxes on all capital gains and dividend income — the primary forms of income for the wealthiest Americans” wasn’t mentioned in the article.
That’s the whole point.