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View Full Version : Do not speak with media, refer them to NRA Public Relations


mikehaas
04-18-2007, 7:33 AM
Media is shopping for victims. Moral of the story: If you are contacted by the media, politely but firmly refer them to NRA Public Affairs Office at (703) 267-3820. DO NOT GIVE THEM AN INTERVIEW.

I received this from a friend...
------
"...Yesterday, I received a call from a female reporter, based in the United States, who works for a British news service. Usually, I would expect her to give me the usual spiel about wanting to talk to someone from the NRA regarding the tragedy in Virginia. And, of course, I would have simply referred her to the NRA Public Affairs Office at (703) 267-3820 (which I did). And I would have expected that she would not be especially happy about that.

But this call was different! This women knew WHO she was calling! She knew that my father was murdered by a criminal with a handgun AND she knew I work for the NRA. I assume that she found me by doing an Internet search with the right word-parameters.

SHE WAS SHOPPING FOR VICTIM WHO WOULD TALK TO HER!!!!

Although she was polite and seemed friendly, she was VERY firm and even went so far as to call me back after I politely told her that she should contact NRA Public Affairs and that I was unwilling to talk to her.
Just remember the media is NOT our friend, so we don't talk to them. For years, we asked NRA-HQ for a professional department to handle media-related issues, and a few years ago they set one up. Now that we have a NRA Public Affairs Office, we should all remember to make the best use of it.
Thank you for your help with this issue. There is nothing to gain by talking to the media during this emotional time. Thank you.

P.S.Please be careful. My wife received a harrassing email at work this morning, and it came from a co-worker. The rambling message discussed my employer (the NRA) and the tragedy in VA, as well as guns, home-made bombs, and "nukes." We have already notified her HR Dept, our attorney and NRA-HQ..."
------

Mike

Kruzr
04-18-2007, 8:34 AM
IMO, you are way out of line here Mike. If you want to inform people that reporters are calling people and to be careful what you say, then that's fine. But I sure hope it wasn't the NRA who is telling all gun owners to refer all reporters calls to them. Their silence has been deafening the past two days.
Perhaps you can let us know what the NRA guy will say to the reporter if they are referred.

You can refer all the calls you want. If I get a call, I'll make my own decisions on who I will talk to or not.

KenpoProfessor
04-18-2007, 8:56 AM
IMO, you are way out of line here Mike. If you want to inform people that reporters are calling people and to be careful what you say, then that's fine. But I sure hope it wasn't the NRA who is telling all gun owners to refer all reporters calls to them. Their silence has been deafening the past two days.
Perhaps you can let us know what the NRA guy will say to the reporter if they are referred.

You can refer all the calls you want. If I get a call, I'll make my own decisions on who I will talk to or not.


+1000000

Well said.

Have a great Kenpo day

Clyde

bwiese
04-18-2007, 9:36 AM
I think the NRA HQ probably has some media-savvy folks now.

The press is all over this, and will be for the next 2-3 weeks.

I think some folks that are contacted by media, and whose material ends up being shown, may be ill-spoken, convey the wrong ideas, or get into losing "when did you stop beating your wife" debates.

These people are paid to be wordsmiths and opinion changers, and most of us are not.

We've got HR1022 and a new mag ban coming up, and if we think before we speak, they may be stillborn.

Can'thavenuthingood
04-18-2007, 9:59 AM
start dropping the F word a few times

Fiocchi?

FIRE! ?

FAL?

FN?

Vick

chiefcrash
04-18-2007, 10:05 AM
start dropping the F word a few times

Fiocchi?

FIRE! ?

FAL?

FN?

Vick

naw, today the word "FREEDOM" is scary enough of a word to cause it to be edited out....

Michael303
04-18-2007, 10:07 AM
Just keep in mind that even if you are very well spoken and lay out a superb and logical 2nd Amendment case, the media will still cut and pair at your statement to make it fit their story. Printed media uses “…” to link two unrelated statements, and TV media uses cuts in their footage to achieve this. A five minute interview will be cut down by an anti-gun editor to 3 to 5 seconds of you looking like an cold hearted idiot. Remember, they don’t want a story - they want emotional sound bites.

tgriffin
04-18-2007, 10:24 AM
If I was contacted by the media in regards to firearms, I would ask that a complete list of questions to be asked during the interview be submitted in writing. I would then call the NRA PR department, run it by them, and get them involved.

Dont jump all over Mike fellas...he is doing a great job in helping secure and re-enforce our rights. He is letting us know we have a resource at our disposal..... dont want to use it? dont #$%&ing use it..... but dont chastise someone who is more than likely doing a helluva alot more than you are to protect all of our rights.

Kruzr
04-18-2007, 10:45 AM
I think the NRA HQ probably has some media-savvy folks now.

Then maybe they should be fired since they haven't been doing their jobs this week!

People should make up their own minds on whom to speak to and about what.

It certainly doesn't look good for the NRA when the news channel banners yesterday kept repeating that there "are new cries for gun control while gun rights advocates hang their heads." It makes it appear that there is nothing to say to counter the anti's.

If the NRA remains silent, who will speak for common sense?

tgriffin
04-18-2007, 10:51 AM
Then maybe they should be fired since they haven't been doing their jobs this week!

People should make up their own minds on whom to speak to and about what.

I agree with you they should, and perhaps Mike chose his words poorly, but Im willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that his intent was to inform us of a resource at our disposal rather than a demand that we not speak outside of official channels.

Kruzr
04-18-2007, 11:37 AM
but Im willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that his intent was to inform us of a resource at our disposal rather than a demand that we not speak outside of official channels.

