I’m a couple days late on this, but it’s still worth a laugh. The BBC sent one of the legion of Beeboids they have making video magazine reports in the US to Los Angeles to cover the special holiday edition of the city’s “Guns for Groceries” buy-back plan. Usually it’s useful for getting illegal guns out of the hands of the gang-bangers, allowing the politicians to wave some trophies in front of the cameras and scare the community a little bit. The gang-bangers like it because they can unload old weapons or ones they’ve used in crimes (these are no-questions-asked exchanges, remember) for some quick cash to buy more illegal guns. It’s win-win.
We’re told that, while “many Americans believe” that the 2nd Amendment gives us the right to bear arms, the mayor thinks there can be more controls. The annual buy-back program, we learn, is proof positive that there are too many guns out there, too easy to access.
The crowning example comes at the end, starting at around 1:10 in, where the police rep says that people were turning in AK-47s and “parts for AR-15s”. The BBC’s John McManus then says:
“If that sounds extreme, well, last year’s haul of 1700 weapons included an anti-tank rocket launcher.”
First of all, it’s opinion that having these weapons available is “extreme”. There’s no mention of whether or not any of them were legal or illegal or what. Their very existence is, apparently, extreme. The Beeboid is projecting opinion – what may very well be mainstream British opinion – onto a report about domestic affairs in a foreign country. And for all we know, the AK-47s came from Mexican drug gangs courtesy of the President’s “Fast & Furious” scheme.
But the really funny part is the freak-out about the anti-tank weapon. This may come as a complete surprise to parochial, close-minded media luvvies living in a bubble, but one can buy these online and at shows and other places. They’re military surplus, rendered inert before sale.
In fact, this year’s scheme brought in two of them. If the intrepid, impartial journalists at the BBC ever bother to read the NY Daily News, they’ll know that, and know that the weapons were already rendered useless. Not that it stopped the nannies from waving it in front of the cameras. You can bet there won’t be a correction coming from the BBC. That would detract from the agenda.
The scary rocket launcher is, in fact, quite harmless, but presented here to wind you up. A propaganda piece, advocacy plain and simple. Are lots of other media outlets singing from the same hymn sheet and getting it wrong? Sure they are. Does that make it okay for the BBC to do it? Remember, they sent at least one Beeboid to LA to film and investigate, so there’s no excuse for lemming journalism here.
I bet the dopey Beeboid doesn’t even know any of this. I’m sure he and his editor completely believe the angle he’s reported. Their bias on this issue prevents them from reporting honestly and accurately. If they do know that the rocket launcher was non-functional, then McManus is telling a lie the way he reported it. Either way this is a journalistic failure.
It’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t about the rights and wrongs of gun ownership, or anyone’s interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, nor is it about your opinion or mine of gun control laws. This is about a biased, misleading report from the BBC on a specific issue, where ideology informs and corrupts reporting. Even if you agree with the BBC’s position on gun control, you should still be displeased with them taking sides on any issue.
Bonus giggle: If I bought a nice Browning 1917A1 .50 cal machine gun and wanted to take it out the range, and I needed another can to carry my extra ammo, I could pick up a cheap one from the BBC-owned Lonely Planet website.