Category Archives: Media vs. Military

Dunning-Kruger Media Effect, and “RIP Ammo” hype

OK, there are rounds that can produce guaranteed death. They just don't fit in pistols.

OK, there are rounds that can produce guaranteed death. They just don’t fit in pistols.

Blue Nation Review is a newish website, dedicated to the proposition that the liberal message (including enthusiasm for gun bans, a frequent theme) has no way of reaching a misinformed public. And apart from ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, the Times, the Post, and all the journalistic farm teams populated by eager and callow youths aspiring to those major leagues, they have a point. It came to our attention because they’re spending enormously on ads with Taboola, and the ads kept appearing on major media websites.

But the essence of Dunning-Kruger, as stated in the brilliant paper “Unskilled and Unaware of It,” is a near-Rumsfeldian tautology: “You don’t know what you don’t know.” In the case of BNR, they don’t know a damned thing about firearms or ammunition. So, after listing a bunch of nonfatal accidents from the twitter feed of gun-ban activist David Waldman, and seeing some assclown’s promo video, they be terrorized (warning, site’s privacy-invasive wrt your location):

But if one Georgia company is successful, accidental shootings that injure people may become a thing of the past. That’s because if people start using their bullets, pretty much every person who gets shot will die.

G2 Research’s “Radically Invasive Projectile” (RIP, get it? — because shooting people to death is hilarious) is a copper bullet that explodes when it hits a target (i.e., a human being) sending pieces screaming through vital organs and clearing a path for the bullet’s core to travel deeper through a person.

via New Bullets Mean Certain Death – Blue Nation Review Blue Nation Review.

Except, they’re hyperventilating over hype. As we wrote six months ago, “The claims were so over-the-top, we dismissed the round as snake oil.  But we weren’t going to debunk the claims. Fortunately, someone else did.”

Our conclusions then bear repeating:

Look, there’s no magic ammunition: nothing you can chamber in a barrel is going to do to a bad guy what you’d like to do to him (unless your barrel is 155mm and tows behind an LMTV, which limits your concealment options). Ammo vendors have been making big claims about ammo forever, and in all that time, guys (good and bad) have been surviving hits of “killer” ammo — we personally met two guys who took 12.7 x 108mm rounds and survived, and a friend took a 5.56 point blank through his brain housing group, and he’s still with us. And in all that time, guys (good and bad) have been taking the “golden BB” from a .22 LR or an even-more-anemic .25ACP and they’re now singing in the Choir Invisible.

It was probably predictable that the marketing hot air generated by the RIP ammunition would wind up being used by those who would leave us, disarmed, at the mercy of their fellow liberals, the violent criminals. (We’re not saying the authors of BNR are criminals, we’re saying that they and the criminals share a position that’s soft on crime and hard on self-defense, and we give them the benefit of belief that their motivations and the criminals’ for arriving at the same position are different).

In all of the nonfatal cases the editors of BNR reference, we can assure them that RIP ammo would not be significantly more damaging than common self-defense JHP ammo or even the 19th-Century ball ammo required by military conventions. Indeed, the lower penetration of the RIP fragments and reduced mass (and therefore penetration) of the central penetrator make things easier on the ER docs and surgeons, although it will doubtless be a hassle chasing down all the little copper fragments.

More of our February wisdom:

You can only be sure a threat is negated if the guy is killed, in our opinion. (You can be pretty sure if his condition is, “not dead… yet.” And the only way to put the guy in that state for sure is with hits in the human’s X-ring, the central nervous system. You do your part, and even FMJ will punch the guy’s ticket for him.

And, while we may not agree with the authors of BNR or with the extreme Waldman on much of  anything else, we can find common ground in contempt for most of the people having negligent discharges. Honestly, folks, tighten up your shot group in that area, because you’re giving way too much glee to people who do not have your best interests in mind.

But then, we don’t think there’s a big intersection between the set of readers of this blog, and people committing some of those egregious ND’s. How do you reach people who already know it all? Because those are the guys having the accidents.