And that is exactly what the NRA should do but Mike's choice of words didn't convey that. I apologize to Mike if he got a little carried away in his zeal and it caused me to misconstrue it as an intent to censor others.

bbq_ribs
04-18-2007, 11:48 AM
You can refer all the calls you want. If I get a call, I'll make my own decisions on who I will talk to or not.

The problem is just that the media LOVES to quote people out of context.

mikehaas
04-18-2007, 1:06 PM
I apologize for forgetting my target audience. I sometimes forget that most calgunners are not Members' Council members and are not experienced in these issues. First, understand...

THE MEDIA IS NOT ABOUT THE FAIR EXCHANGE OF IDEAS.

The MC network knows that media is not our friend. They know when they are asked for a media interview, to not allow their ego to take over their brain. They have been trained to not follow where our enemy leads. (This is one of the reasons I constantly harp on joining the Members' Council network, to create better activists - smarter, more aware of such things. Go to http://calnra.com/volunteer/ to further your education.)

I meant what I said. No one here is qualified to accept a microphone from these cutthroat professionals - not me, not you, no matter how cogent or thoughtful you might be. It takes professional training to know when you are being setup. If you aren't knowledgable about interviewing concepts like "high velocity speech" and "getting out of the box", you will say things that can be used against us. And even if you are, you may be presenting the wrong argument.

The media is not our friend. Anyone here think they will ask you for an interview to present a balanced story? That would be nieve at best.

I posted NRA's only statement on the matter at this time...
-------
Statement From the National Rifle Association

Monday, April 16, 2007

The National Rifle Association joins the entire country in expressing
our deepest condolences to the families of Virginia Tech University and
everyone else affected by this horrible tragedy.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families.

We will not have further comment until all the facts are known.

--nra--
------
None of us know those facts either. However we may believe we do, just as many thought NRA was ignoring the OLL situation last year and others were convinced NRA had given up on California. NRA's Public Relations Department are highly trained professionals that know how to respond to these issues without giving the other side ammunition. (You may think you do, but you don't.) And unlike smaller groups, NRA will not do interviews just to raise funds.

Those of you that are NRA members, this is why you pay your members' dues - to support a professional organization that aims carefully before firing. And those that aren't members, well, what more needs to be said than that?

One interview given by a well-intentioned but untrained gun-owner could end up being used to advance HR 1022 or other legislation. The situation is emotionally-charged. Reporters, like anti-gun politicians, are looking to advance their careers and reporters are focused on the average gun owner to say something stupid - NOT BECAUSE THEY SUDDENLY RESPECT YOU. Whatever you say that will be GOOD will be cut. Anything youy say that can be twisted by them will be inlcuded, void of context, ready for the anti's to use against us. IT'S THEIR BUSINESS.

Don't play their game. Stay away from microphones. I shudder at what I see posted here sometimes, and that's when someone has the time to think long and hard about what they say and edit their comments afterwards! Once you say it in an interview, it can't be reposted with improvements.

And always, I'm telling you straight. No Members' Council activist will give an interview. There are 76 elected NRA board members that aren't saying anything. They too will refer all calls to NRA Public Relations. Don't place yourself above them.

If you are contacted by the media, politely but firmly refer them to NRA Public Affairs Office at (703) 267-3820. Give the media the finger, NOT an interview.

Mike

Kruzr
04-18-2007, 3:44 PM
I meant what I said. No one here is qualified to accept a microphone from these cutthroat professionals - not me, not you, no matter how cogent or thoughtful you might be. It takes professional training to know when you are being setup. If you aren't knowledgable about interviewing concepts like "high velocity speech" and "getting out of the box", you will say things that can be used against us. And even if you are, you may be presenting the wrong argument.


And who the heck are you to judge people you know nothing about? I'll stick with my own judgement rather than rely on others I know nothing about and who are remaining silent on the issue. If you are afraid to speak, then don't.

It's fine if the NRA tells it's officers and official representatives to go through their media office. It's not "fine" to tell all others to do that.

Can'thavenuthingood
04-18-2007, 3:57 PM
most calgunners are not Members' Council members and are not experienced in these issues

I meant what I said. No one here is qualified to accept

Sometimes you work pretty hard against yourself Mike, almost fanatical, atleast presumptuous.

Vick

aileron
04-18-2007, 4:47 PM
Just reading some of these posts... I have to add a question to those people who are dogging the NRA.

Seeing as a lot of folks are already talking about how the anti-gun groups are using this as a tool to garner support for more gun laws.

Do you think it would better benifit the NRA, and us, if they let this settle down before they discuss it?

That way they do not appear to be attempting to profit off of this tragedy. Which is what we see from the anti-gun groups.

If anything. I hope the NRA, and all other groups that support the 2nd rub the anti's nose it in and it sticks. Because this was truely horrific, and nobody should try to profit off of such an unthinkable loss to so many.

Including the fricken press, which is definatly not your friend. And right now is a BAD time to talk with them. They are very hungry to hang people. Remember the guy with the Mosin's. Geraldo like the typical moron he is went after him without enough evidence. In fact no evidence.

mikehaas
04-18-2007, 4:48 PM
Ok, you experts...

Within the last 24 hours, there have already been TWO representatives of smaller gun groups HERE IN CALIFORNIA (neither are media trained like NRA's PR folks) that foolishly tried to do interviews - both had their butts handed to them - it was very bad. They thought they could do it too and probably trying to fundraise at the same time. THEY DID NOT HELP OUR CAUSE.

