NYT Finds a ‘March’ It Can Devote Enormous, Fawning Coverage to: An Anti-Gun One

March 25th, 2018 3:34 PM

Sunday’s New York Times lead story on the multiple rallies of anti-gun kids was reported by Michael Shear and a teeming throng of at least 19 other reporters around the world: “With Passion and Fury, Students March on Guns – Rebuke of N.R.A. by Huge Crowds Across U.S.

This would be the anti-gun March for Our Lives, not the pro-life March for Life, which the Times virtually ignores every year. Almost the same with the paper’s reluctant, hostile coverage of Tea Party protests. But this anti-gun rally received several thousand words in the paper’s lead slot:

Standing before vast crowds from Washington to Los Angeles to Parkland, Fla., the speakers -- nearly all of them students, some still in elementary school -- delivered an anguished and defiant message: They are “done hiding” from gun violence, and will “stop at nothing” to get politicians to finally prevent it.

The students, as they seized the nation’s attention on Saturday with raised fists and tear-streaked faces, vowed that their grief about school shootings and their frustration with adults’ inaction would power a new generation of political activism.

The Times was impatient for Congress to jump on the children’s crusade, calling for a federal solution, while ignoring the actual criminal murderer and the deadly passivity of local law enforcement:

For many of the young people, the Washington rally, called March for Our Lives, was their first act of protest and the beginning of a political awakening. But that awakening may be a rude one -- lawmakers in Congress have largely disregarded their pleas for action on television and social media in the five weeks since the Parkland shooting.

That reality helped drive the Parkland survivors in Washington, as they led a crowd that filled blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and Capitol Hill. Thousands more rallied at about 800 “sibling” marches around the country and abroad, where students, like those in the capital, made eloquent calls for gun control and pledged to exercise their newfound political power in the midterm elections this fall.


Delivered in soaring speeches, emotional chants and hand-painted signs, the protesters’ messages offered angry rebukes to the National Rifle Association and politicians who have left gun laws largely intact for decades. A sign in Washington declared “Graduations, not funerals!” while another in New York said “I should be learning, not protesting.” Crowds in Chicago chanted “Fear has no place in our schools” as they marched.


An 11-year-old girl from Virginia, Naomi Wadler, captivated her audience as she declared “Never again!” on behalf of black women and girls who have been the victims of gun violence.

Calls like Naomi’s stood in stark contrast to action on Capitol Hill and at the White House in the hours before the rallies. President Trump signed a $1.3 trillion spending bill that took no significant new steps on gun control: It did nothing to expand background checks, impose additional limits on assault weapons, require a higher age for rifle purchases or curb the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines.


Organizers at national gun control groups, who provided logistical support and public relations advice as the students planned the Washington rally, said they believed that the students would not become disillusioned by the lack of immediate action in Congress....

The Times set a low bar for wit for the protesters.

One protester carried a sign that said “If the opposite of pro is con, then the opposite of progress is Congress.”

Near the end of the supersized story, the paper hinted the crowd in D.C. perhaps wasn’t as historically large as one might think based on the wall-to-wall coverage, but still emphasized the positive.

....The number is less than half of the 470,000 that Dr. Still estimated had attended the Women’s March in Washington in 2017.

Even so, the streets of Washington were packed on Saturday....