In the meantime, most of what the general media, old and new, writes about firearms and ammunition is purest tosh. Case in point.

Why Johnny Can’t Journalize

displomaMost journalists are no-good bums, so it’s hard to suppress one’s rejoicing at any misfortune that befalls them. They’re activists with bylines, with a narrow set of life experiences and a blinkered worldview that makes their ever-front-and-center opinions especially worthless. Unaware of that, in a textbook case of Dunning-Kruger Effect gone high-order, they are confident in their knowledge, expertise, and general superiority.

Thus our delight in their discomfiture. Pure Schadenfreude. 

One fundamental problem is that they go to journalism schools to “change the world,” and the J-schools teach them storytelling, not reporting. So the narrative is always primary with them, driving factual considerations to the 18th graf of the story, if not clean off the page.

Increasingly, though, they stink at the storytelling too, and newspapers that once prided themselves on observing the fundamental mechanics of good, clear, readable English are swollen with errors, typos, syntactic crimes and misdemeanors, and other trespasses. Everywhere are signs that the spellcheck crutch has replaced the ability to write among the hothouse flowers transplanted from the J-school nursery.

This diploma may illustrate why: it says it was conveyed by Northwestern U to a graduate of the “Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Itegrated Marketing Communications.” The Romenesko Report, a trade publication for the members of the state-controlled media in the USA, notes that the regular diplomas had the name right: only the honors grads got “Itegrated.”

Hell of a way to start your career as a barista, kid.

When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guy wires

Amanda Ezra selfie, while she still had a head. Dead of easy access to handguns and drunk driving, but mostly drunk driving.

Amanda Ezra selfie, while she still had a head. Dead of easy access to handguns and drunk driving, but mostly drunk driving.

For all the sturm und drang over the hazards of having a gun around your family, the evidence of daily life never ceases to prove the real hazard is having drunk, stupid, or reckless people around your family. And in this case Amanda Ezra lost her head (literally) to a guy wire, because Kyle Papa was drunk, stupid and reckless.

Investigators soon learned that Ezra, Early, Niles, Bowers and Papa had been at a party when they left in the minivan owned by Ezra.

Niles was in the front passenger seat with Ezra on his lap, while Papa was driving.

Police say the five left the party and headed down Chestnut when Papa realized he had turned the wrong way when he reached the cul-de-sac.

Papa drove quickly around the cul-de-sac, according to court documents, and over shot the curve, driving into the grass.

At the time, Ezra was leaning her head out the window to vomit, according to investigators. When Papa drove the vehicle in the grass, he drove between a utility pole and guide wire.

Ezra struck the guide wire, which caused her head to jerk back and also strike the side of the van.

via Man charged in death of Mishawaka woman after freak accident in Osceola | Local – Home.

Kyle T. Papa mugshot. Stupid is as Kyle does, apparently.

Kyle T. Papa mugshot. Stupid is as Kyle does, apparently.

“Stupid is as stupid does.” Nothing you can fix with legislation, however well-crafted or positively intended.

Of course, the ol’ Judgment Juice™ was a contributing factor in Kyle Papa’s decision to drive like a bozo, and Amanda Ezra’s decision to puke out a window, to the permanent detriment of her head-neck interface.

Giving another drunk the keys to your car is not “defensive driving.” It’s more like begging for doom. Stupid is… the thing that inevitably lights the fuze of its own undoing.

A political poll of Afghan and Iraq vets

Has some surprising results, which we’ll try to explain.

Just 32 percent of military veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as president, according to a new poll from the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation. In a related question, only 42 percent of those surveyed said they believe Obama is a “good commander-in-chief of the military.” Forty eight percent said he is not.

