CBS Hypes Lawsuit Claiming Remington Markets to Mass Shooters

After a shooting in California and another victim of a serial killer in Tampa Bay was found, CBS Evening News described Tuesday as a day filled with bloody gun violence coast to coast. Although accurate, the network tied it all together with a report touting a lawsuit brought by the family members of Sandy Hook victims against Remington Arms claiming company markets to mass shooters. While both ABC and NBC reported on the two shootings, CBS was the only network in the Big Three to highlight the lawsuit.

Families of the Sandy Hook massacre victims -- 20 first graders and six adults -- are taking their battle against gun violence to the courtroom,” announced Anchor Anthony Mason. “Today, they asked Connecticut's highest court to reinstate their lawsuit against the maker of the gun that killed their loved ones.

The report by Don Dahler started with a clip of the families’ lawyer in court trying to make their cast. “Remington may never have known [the shooter], but they had been courting him for years,” Attorney Josh Koskoff told the judge. The CBS reporter aided the attorney’s claims, saying “Remington Arms' own advertising for the Bushmaster AR-15 type rifle used images and phrases like, ‘Forces of opposition, bow down,’ and ‘consider your man card reissued.’

Dahler was not swayed by the argument of James Vogts, who represented Remington, which was that they weren’t responsible for the shooter’s actions under federal law.

While failing to note she was a gun control advocate for an organization called Sandy Hook Promise, Dahler spoke with Nicole Hockley who claimed the lawsuit wasn’t about gun control. “This is about sales and marketing practices. This isn't saying we're going to take any guns away,” she told him.

 

 

Following that assertion, Dahler ridiculously compared Remington’s advertisements to ads for trucks used in terrorist attacks. “How is this not analogous to suing an auto make where one of their vehicles is used to smash into a crowd in a terror attack,” he asked the lawyer behind the lawsuit.

It would be,” Koskoff agreed. “For example, suppose Ford advertised the truck-- they showed-- they said, ‘Buy our truck,’ and they showed somebody having just completed a massacre by rolling over a bunch of people. Would anybody hesitate to say that Ford should be responsible for that kind of thing?

Except that’s pure fictional hyperbole. No gun manufacturer shows off fields of dead innocent people to help sell their products. That’s fear-mongering designed to prey on those unfamiliar with firearms.

But the facts be damned for Dahler, who acted as though Koskoff could find evidence of Remington pushing that message: “If the families win this appeal, the suit is reinstated and discovery begins, wherein the attorneys have access to internal documents as well as marketing strategies.” And he wrapped up his report by whining to Mason about how “no ruling is expected in weeks, if not months.

This CBS News report was pure political opportunism. Dahler failed in his duty to accurately report the fact that the Sandy Hook shooter did not buy his weapon but stole it from his mother before killing her with it. He would have used whatever weapon his mother kept in her gun safe, Remington’s marketing didn’t matter. But that didn’t stop CBS from pushing their anti-gun narrative.

CBS's excitement for the lawsuit was sponsored by Aleve, Brighthouse Financial, Polident, and Repatha. 

Transcript below:

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CBS Evening News
November 14, 2017
6:33:30 PM Eastern

Anthony Mason: Families of the Sandy Hook massacre victims -- 20 first graders and six adults -- are taking their battle against gun violence to the courtroom. Today, they asked Connecticut's highest court to reinstate their lawsuit against the maker of the gun that killed their loved ones. Don Dahler is in Hartford.

[Cuts to video]

JOSH KOSKOFF: Remington may never have known Adam Lanza, but they had been courting him for years.

DON DAHLER: Josh Koskoff, attorney for the families of some of the Sandy Hook victims, said Remington Arms' own advertising for the Bushmaster AR-15 type rifle used images and phrases like, "Forces of opposition, bow down," and “consider your man card reissued."

KOSKOFF: We have evidence Adam Lanza heard the message and was driven specifically to the bushmaster for his lone gunman combat mission.

JAMES VOGTS: What happened in the school that morning was horrific.

DAHLER: Remington's lawyer, James Vogts, argued federal law prohibits this lawsuit altogether.

VOGTS: The manufacturer and the sellers of the firearms used by the criminal that day are not legally responsible for his crimes.

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DAHLER: After the case was dismissed on those grounds last year, they appealed, using an exception to the law that holds companies liable for knowingly selling to a potentially risky person.

NICOLE HOCKLEY: This is our way of honoring him.

DAHLER: Nicole Hockley's six-year-old son, Dylan, was shot five times. She insists this isn't about gun control.

HOCKLEY: This is about sales and marketing practices. This isn't saying we're going to take any guns away.

DAHLER: How is this not analogous to suing an auto make where one of their vehicles is used to smash into a crowd in a terror attack?

KOSKOFF: It would be. For example, suppose Ford advertised the truck-- they showed-- they said, "Buy our truck," and they showed somebody having just completed a massacre by rolling over a bunch of people. Would anybody hesitate to say that Ford should be responsible for that kind of thing?

DAHLER: CBS News reached out to Remington for a response but...

VOGTS: Remington's policy is not to comment on pending litigation, but thank you.

[Cuts back to live]

DAHLER: If the families win this appeal, the suit is reinstated and discovery begins, wherein the attorneys have access to internal documents as well as marketing strategies. Anthony, no ruling is expected in weeks, if not months.

MASON: Don Dahler in Hartford. Thank you, don.


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