One melted down when the HCI person asked "So you're advocating that the same students that go on spring break, go to class intoxicated and love to party also carry guns?" Now picture yourselves being asked that question ON CAMERA, LIVE, with possibly millions watching. (And remember, if you start stating facts and figures, you've already lost the interview - that's not what interviews are about.)

YOU HAVE GOT TO KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING - NOT WINGING IT. You must be trained BEFORE you get before that mic. I'm telling you folks that:

1. I have done media for NRA when asked (once on a national show) and I would NEVER do an interview about this shooting unless they asked me AND PREPARED ME.

2. I know from where I speak

I repeat again - none here are qualified, including me, to discuss this situation in the media. Media interviews are not an opportunity to show how smart you are. Leave NRA handle it - don't hurt the cause by finding out how wrong it can go when you have a hostile reporter's microphone in your face. BECAUSE IT'S TOO LATE THEN.

This is not an insult, just the truth. We are amatuers here and if you have not had specific media training, you don't have a clue about this. Media is not for amatuers.

This is not YOUR cause, it's OUR cause. Just as you may not, by law, lobby lawmakers in the capitol (only registered lobbyists may do that), you SHOULD NOT do media. I am speaking from experience, not opinion. This situation is not for amatuers.

Letters to the editor? Fine. But not microphones. Don't do it.

Mike

pewpewguns
04-18-2007, 4:56 PM
Ok, you experts...

1. I have done media for NRA when asked (once on a national show) and I would NEVER do an interview about this shooting unless they asked me AND PREPARED ME.

2. I know from where I speak


Mike

You'd think with all that experience you have you'd be able to communicate without coming across so arrogantly.

TenKen714
04-18-2007, 4:57 PM
One melted down when the HCI person asked "So you're advocating that the same students that go on spring break, go to class intoxicated and love to party also carry guns?"


I was just curious as to what would be the best answer to that?

pewpewguns
04-18-2007, 4:59 PM
I was just curious as to what would be the best answer to that?

Point out that training is required to receive a concealed carry permit, and it comes with a huge amount of responsibility?

grammaton76
04-18-2007, 5:05 PM
The simple answer to that would be, "The types of gun owners who apply for these permits are not the types who would bring their guns along when they plan to drink."

Anyway, what Mike's saying holds a lot of validity. When I used to work for MP3.com, during the copyright infringement cases vs the record labels, the media used to shark around in the parking lot looking for people dumb enough to interview. The company sent what seemed like weekly notices saying basically what Mike has said.

It should be simple enough for you guys to look at the interview a while back with the "idiot gun shop owner" who talked to a reporter, and you were all screaming about how he needed to shut up, he was hurting us more than anything else, etc. Now, do you think that what made it into the news was anything other than Michael Moore-ified sound bites and clips of the actual interview? I can practically guarantee you that, viewed in its full context, the guy was NOT representing us as poorly as it appeared.

Any time you see a news reporter, your mind should superimpose Michael Moore's overstuffed unshaven visage over his/her face. Because that's the kind of edit tactics that will be used on any gun related statements you make.

FreedomIsNotFree
04-18-2007, 5:09 PM
Originally Posted by mikehaas
One melted down when the HCI person asked "So you're advocating that the same students that go on spring break, go to class intoxicated and love to party also carry guns?"


I was just curious as to what would be the best answer to that?

VT has tens of thousands of students. The vast majority of students dont go to class intoxicated and "love to party". Many students are in the graduate program and their ages and experiences vary greatly. Some may even have been licensed to CCW, but were prevented, by campus rules, to carry concealed on campus. Once again, "Gun Free Zones" have proven to be "Free Fire Zones" where the law abiding public is unable to protect themselves from the deranged criminals that have no regard for gun laws.

I'd say something like that...

SemiAutoSam
04-18-2007, 5:09 PM
Absolutely correct they cut and paste things to make it sound like your saying something that your not.

The media people are really evil in that respect.

The simple answer to that would be, "The types of gun owners who apply for these permits are not the types who would bring their guns along when they plan to drink."

Anyway, what Mike's saying holds a lot of validity. When I used to work for MP3.com, during the copyright infringement cases vs the record labels, the media used to shark around in the parking lot looking for people dumb enough to interview. The company sent what seemed like weekly notices saying basically what Mike has said.

It should be simple enough for you guys to look at the interview a while back with the "idiot gun shop owner" who talked to a reporter, and you were all screaming about how he needed to shut up, he was hurting us more than anything else, etc. Now, do you think that what made it into the news was anything other than Michael Moore-ified sound bites and clips of the actual interview? I can practically guarantee you that, viewed in its full context, the guy was NOT representing us as poorly as it appeared.

Any time you see a news reporter, your mind should superimpose Michael Moore's overstuffed unshaven visage over his/her face. Because that's the kind of edit tactics that will be used on any gun related statements you make.

metalhead357
04-18-2007, 5:22 PM
IMO, you are way out of line here Mike. If you want to inform people that reporters are calling people and to be careful what you say, then that's fine. But I sure hope it wasn't the NRA who is telling all gun owners to refer all reporters calls to them. Their silence has been deafening the past two days.
Perhaps you can let us know what the NRA guy will say to the reporter if they are referred.

You can refer all the calls you want. If I get a call, I'll make my own decisions on who I will talk to or not.


Another +100000000000000000000
Though they/the NRA serve us well from time to time....they have failed us in the past too....from time to time. I can/will, and do speak for myself.

As for the training.... I've actually been on tv several times talking with reporters; used to be part of my job when our risk manager wasn't around....

