The language has changed: the press appears to prefer term "gun reform" over "gun control." There's a reason for this.
"The American media have long supported gun control, but they have increased their attacks on the gun industry since the Newtown shooting in December with a careful shift in the language they use. The term is likely to gain even more use following the shooting in D.C.'s Navy Yard," says Kristine Marsh, an analyst with the Media Research Centers Business and Media Institute who has tracked the patterns of usage through print and broadcast.
"While the commonplace 'gun control' has an aggressive connotation to it, and rightfully so, the liberals have attempted to replace it with the softer-sounding 'gun reform' to make their agenda more acceptable to the public," Ms. Marsh adds.
And the numbers: The term "gun reform" was mentioned just 25 times in print in three top newspapers — The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and The Washington Post — from 1986 through April 14, 2012. From April though December 2012, the term did not make an appearance at all until the Newtown tragedy Dec. 14.
In the eight months since Newtown, these three papers have used the phrase "gun reform" 23 times, nearly as many times as they had used it in the 26 years prior, the analyst says. "ABC, NBC and CBS also adopted the politically correct term, using it in 10 different morning and evening weekday broadcasts since January. By contrast, there was only one mention of 'gun reform' in the weekday broadcasts since 1996."
The sudden popularity of the phrase also extended into the entertainment realm; the study found that CBS late night host David Letterman also used it a dozen times.
THE 'AR' OBSESSION
Journalists and anxious TV anchors, meanwhile, were determined to report that an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle was used in the Navy Yard shootings. "Same gun, different slay," read a New York Daily News headline, calling it a "Newtown weapon." CNN, MSNBC and the Daily Mail featured similar accounts.
"The news media seemed to seize on one particular aspect of Monday's reprehensible shooting," says National Review columnist Alec Torres. "The FBI now says that he used a shotgun and two pistols, and no AR-15 at all. The lack of hard information didn't stop the moral panic, and none of the outlets have bothered to retract their claims," he notes.
No wonder the public is confused about the Affordable Care Act.
"We fly with our own wings. Care about the same things. We stand strong together. So let me hear you say: We fly with our own wings. Dreamin' all the big dreams. Long live Oregonians; we're free to be healthy."
And so go the poetic lyrics in an new ad promoting the new health care law in Oregon, funded with $9.9 million in taxpayer money and produced by Cover Oregon, the special agency established to implement the health care law in the state.
"We fly with our own wings, dreaming all the big dreams? An acid-trip Obamacare ad costs taxpayers $3.2 Million," observes a spokesman for Americans for Tax Reform.
Lyrics that say folks are "free" to be healthy are a little ironic. And misleading.
The spokesman says the phenomenon provides "quite the interpretive meaning in the context of a bill projected to cost more than $1.76 trillion over the next 10 years, with 20 new or higher taxes and a slew of big government mandates."
AND THE LYRICAL CRITICS
Their legislation may be poetry to those who fret about the onrushing train of Obamacare.
On Wednesday, the Republican Study Committee unveils the American Health Care Reform Act, which repeals and replaces the Affordable Care Act.
On hand for the big moment: Reps. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, who is committee chairman; plus Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Renee L. Ellmers of North Carolina, John Fleming of Louisiana, Paul A. Gosar of Arizona and Todd Rokita of Indiana
An unusual contest for those who are fixated by the work of noted Civil War photographer Mathew Brady: Congressional Cemetery and the U.S. Capitol Historical Society are offering cash prizes and a display in the U.S. Capitol to photographers who can emulate the Brady look and esthetic in their own work. He is, incidentally, interred in the famous cemetery.
"Mathew Brady was well known for his dramatic and very real depiction of the horrors of war, but was also an accomplished landscape and portrait photographer in the early years of the medium," says Paul K. Williams, president of Congressional Cemetery.
Three categories that represent typical Brady themes include landscapes, objects and people. One grand prize winner will receive $1,000, and a winner of each category will receive $500. All four winning images will be framed and displayed in the U.S. Capitol complex.
The contest is open to professionals and amateurs alike; judges include National Geographic Magazine senior photography editor Susan Welchman, the society's Don Kennon, Mr. Williams and Jane Levey, director of heritage and community programs for Cultural Tourism D.C.
The contest closes May 15. This is a long web address, but here's where the information is: sites.google.com/site/bradyphotocontest
THE FOX NEWS SHUFFLE
There are changes a-coming on Oct. 7 at Fox News Channel, a date which also marks the 17th anniversary of the network. The new prime-time parade of hosts is as follows: Greta Van Susteren (7 p.m. ET); Bill O'Reilly (8 p.m.); Megyn Kelly (9 p.m.) and Sean Hannity (10 p.m).
The change also marks the debut of "The Kelly File," which will highlight Ms. Kelly's "skills as a former litigator," and showcase late-breaking and investigational stories in a live format and the inevitable social media.
"In 2003, I was an unhappy lawyer, and made a decision to change my life. Ten years later, I've been able to do that thanks in large part to Roger Ailes, a boss who always gives me the same directive: 'Be yourself and have fun.'" Ms. Kelly notes.
Mr. Hannity, meanwhile, seems pleased.
"I am very happy to be moving to 10 p.m. The ability to be live or on tape greatly increases the flexibility of the show and offers me, after 17 years, the opportunity to be home at night with my family," he says.
POLL DU JOUR
• 68 percent of U.S. voters are concerned about their personal health care under the Affordable Care Act;77 percent of Republicans, 76 percent of conservatives, 56 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of liberals agree.
• 60 percent of voters overall have an unfavorable opinion of Obamacare; 83 percent of Republicans, 80 percent of conservatives, 32 percent of Democrats and 33 percent of liberals agree.
• 58 percent overall disapprove of the job President Obama is doing on health care; 83 percent of Republicans, 74 percent of conservatives, 33 percent of Democrats and 36 percent of liberals agree.
• 54 percent overall say it would be better if the nation went back to the 2009 health care system; 77 percent of Republicans, 69 percent of conservatives, 31 percent of Democrats and 36 percent of liberals agree.
Source: A Fox News poll of 900 registered U.S. voters conducted Sept. 6to 8 and released Tuesday.
• Churlish remarks, chatter to jharperwashingtontimes.com.
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