Wait, 32 percent think he’s doing a good job? We wonder how they checked to see that their respondents were actual vets and not homeless guys raving about Agent Orange. Because, really, where did they find these folks? Our guess is deep in the rear echelons of service support. There are so few Obama supporters in SF (active or retired) that everbody in the community knows their names. (Nobody in SF has any problem taking an unpopular or contrarian position, and nobody has a problem with a teammate taking such a position. The handful of liberals we served with were always willing to argue their side and defend its positions in a principled manner — probably why none of them wound up in the media industry). In our experience, the combat arms tend to be more conservative (on national power and military subjects) than the military as a whole. Service support arms are more reflective of national demographics.

Veterans were asked a similar question about former President George W. Bush. Sixty-five percent said they felt he was a good commander-in-chief, while 28 percent responded he was not.

Hah. He had his pros and cons like any other politician, but his dedication to “his” wounded Americans since his retirement has been a hell of a thing to see. Of course, if you don’t hang out where vets hang out, you don’t see it, because it’s not a media stunt thing.

The expansive collection of post-war polling asked current and former service members for their opinions on a series of political issues, as well as personal and cultural ones. Forty-seven percent consider themselves independents; 27 percent identified as Republicans, and just 17 percent said they were Democrats.

That sounds about right. Most vets I know are irritated with both parties’ Beltway potentates right now.

Only 44 percent of veterans believe that the war in Iraq “was worth fighting,” while 50 percent believe the opposite. Afghanistan, however, is still considered a more popular war: 53 percent believe it has been worth fighting and 41 percent think otherwise.

Those are not real popular wars. I think Vietnam polls better among its vets. Afghanistan and Iraq have both lost a lot of popularity because of perceived corruption and ingratitude by their national leaders. And unlike the rest of America, every vet can put a name and a face to the idea of “casualty,” which adds a whole other dimension to the question, “Was it worth it?” Was the war in Afghanistan worth a year out of the USA, having a business fail for lack of the deployed boss’s personal attention, the various hardships and hassles, getting shot at? Hell, against that there’s the old guy who came up and thanked us for liberating his valley from the Taliban mullah who’d stolen his farmland, the hostage we plucked out of a hole in the floor of a warlord’s outbuilding, the 300 people who swore out statements against the local mullah’s militia commander, who later (from Gitmo) confessed to over 100 murders — murders he did, mostly, so he could steal people’s property. So, when that’s the equation, the answer is, “Hell, yes.”

But then there’s the faces and the names. The friends who are like an Irish family’s out-of-town cousins — you only see ‘em at funerals. The frantic flight, launching into the gloaming on a three hour slog through complex airspace to get to a funeral home with new award ribbons so a friend can wear them on his last trip. The fiancee who couldn’t be talked out of opening a casket even when we’d checked and swore (1) it was her guy, our friend and (2) she really, really didn’t want this to be the way she remembered him. The guys who didn’t get the commands because they were dead, and the guys who did that always will be unfairly compared to their dead competition. Is it worth it, knowing all that, putting all that in the balance? And where do you put it, how much weight to give to each memory?

We don’t know. We’ll never know. We can’t go back and change or fix it anyway.

While 89 percent of veterans said they would join the military again, only 41 percent believed that the government is doing a good or excellent job “meeting the needs of the current generation of veterans.” (However, 59 percent felt that their personal needs had been met.) Unsurprisingly, 83 percent of veterans oppose reductions in benefits for servicemen and -women — even if not making the cuts leads to budget deficits.

We’d like to see benefits more narrowly targeted to those who need them as a direct consequence of combat or service. But the fact is, there will always be a percentage of people who work the system. If you make it easy for them, and eliminate the consequences of fraud (as the courts, which make their contempt for military service patent, have done), then you’ll get more fraud.

A majority of service members, 58 percent, support women serving in combat roles, and half believe it won’t make “much difference” in military effectiveness. Fifty-four percent of those polled believe that the military is doing enough to prevent sexual assaults among their ranks.

via Iraq-Afghanistan Veterans Give Obama Poor Grades | RealClearPolitics.