So while I 'hear' what you're saying............ maybe the better call is to STOP AND THINK before ya' go getting in front of a camera and ask yourself the lame-duck questions all the anti's have been asking for 25 years; prepare for that and dont be afraid to do a 'smack down' on the tard if the reporter starts getting goofy on you.

I pay the NRA to represent me in goverenment.....NOT public relations.

damon1272
04-18-2007, 5:45 PM
In defense of Mike I would say that egaging the media on your own terms would be far better than what the GOA did yesterday on the Ed Shultz show on Air Amerika. The interview was poor at best. The audience and inter veiw was loaded and the answers were not that good. They also gave more time to the Brady Campaign to get their point across. If the rep from GOA had any brains he would of attacked the Brady Campaign on the grounds that they were moral scum for trying to advance an ajenda and trying to capitolize on these victims rather than caring for the victims like gunowners do. To have professionals engage these sharks and be able to go blow to blow with them in their own game is far better off than saying something stupid like Zumbo and then having used against gun owners.

xenophobe
04-18-2007, 5:53 PM
"So you're advocating that the same students that go on spring break, go to class intoxicated and love to party also carry guns?" Now picture yourselves being asked that question ON CAMERA, LIVE, with possibly millions watching.

"I advocate responsible students and teachers who have passed FBI criminal checks, performed mandatory training and being approved by law enforcement that they are capable and proficient to carry a firearm may do so."

Umm... I didn't even have to think about that response. Then again, I've been a vocal advocate of firearms rights since the 80's.

While I do see your point and agree to an extent, even the most trained media personnel can't stand up to a biased media without playing the right game, and we need respectable citizens to speak up, because the swing voters and moderates who won't listen to an NRA spokesman, will be more likely to see a common, intelligent citizen present their belief and will see and understand if they are bullied by a liberal reporting asking pointed questions...

383green
04-18-2007, 6:00 PM
I can understand why a few folks here have gotten bent out of shape by what Mike wrote and how he wrote it. In this case, though, I agree with him. And that's saying a lot considering how I have sometimes been one of the people here vocally bashing him and/or the NRA, and it's my nature to generally want to do the exact opposite of anything that somebody else tells me to do.

I do believe, based on what I see on the boob tube, that the media can and will take anything you say and turn it around to suit them. I also believe that they're very good at it, and that it's pretty hard to say anything that couldn't be turned around with skilled editing. I don't watch TV news too often, mainly because when I do I am disgusted by the content-free biased crap that I see.

I think that the advice to not talk to the media about this topic at this time is sound. Decide for yourself if you happen to get called by any media pukes, but please consider what Mike wrote here even if you don't like the messenger.

If I get contacted by any media folks (well, I think the chance of that is somewhere south of a fraction of a percent!), I'll decline to talk to them at the very least. Not out of any fear of speaking my mind, but out of the belief that the hot-headed things I say won't play well in polite society even before the evil media minions edit it around to say the exact opposite of what I meant. ;)

CALI-gula
04-18-2007, 6:35 PM
...I repeat again - none here are qualified, including me, to discuss this situation in the media. Media interviews are not an opportunity to show how smart you are. Leave NRA handle it - don't hurt the cause by finding out how wrong it can go when you have a hostile reporter's microphone in your face. BECAUSE IT'S TOO LATE THEN.

This is not an insult, just the truth. We are amatuers here and if you have not had specific media training, you don't have a clue about this. Media is not for amatuers....Letters to the editor? Fine. But not microphones. Don't do it.

Mike

However, I AM qualified to discuss the situation in the media, and I WILL not talk to them, I WILL stay silent, and WILL refer them to the NRA Public Affairs Office. I agree with Mike 100% .

Be smart; right now is NOT a time to speak using VT as a political utility, as can be seen by both ends of the upper echelon in politics, who are also avoiding the appearance of using VT as a platform. It's too insensitive.

Do yourself a favor - just steer them to the NRA - and you won't regret it later.

You need to be aware of the play-book of questions that are prepared in advance to lead you to an outcome fitting their tabloid advantage. AND they will often approach you that THEY are 2nd Amendment friendly (i.e. how Michael Moore tricked a lot of people into interviewing for Bowling for Columbine - he flat out told them he was doing a documentary supporting gun ownership, that culture was the problems not guns, that he was a fellow NRA Life member, won rifle matches as a kid, etc.).

Remember those "Choose your own destiny" type books as a kid? Where each chapter ended with a step that said "if you do this turn to page 54, if you decide that, turn to page 123"? This is how many of these interviews are written. If you answer one way, they literally have a flow-chart that then leads to the next question to entrap you, and you won't even see it coming. How you will respond is projected like a script by profiling answers of people for the 2nd Amendment - they already KNOW how you will answer, they just devise the possible variable ways you might answer for sensationalism.

You might even walk away from such an interview thinking you were clever and informing. And later, you'll be made to look like an idiot.

In the "film the subject/film the interviewee" instant video cutting style, you will often be asked questions with the camera on you the whole time, that illicit a mapped answer. Minutes later, by the magic of instant video, the questions are RE-done, filming the reporter slating to the camera and asking questions, often re-wording those questions asked of you to be more inflammatory.

Logical question A is asked (you are filmed answering to A). Later AFTER you leave the area, reporter is filmed to show him asking irrational Question B, which is a distortion of Question A (cut to you answering question A).

I have seen this done in person. The reporter literally was holding a cheat-sheet of a Question A/Question B outline.

People, Mike may just be aggressive with his insistence right now, or short-worded, because I am sure he is working double-time on the issue, fielding all kinds of inquiries and working on articles to address this situation, and then re-wording them over and over - this is a difficult time. However, he's very right.

