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The mainstream media is not your friend

August 10, 2012

President’s Report
May 2012
by John Boch

Firearm instructors often emphasize to their students that investigating police officers are not their friends when it comes to exercising gun ownership rights or in the aftermath of a self-defense incident.

Perhaps we should spend more time teaching our students that mainstream media is also not their friend after a critical incident, given how the old-school media has treated the George Zimmerman / Trayvon Martin case.

It would seem from witnesses and evidence that Mr. Zimmerman found himself on his back, getting his head bashed against a sidewalk when he drew his Kel-Tec PM9 pistol and fired a single round into his attacker, Mr. Trayvon Martin, ending the attack.

This case seems to be a textbook “back to the wall” self-defense case.

A couple of weeks after the incident, the media helped create a sensationalized tale.    Race-baiting hustlers and publicity hounds flocked to this town nobody’s heard of offering inflammatory rhetoric and urging mob rule.

Only after additional facts did media find their marginal credibility further in tatters as they were caught manufacturing evidence to help with their ratings and advertising revenue.

Remember, the media likes drama and often sensationalizes reporting to sell newspapers or garner viewers.  The greater their audience, the more they can charge for advertising and the more income dollars they earn.

The old expression, “if it bleeds, it leads,” is as true today as it was forty years ago.

If you should ever find yourself at the center of media attention, keep in mind their reporting will fit their template, not yours.

If you don’t have the ability to remain silent to the media then make sure your attorney approves of any comments you may wish to make.

Appear well-groomed and well-dressed in at least business casual.  If your Sunday-best includes camo, wear something nicer.  Leave your ball cap in the closet.

Consider standing in front of an American flag properly displayed for any interviews.  Leave your guns put away, period.

Remember, anything you say to the media may be used against you in court – or in the court of public opinion on TV and newspapers.

You have the right to remain silent with the media.

Be smart.  Use it.