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May 14, 2014

Bob Owens: An Open Letter To A Hack Journalist

As we related on the NRA Annual Meeting podcast episode, Bob Owens, John E. and I had a discussion there with a tech journalist who was working on a piece about "smart guns".

Based on the journalist's (using that term loosely) tweets before the meeting ...

... I guess I'm not really surprised at the final product he turned in. Despite John and me both witnessing exactly what Owens describes in his post, it seems that Levine just couldn't find anyone who didn't go for his jugular at the mere mention of the term "smart gun".

A very interesting article, Yasha… and a very interesting bit of selective memory.

As I recall, I spoke to you for 30 minutes in the press room about “smart guns,” along with Andy and John from Ace of Spades.

That conversation even made it into a mention of their podcast.

You wanted to talk about “smart guns,” and how in your view, the industry and the NRA are against them.

I explained that very few of people who I know in the industry (and being the editor of an industry news site, I know a few) are against the concept of so-called “smart guns.” What we are against is the mandating of the technology, especially when it is still incredibly new and dangerously unreliable.


Read the whole thing and then, knowing what really happened, follow Owens' link to the piece-of-shit article Levine turned in.

He got the story he set out to get, truth and facts be damned. His publication's readers now have their stereotypes reinforced thanks to this bit of dishonesty, and one of the publication's investors now has a ready-made excuse for why he can't find his "Zuckerberg of guns".

[Update JohnE.]: I just have to quote this amazing paragraph from his article:

He thought the NRA was a harmless gun trade/lobby outfit, and didn’t seem to realize that it was much more than that: a cultural nexus for some of the most toxic politics in America: rabid xenophobia, racism, longing for a purer past, the glorification of extrajudicial justice against a creeping threat from within… tendencies that are not all that different than the bile that brought Hitler to power, I might have pointed out.

[Update2 JohnE.]: Just in case you weren't convinced this guy was a dim-witted hack yet, from his original article:

A free market investment into a tech that will be required by law by the government. Brilliant. You can’t think of a better business climate.

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posted by Andy at 10:43 AM

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