April 30, 2014

Press Whitewashes Bloomberg Anti-Gun Group’s Pathetic Presence at Indy NRA Convention

Last weekend in Indianapolis, a reported 80,000 people attended the 143rd NRA Annual Meeting.

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s group Everytown For Gun Safety was also present — but barely. Media coverage of that group’s activities largely tiptoed around the tiny number of people, some allegedly paid, the group was able to gather. Let’s start with a Sunday morning report from NPR’s Bill Chappell (bolds are mine throughout this post):

NRA Says It’s Not Bothered By Gun Control Group’s Protest

MichaelBloombergOnTV

The National Rifle Association’s national convention drew a counter-demonstration in Indianapolis this weekend, as advocates for gun control press their own agenda near the convention center hosting the event. An NRA official says the group has plenty of support.

The NRA event drew tens of thousands of people, along with keynote speakers such as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Saturday night’s events featured retired Lt. Col. Oliver North and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

For our Newscast unit, Jimmy Jenkins of member station WFIU reports:

“But at a rally a few blocks from the NRA convention, Jennifer Hoppe of the Bloomberg-supported Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America says her group is just as grassroots.

“‘We’re just here really to be the voice of the 90 percent of Americans that think we can do more to protect our fellow citizens from gun violence,’ Hoppe says.

Everytown is supposedly “grass roots,” but is funded by $50 mil from a guy with money to burn who paid people to be there and/or paid their expenses. That’s not “grass roots,” Jennifer Hoppe. That’s Grade A Astroturf.

The NPR piece said nothing about how many people hopped along with Ms. Hoppe, and with good reason — at least if your goal was to maximize readers’ and listeners’ sympathy for the anti-gun cause.

At the Christian Science Monitor, Patrik Johnsson mentioned the protest but not the expected numbers, and contended that the big money behind Everytown means that “Bloomberg and the post-Sandy Hook Moms Demand Action have rattled the NRA.” My take: Angered, yes, because they want to take citizens’ Second Amendment rights away. “Rattled”? Hardly.

A rally ahead of the NRA convention on Thursday had all of about 25 people (HT Rare.us via I Hate the Media), according to Indy talk radio station WIBC.

As to protests at the convention itself, according to Buzzfeed (HT Guns Save Lives):

… the Bloomberg-backed group Everytown for Gun Safety will help pay to send hundreds of anti-gun violence supporters to the NRA’s annual convention in Indianapolis.

The group said that more than 100 mothers and 20 survivors of gun violence will arrive in Indianapolis on Friday. Everytown is covering the cost of the mothers’ hotels in Indianapolis, and paying the travel and lodging expenses for a group of 20 survivors to be in Indianapolis this weekend, an Everytown spokesperson told BuzzFeed.

Everytown would not disclose how much it was spending on the weekend, but said funds are from a combination of group’s money and fundraising efforts leading up to the convention.

So at best the anti-gun protesters managed to assemble a few hunted people, and were outnumbered by about 200:1.

Everytown’s NRA convention presence is only deserving of ridicule, not serious media attention. So I’ll stop now, since I’ve done my part in the ridicule department.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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