Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan is tweeting out her latest column with this copy: "Why is the NRA attacking the reality-based press? For the same reason Trump does."
Unsurprisingly, Sullivan was appalled at Dana Loesch saying at CPAC that "Many in legacy media love mass shootings," since no one loves the murder, but the liberal media cover them first as Tragedy, and then almost instantly as Red-Hot Legislative Opportunity. Sullivan argues:
The NRA is wrong, disgustingly wrong, about this.
They're even more wrong about the news media as their adversary -- a claim that's certainly not new but now blasted out at higher volume.
For someone who boasts their advocacy for a "reality-based press," how can it be claimed that the media doesn't oppose the NRA? For example, Sullivan must have missed the Washington Post editorial cartoon by Tom Toles on Sunday, where NRA leader Wayne LaPierre holds up a student as a human shield and says "If you leave me alone, the kid gets it."
In fact, "Reality-Based Margaret" then insists the NRA shouldn't be granted any space as a "legitimate purveyor" in the gun debate. Isn't it odd that the purveyors of "Democracy Dies in Darkness" are proclaiming that gun owners shouldn't have a say in political debates?
Should a lobbying group be given as much credence in the national conversation as the NRA has been awarded over the past week — presented, all too often, as a legitimate purveyor of policy ideas?
“I am so outraged that the NRA is being given a seat at the table, whether it’s by the media or by the president,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, an advocacy group seeking gun-control changes, according to The Washington Post.
“We’re acting as though lobbyists have a right to have a say, or to help us write our nation’s gun policies. They don’t.”
It’s an important point. And while it’s hard to deny that the NRA is a major part of this story, because so many lawmakers toe their line, journalists would do well to remind their readers and audiences what the organization actually is and what motivates it: money.
This is a perfect storm of hypocrisy. Sullivan is outraged that Dana Loesch says the media elites have no humanity and are only motivated by money, and then she turns around and says the NRA has no humanity and is only motivated by money.
She claims the media aren't the NRA's adversary, and then quotes the NRA's adversary saying the media should deny the NRA a "seat at the table."
But worst of all, she can't acknowledge that Shannon Watts is also a lobbyist, so why on Earth should lobbyists be denied a say? Isn't that self-disqualifying? What Watts and Sullivan seem to be implying is when your liberal billionaire backers -- Michael Bloomberg, or Jeff Bezos -- back liberalism, that's for the public interest, not for profit. But democracy is about letting everyone speak, not just who liberals want "at the table."