Don't use this as if you lucked into your 15 minutes of fame, should you get stopped on the street, at the range, or get a call - let it go.


.

Bishop
04-18-2007, 6:45 PM
Thought this might be of interest to the discussion...

The following is from David Codrea's Blog. The specific link is here (http://waronguns.blogspot.com/2007/04/letter-worldnetdaily-didnt-wouldnt.html).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
A Letter WorldNetDaily Didn't (Wouldn't?) Print

In response to "How to Prevent Next Massacre":

Aside from the usual suspects, there’s one big impediment to allowing students and faculty to keep and bear arms on campus that will surprise most WND readers: The NRA.

“[W]e believe in absolutely gun-free, zero-tolerance, totally safe schools,” Association Executive Vice President and WND Books author (“Guns, Freedom and Terrorism”) Wayne LaPierre proclaimed in his address to members at the 1999 Annual Meeting. “That means no guns in America's schools, period ... with the rare exception of law enforcement officers or trained security personnel.”

But that was 8 years ago. Perhaps times have changed?

Current NRA president and new WND “On Target” columnist Sandy Froman suggested a possible shift shortly after the Minnesota school shootings in 2005, recommending “we need to look at all options.”

The following week, after a “clarification” to the press by LaPierre, Froman backed off, stating “The only people that ought to have firearms in the schools are law enforcement and trained security personnel.”

Will the massacre of the defenseless at Virginia Tech finally prompt LaPierre & Co. to admit that gun control laws don't work, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed anywhere? I don't know. Being a mere Life Member, they won't answer me. And while others in the gun rights community, from smaller groups to bloggers, are calling for the obvious, our cautious ostensible leaders "will not have further comment until all the facts are known."

Perhaps you, Mr. Farah, will have better luck eliciting an answer.

David Codrea

grammaton76
04-18-2007, 6:50 PM
Bear in mind that "The Schools" was a different area.

Wayne was referring to K-12.

VT was a college.

VT is not "the schools", it's "the college", and I'm pretty sure that had he been asked about a COLLEGE at the time, he'd have given a different answer.

Also, a teacher with a CCW is or should be considered, in my opinion, a trained security person.

M. Sage
04-18-2007, 7:05 PM
If the NRA remains silent, who will speak for common sense?

So we should ride the wave of sensationalism? Exploit the victims?

What makes us better than the antis if we do?

I don't intend that in an a-hole way... I honestly want to know.

grammaton76
04-18-2007, 7:09 PM
I believe Ted Nugent did a pretty good job on CNN last night, of pointing out that CCW's could have taken care of the issue.

See, he's a celebrity - unlike any of us mere mortals, he rates a live interview, where they can't sound-bite him.

The Brady Bunch turkey who came on after him was pretty much meat, particularly when the anchor dropped a couple of Ted's points on him.

M. Sage
04-18-2007, 7:11 PM
The Brady Bunch turkey who came on after him was pretty much meat, particularly when the anchor dropped a couple of Ted's points on him.

I wouldn't want to debate against Ted...

grammaton76
04-18-2007, 7:13 PM
I wouldn't want to debate against Ted...

A back and forth debate would have been interesting. But, this was a "you get 1 minute, he gets 1 minute, neither of you hears the other, anchor wraps up afterwards" thing.

fairfaxjim
04-18-2007, 7:19 PM
I am constantly amazed by what whores the TV camera makes of people. A microphone too, but to a lesser extent. I'm not talking about the gap toothed gene puddle losers that frequent shows like Jerry Springer, or the sob sisters that Dr. Phil parades around, but they are mezmorized by it too. I'm talking about seeminglly intelligent people who think for sure that they have something to say and leap at the opportunity to jump in front of that camera. It is amazing how goofy and bad they get made to look.
Let's face it, they aren't giving you thousands of $$ worth of nice fitting clothes, you look like like off the Walmart rack, no personal make up artist, no personal hair stylist, with last minute touch up, no years of training and experience, no copy writer, no editor (at least not on your side), no rehearsal, no teleprompter to feed you the copy you don't have anyway, and not a clue as to what the producer is really looking to put on the air.
If you manage to say something that gets aired at all, it will be hacked and cut to make THEIR POINT, if will be moved and twisted to suit THEIR STORY LINE, THEY will have all the opportunity to comment and set you up (both at the setup and the close out).
Realize that they don't just go out there to "see what the guy on the street thinks." They start with an agenda, and a whole team of professionals to get that result - period. When you jump in front of that camera, you are becoming their lacky, unpaid, in a game that you have no chance of being a player.
If you think you can be the poster spoksperson under those circumstances, I wish you well.

fairfaxjim
04-18-2007, 7:22 PM
I wouldn't want to debate against Ted...

I wouldn't want to try to do much of anything against Ted.

Kruzr
04-18-2007, 7:51 PM
Look, I'm not advocating that anybody should call Channel 7 and offer their two cents. Nor am I saying that if Geraldo stops you at Wal-mart while you are buying ammo, that you should talk to him. I would very strongly SUGGEST that you not talk to media.

But I've got a real problem with some person I don't know and who has never met me telling me DO NOT talk to someone. If they feel inadequate to hold a conversation with someone then they shouldn't. If I feel that way, I wouldn't. But, it's not only presumptuous but condescending and self-righteous to state it the way mike did.

The proper way was to say that if contacted, the NRA SUGGESTS you refer them. That way, it doesn't give the impression that the NRA considers it's members sheeple to follow their every desire.

