Here We Go Again: CBS, NBC Push Another Bogus Mass Shooting Statistic

So, just like macabre clockwork. With Thursday’s mass shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, there were routine calls for more gun control from the liberal media machine. During their evening broadcasts, CBS and NBC tried to scare the wits out of their viewers by dubiously claiming that there had been 307 mass shooting this year alone, or almost one a day. But that was a lie.

In a deeply condescending report to end the CBS Evening News, national correspondent Jim Axelrod suggested this latest shooting “reminds us the range of ‘I can't believe it happened here’ targets is ever-widening, beyond just campuses and workplaces.”

If we define four or more victims as a mass shooting, then the Boardline attack is the 307th mass shooting this year. Let that number sink in-- 307. There have been 11 mass shootings just between Pittsburgh and last night,” he asserted.

In a very “I told you so” tone, Axelrod concluded his report chiding: “Be frustrated, angry, or despairing that it does. Just don't any longer be surprised.”

Meanwhile, on NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt huffed about how, “less than two weeks ago, we were reporting from the scene of another mass shooting in Pittsburgh.”  “In fact, folks, there has been a mass shooting almost every day this year. Stephanie Gosk has more on this seemingly endless cycle.”

After he handed off to Gosk, she too reported that mass shooting-a-day claim. “There have been 307 mass shootings with four or more people shot. 328 people killed, and the year is not over,” she warned viewers.

 

 

What they were claiming was false. According to The Washington Post, there have not been 307, there were 158 mass shooting (or just over half). But that wasn’t 158 mass shootings this year, it was 158 since August 1, 1966! The report was a running tally updated as mass shootings occurred.

But what caused the gross disparity? It’s because The Post’s calculation used what any reasonable person would: “It looks at the 158 shootings in which four or more people were killed by a lone shooter (two shooters in a few cases). It does not include shootings tied to gang disputes or robberies that went awry, and it does not include domestic shootings that took place exclusively in private homes.”

“A broader definition would yield much higher numbers,” they noted. “This tally begins Aug. 1, 1966, when a student sniper fired down on passersby from the observation deck of a clock tower at the University of Texas.”

This wasn’t the first time the two networks were caught pushing bogus mass shooting statistics to scare their viewers. Earlier this year, CBS and NBC (along with ABC) pushed an anti-gun group’s lie that the Parkland shooting was the 18th school shooting this year when it was only a month-and-a-half old.

But it was The Post that proved them wrong back then too. “The figure originated with Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit, co-founded by Michael Bloomberg, that works to prevent gun violence and is most famous for its running tally of school shootings,” they wrote. “Everytown has long inflated its total by including incidents of gunfire that are not really school shootings.”

Again, like macabre clockwork.

(h/t: Stephen Gutowski)

The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read:

CBS Evening News
November 8, 2018
6:57 p.m. Eastern

JEFF GLOR: We end here tonight with more on an American epidemic. Here's Jim Axelrod.

[Cuts to video]

JIM AXELROD: The California bar shooting caps a two-week reality check about gun violence in this country. The Kroger supermarket shooting near Louisville.

(…)

AXELROD: The synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.

(…)

AXELROD: The yoga studio shooting in Tallahassee.

(…)

AXELROD: And now the borderline bar shooting in Thousand Oaks.

(…)

AXELROD: Reminds us the range of "I can't believe it happened here" targets is ever-widening, beyond just campuses and workplaces. If we define four or more victims as a mass shooting, then the Boardline attack is the 307th mass shooting this year. Let that number sink in-- 307. There have been 11 mass shootings just between Pittsburgh and last night.

(…)

AXELROD: We live in a country where the federal government now offers online video guidance about surviving a workplace shooting, a country where 57 percent of teens worry about a shooting happening in their school. Today, as hundreds lined up to give blood in Thousand Oaks, defiantly forcing evil to make some accommodation with good, you could hear the familiar refrain.

(…)

AXELROD: Be frustrated, angry, or despairing that it does. Just don't any longer be surprised. Jim Axelrod, CBS News, New York.

NBC Nightly News
November 8, 2018
7:12 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: Less than two weeks ago, we were reporting from the scene of another mass shooting in Pittsburgh. In fact, folks, there has been a mass shooting almost every day this year. Stephanie Gosk has more on this seemingly endless cycle.

[Cuts to video]

STEPHANIE GOSK: The scenes look and feel so familiar, the police run in while terrified students, concert goers, regular people run out.

(…)

GOSK: This year alone, Parkland, Santa Fe, Pittsburgh, and now Thousand Oaks. And that skims the surface. There have been 307 mass shootings with four or more people shot. 328 people killed, and the year is not over.

Many Americans woke up this morning and had the same thought, “oh, no, not again”. Because they knew what to expect. The phrases we use have become part of a grim lexicon, makeshift memorials, candlelight vigils, thoughts and prayers. For a moment, we reflect on the victims. For their families, that moment lasts the rest of their lives.

The challenge for the country is this: how do we not grow numb? Some of the young people at the Borderline Bar and Grill also survived the concert in Las Vegas. That fact alone should shatter this mass shooting routine. We may not agree on how to stop the gun violence, but we can't forget that we must. Stephanie Gosk, NBC news.

[Cuts back to live]

HOLT: On all of our minds tonight.


Please support NewsBusters today! [a 501(c)(3) non-profit production of the Media Research Center]

DONATE

Or, book travel through MRC’s Travel Discounts Program! MRC receives a rebate for each booking when you use our special codes.

BOOK NOW
NBDaily Events Guns Bias by Omission Conspiracy Theories Broadcast Television CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Fake News Video Lester Holt Jim Axelrod Stephanie Gosk