I believe that we all should exercise our First Amendment rights as we see fit but we need to be aware there may be consequences. Don't be silent, just think before you talk.

KenpoProfessor
04-18-2007, 7:54 PM
Well, I can say Hemke sounded clueless today in his defense of the Brady Campaign. He actually made the comment that thousands of felons are getting CCW permits when in a debate today.

Have a great Kenpo day

Clyde

dwtt
04-18-2007, 8:41 PM
I agree with Mike 100%. Unless you are willing talk to the media about gun issues after a shooting, and later seeing your words edited out of context, and the reporter's loaded questions never shown on the news reports making your answers seem like spontaneous statements, then you wouldn't know how dangerous it is to talk to the press.
After the shooting at 101 California in San Francisco, the media went out of their way to do hit pieces on "assault weapons" and showed full auto M16 and Ingram Mac-10's. They interviewed a member's council representative and his comments never made it to the final story but the comments of regular gun owners did. The difference was that the regular Joe's comments were used to make all gun owners look like crazies with comments along the line of "out of my cold dead hands". The member's council rep didn't fall into the reporter's trap and didn't give the reporter what she wanted, which was to give gun owners and guns a bad rep.

damon1272
04-18-2007, 8:41 PM
Kruzr,
you have a point but mike has our intrest at heart in this issue so try not to bust his balls too hard as he has a valid point also.

sorensen440
04-18-2007, 9:43 PM
The media is not your friend.
If you talk to them there going to take things out of context guaranteed
If you feel the urge to speak keep it short and simple
something they wont be able to spin
And after you say it refer them to the NRA
The NRA is your Friend.

artherd
04-19-2007, 12:47 AM
One melted down when the HCI person asked "So you're advocating that the same students that go on spring break, go to class intoxicated and love to party also carry guns?"

I agree with mike in general, though his message here is delivered a bit hastily and ahem opressively.

I would respond to the above with: "I would expect from our adult constituients of an institute of higher learning that as adults they would leave the gun with their car keys during such diversions; although perhaps we should limit our community college kids to both go-karts and squirt guns."

But I'm at home, on my laptop, in my robe.

mikehaas
04-19-2007, 11:57 AM
Look guys & gals, I can't "oppress" anyone. I have no power over anyone. I can only communicate to you what I see while working with NRA. As an officer in the CA NRA Members' Councils, I agree to follow rules like this. But is a very important rule. If I have prevented one gun-owner from getting in front of a microphone, this has been worth it.

Grassroots guys like us feel a strong need to get things done, but we often take too much on ourselves and sometimes cause real problems when we do that. Whan that mixes with media, it's a potential disaster. it's an industry that much of is poised to destroy us whenever possible.

Take Prop H in San Francisco. Some here may not know that NRA, behind the scenes, had successfully prevented it from even appearing on the ballot. They had convinced just enough SF Supes to prevent it from qualifying for the ballot. "So why did it appear and win?" some ask? Because two (count them - 2!) disgruntled activists decided to break from NRA and go to the media. They didn't agree with keeping a low profile on the issue and opened their mouths wide and loud for every microphone they could find. And the media were eager to use them as tools - they published their challenges to the SF supes to "dare to support Prop H" and other such nonsense. The rest is history. Having been pitted againt the "gun lobby" by the SF media, the supes HAD TO vote to put Prop H on the ballot (otherwise, they would be seen as "caving" to the gun lobby.) The result? 1) We suffered a public defeat when prop H passed. 2) Over $500,000 of NRA money was spent to win the court case. 3) The "victory" is now under appeal and will continue to draw important RKBA dollars that could be used elsewhere. 4). We could lose the apepal. 5). etc etc etc

All because the media was given a PERFECT opoortunity. Don't be their next opportunity, you won't like it.

Those activists were eloquent too. They could string 2 sentences together and probably more. But they have damaged the fight in California to an immeasurable degree and the issue isn't over yet.

You have had media-trained calgunners here support me in conveying why you, as a well-intentioned gun-owner, should not speak into a microphone. Our enemies are experts at taking people like us and using us to their advantage.

Remember - THEY walk away with the video/audio tape. THEY go to their editing room. THEY have control. And THEY can distribute the tape far and wide (especially if you give them a great gift!) And if you DO manage to foil them and give a solid RKBA performance, they have no obligation to broadcast it. They can just go on to another gun-owner that thinks he's good enough to speak into a microphone. Someone wearing camo. (It's not as easy to ignore an interview with an official NRA spokesperson.)

YOU? YOU have no control. YOU have no recourse. YOU will not even have a chance to even respond in the game. IT'S NOT ABOUT A FAIR EXCHANGE OF IDEAS. IT'S NOT ABOUT GIVING GUN-OWNERS EQUAL TIME. You cannot swim in their pool and win.

And just think if you DO flub it! What if you're NOT able to come up with 5 good immediate sound-bite-type answers (the ones proposed here to the earlier example are too detailed and long) to questions designed to trap you? Believe me, walking away from an interview you think you've blown is NOT a good feeling.

My advice here serves NRA, the Second Amendment and each of us here. DOn't mess with media. Let *OUR* professionals do it.

Now, if anyone feels beaten up or oppressed, I apologize. As always, I'm simply trying to open up eyes to what I see as NRA's way of doing things.

If you disagree and decide to do media, please do not mention NRA.

Mike

Kruzr
04-19-2007, 12:15 PM
mike, you still don't get it.

Let's just let it go.

mikehaas
04-19-2007, 12:19 PM
I've been quacking about what I believe are NRA's policies. Allow me a moment for my personal feelings on the matter.

I have heard that, within an hour of the tragedy, the anti-gunners were using the media to try to build support for more gun control. That's sickening. I believe that the American people would have reacted accordingly too. I heard MANY comments against those who were quick to jump on this tragedy for political gains.

But was "our side" any more sensitive to the national tragedy that had just occurred? Was "our side" even willing to allow the negative image the anti's had created for themselves to sink in? NO. "Our side" jumped right in. Once again, it was dangerous to be between a microphone and Larry Pratt of GOA and other "pro-gun" mouths. And that was EQUALLY as disgusting!

NRA issued only a brief statement expressing sorrow for those concerned and that there would be no further comment until all facts were known. DO you see the difference I am highlighting here?

Now, whenever the media discusses how both sides were willing to jump on ther tragedy for political gain - THEY DO NOT DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN NRA AND THE LOUDMOUTHS. No, the "pro-gun" side was just as disgusting, and of course, they don't think "GOA", they now feel disgust toward "NRA". because no one even knows who "GOA" is. And those that do, don't care.

Sometimes, the best thing one can do is shut up. But that takes self-control, a commodity that is in short supply in today's media-driven frenzied world. The first 48 hours of coverage, be it from news organizations or talk show hosts (and yes, conservative talk show hosts too), was not designed for sensitivity or to inform, it was to INCREASE RATINGS. Your average news broadcast has little news in it, it's mosty agenda oriented and probably must share some responsibility for the craziness that exists in the country.

If nothing else, I hope this explains why when things like thiis happens, I naturally turn toward NRA to provide leadership. There's no one else to be trusted. And if they say the best thing we can do at this time is to shut up, I shut up and try to get other gun-owners to agree.

And that's nothing I will EVER apologize for.

Mike

FreedomIsNotFree
04-19-2007, 12:49 PM
Last night, on CNN, there was an exchange between a GOA member and the head of the Brady campaign. I thought the GOA rep did well.

This is not to say its always the case...but I would bet the NRA makes mistakes from time to time as well.

6172crew
04-19-2007, 12:53 PM
And that is exactly what the NRA should do but Mike's choice of words didn't convey that. I apologize to Mike if he got a little carried away in his zeal and it caused me to misconstrue it as an intent to censor others.

Back when we got rid of Gray Davis I was called by a SF newspaper, they didnt quote me correctly and even said I had a unregistered AW.:eek:

I think Mike has a good point, even if you think you did a good job onthe phone Im willing to bet it wont look like that in the end. Who here heard mailman get on the radio w/ the AG? They cut him off and gave the mic back to lightbeer who lied about OLLs.

I think what Mike is saying is you dont want to turn out to be the Blue Falcon even when you didnt try, if they want to talk with a NRA member why not let them talk with a pro who gets paid to talk for all of us.

mikehaas
04-19-2007, 2:04 PM
One day years ago, I was sitting at home minding my own business (for once :-) Some significant CA gun control bill had JUST been passed, don't remember which one exactly, this was quite awhile ago. The mind wants to say SB23.

My phone rings, it's our NRA state lobbyist. Now, I work with Ed often on Members' Councils and state website issues, so this was not that strange. What was strange was his request, to be on local TV in his place. Gulp.

Ed had a bit of an emergency. He had just aquired a document that PROVED the law would not do what everyone thought it would do due to a specific technical flaw. Again, I can't remember the specifics, lost in the hundreds of bills and thousands of issues over the years, but it was important to NRA that media see this info - a "newsflash" as it were. Unfortunately, Ed was at an event somewhere and could not do this himself. No staff could get to the news crew in time for their deadline. He called me because the news crew was, at that very moment, headed toward SF and about 30 minutes from passing my house. He could have it faxed to me and I could give the media an interview, presenting the document. I finished gulping and said "OK", then spent the next 20 mintes getting background from Ed and 10 cleaning up.

By the time they arrived I was prepared and looking pretty good (IMO, anyway :-). As their camera was setting up, I showed the document to the interviewer, explaining it's importance - a real "scoop"! "New Gun Control Law Flawed!" She nodded. Action. She started by asking a couple very general questions about gun control. I soon realized they weren't addressing the law in question at all. So I made a point in one answer to address the issue and as susccinctly as I could, address the document and how the law just passed had this major problem. I made sure to provide a good copy to the reporter when she left. She understood the issue and I said goodbye thinking "Job well done" and anticipated the evening news.

The result? They STILL called me an "NRA officer" even though I stressed I was a volunteer. The used only PARTS of my answers to the GENERAL questions to counter similar GENERAL statements by a gun control advocate. (Preserving the "Us vs. Them" image.) No mention of the important news NRA wanted to get out. No specifics about the law in question. Everything I had explained to the "news babe" had been ignored, the answer with the important info edited out.

Those who watched that broadcast hoping to be informed about the issue would have heard that CA had passed so-and-so law and watched me and a gun control advocate pontificate about why gun control, in general, is bad and good, respectively.

When they put the microphone in your face, they are looking for a certain end product. They will do what they need to do get that end product. It's their business. And IMO, local media here in the Bay Area is the worst.

Mike

dwtt
04-19-2007, 8:21 PM
Take Prop H in San Francisco. Some here may not know that NRA, behind the scenes, had successfully prevented it from even appearing on the ballot. They had convinced just enough SF Supes to prevent it from qualifying for the ballot. "So why did it appear and win?" some ask? Because two (count them - 2!) disgruntled activists decided to break from NRA and go to the media. They didn't agree with keeping a low profile on the issue and opened their mouths wide and loud for every microphone they could find. And the media were eager to use them as tools - they published their challenges to the SF supes to "dare to support Prop H" and other such nonsense. The rest is history. Having been pitted againt the "gun lobby" by the SF media, the supes HAD TO vote to put Prop H on the ballot (otherwise, they would be seen as "caving" to the gun lobby.) The result? 1) We suffered a public defeat when prop H passed. 2) Over $500,000 of NRA money was spent to win the court case. 3) The "victory" is now under appeal and will continue to draw important RKBA dollars that could be used elsewhere. 4). We could lose the apepal. 5). etc etc etc

All because the media was given a PERFECT opoortunity. Don't be their next opportunity, you won't like it.
Mike is right here. I helped trying to stop Prop H and he has the facts right. Some of you might have came by my table at the Cow Palace gun show with the No on H sign and saw myself or other volunteers there. We were all there because of others who didn't want to work with the NRA. I hope everyone would take a look at the big picture and think about what can happen if you do talk to the media as a gun owner.

biff
04-19-2007, 8:33 PM
Wow!

I don't mean to but in but I'm not sure what the big deal here is? I didn't see anything wrong with what Mike said. Maybe I'm a bit on the easygoing side or have thicker skin or maybe I'm not as bright as others here but I didn't think it was arrogant at all or pushy or anything else.

If for some weird reason someone from the press wanted to interview me about guns or anything related to 2A I think I'd rather have them talk to someone who may be a little better qualified than me to talk.

I think we all need to let it go.

Sorry, just my two cents.

hoffmang
04-19-2007, 8:41 PM
Gents,

I want to echo Mike's comments from personal experience.

For those of you who know my background, I have done the CNN/MSNBC/CNBC/CSPAN/WSJ/Wired/CNet circuit on the topic of mp3s. I had some power to keep form being quoted out of context because any reporter who decided to play fast and loose with my position wouldn't get interviews in the future.

Very few of we gun owners are in enough demand to be able to keep that quid pro quo up with the media.

Steer clear.

-Gene

cartman
04-19-2007, 8:59 PM
What was prop H? I think I might have not lived here then.

hoffmang
04-19-2007, 9:53 PM
Prop H was the San Francisco Handgun Ban that was defeated in June of 2006.

-Gene

aklon
04-19-2007, 10:11 PM
This thread started out with people wondering why the NRA was saying nothing in the current situation. NRA has issued the following statement:

- - - - -

NRA JOINS IN DAY OF MOURNING

The National Rifle Association joins the entire country in expressing
our deepest condolences to the families of Virginia Tech, and to all
who have been affected by this horrible tragedy. Our thoughts and
prayers go out to the families and friends who lost loved ones to this
senseless act.

This is a time for people to grieve, to mourn, and to heal. This is
not a time for political discussions or public policy debates.

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine has declared today a day of mourning; as a
Virginia based organization, we respect and abide by this declaration.

We will participate in this discussion at an appropriate time. In the
interim, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims,
their families, and the entire Virginia Tech community.

- - - - -

I think this is outstanding. "We will participate in this discussion at an appropriate time" is the absolute best thing NRA could say right now. It is restrained, and it comes phrased in a way that implies an acknowledged power.

And look what's already happened: gun control is "off the table" and the focus is on why no one reported this in such a way that Cho would not have been approved for a firearms purchase. If NRA had said anything the day it happened, you can bet that an army of fleas would be attacking even now.

Instead, we see "We will participate in this discussion at an appropriate time." The "debate" is centered elsewhere than on guns and NRA knows it, so why say anything? I sense an opportunity here for NRA to pick up some positive brownie points somewhere down the line and this is an excellent start to the enterprise.

I for one will always refer an inquisitive press to (703) 267-3820.

Sgt Raven
04-19-2007, 10:21 PM
I remember a case where 60 Minutes was interviewing someone years ago and edited the tape they played on TV so everything was out of context. The one thing that saved that person was he had used a camcorder and had the whole thing on tape. He released his tape and other news groups ate it up taking Mike Wallace down a notch or two. :rolleyes:

grammaton76
04-20-2007, 11:58 AM
Eh, for an example of editting and distortion, just check out the numerous websites that do cut-by-cut analysis of Bowling for Columbine.

Do you think you guys can out-talk Charlton Heston? I didn't think so. :)

leelaw
04-20-2007, 12:36 PM
I wouldn't want to debate against Ted...

Yeah, he might flip me the bird and call me a retard or something.. ;)

metalhead357
04-23-2007, 7:57 PM
Yeah, he might flip me the bird and call me a retard or something.. ;)


LOL!!!!!!!! Now THAT would be funny if he did that to me............. I'm a confirmed Nugent Bloodbrother!!!!!!!!!! Wonder what he'd say if only found that out AFTER LOL!!!!!

calAWBsux
04-23-2007, 11:42 PM
I totally agree with what Mike is advocating. I've seen too many "gun people" being interviewed on live teevee that get totally disarmed with crazy, off-the-wall questions or comments. Pressure is a hell of thing, plus getting nailed by a gun-hating journalist doesn't help one keep their composure, either. Hell, I consider myself to be above average when it comes to advocating our position, but even I get stumped from time to time when I get asked some crazy a** questions from my gun-hating colleagues at work.

Besides, Mike cant MAKE you not talk to anyone, so why are some of you guys crying? Geez. He's only voicing his concern about how someone volunteering to do an interview can totally get picked apart by a more experienced teevee personality who do this for a living. What's wrong with that?

We're all on the same team, damnit! Start acting accordingly. It's not like Mike is advocating that we do something that is detrimental to our cause. He's just stating the obvious.