The Washington Post has the poll questions, but very little about the methodology, and a condescending article by Rajiv Chandrasekaran that dwells on the standard media narrative of dysfunctional, emotionally-crippled vets: vets as needy social-services consumers. He does note one interesting finding, amid all the hand-wringing:

The vets hail from families where service in the military is tradition: More than four in 10 have fathers who were in the military, and half have at least one grandparent who was. Almost 40 percent say all or most of their friends have served in the military. By contrast, a national Kaiser Family Foundation poll conducted in December found that 32 percent of U.S. adults had “hardly any” or no friends who have been in the military.

You have to wonder what percentage of media drones would have “hardly any” or no friends who had been in the military. 95%? 99%? At the Post, 100%?

Chandrasekaran is the master of wringing pitiability out of places it really isn’t:

Despite their overwhelming pride and negligible regret, the veterans look back on the necessity of the conflicts with decidedly mixed feelings.

And he buries deep in the story both the bit about vets preferring Bush to Obama, and the even more interesting poll result: vets are less likely than the general population (67% to 80%) to support veterans’ preferences in jobs. (Our position: if an employer wants to offer that, more power to him. If not, no sweat. We personally believe vets make better employees, but it’s a free country, much to the dismay of Rajiv Chandrasekaran and the Washington Post).

America-hating Piers Morgan signs off with gun-control screed

History repeats.

History repeats.

Supercilious Brit Piers Morgan, who escaped from England with the hounds of Scotland Yard on his heels for his participation in the wiretapping culture of England’s crude lower-class tabloid press, finally came to the point of his last show.

Far from regretting his show’s cancellation, due to abysmally low ratings driven in some part by his doomed anti-gun crusade, Morgan doubled down on loathing for America and its gun culture during his last report.

[T]hat’s where I think guns belong – on a military battlefield, in the hands of highly trained men and women fighting for democracy and freedom. Not in the hands of civilians. The scourge of gun violence is a disease that now infects every aspect of American life.  Each day, on average, 35 people in this country are murdered with guns, another 50 kill themselves with guns, and 200 more are shot but survive. That’s 100,000 people a year hit by gunfire in America.

Now, I assumed that after 70 people were shot in a movie theater, and then, just a few months later, 20 first-graders were murdered with an assault rifle in an elementary school, that the absurd gun laws in this country would change. But nothing has happened. The gun lobby in America, led by the NRA, has bullied this nation’s politicians into cowardly, supine silence. Even when 20 young children are blown away in their classrooms.

This is a shameful situation that frankly has made me very angry. So angry, in fact, that some people have criticized me for being too loud, opinionated, even rude when I have debated the issue of guns. But I make no apologies for that.

via Piers Morgan | final show | gun control | NRA.

This is the third sacking for Morgan, if we’re counting correctly. Once for running a hoax impugning the British Army, once for the wiretapping scandal (the paper he helmed actually went out of business), and third time, at CNN, may be for keeps.

During his swan song, Morgan whined that he really would love America, if it would just be more like Britain on the gun issue. Well, we’d love you too, if you’d be more like Marcel Marceau and shut your pie hole.

Meanwhile, why not go back to Britain and face the music for your tabloid career of bugging celebrities’ phones? (In our country that’s a felony, unless — unfortunately — it’s the NSA doing it. We’re guessing that tapping Paul McCartney’s ex’s phone, as Morgan admitted doing, was a felony over there, too. Reporters working for him also bugged the Royal Family). So head on back to Britain, Piers. We’re sure they have a cozy new situation for you. Maybe we’ll come see you at the appropriate time.

CNN’s replacement for Morgan will have higher ratings, even if it’s this:

CNN Soviet Test Pattern(Soviet “Tablitsa 249″ test pattern, circa 1970, a knock-off of a 1950s Telefunken test pattern).

Update: TV personality Dana Loesch called for a Piers Morgan Range Day today. Many tweeted their own participation. Heh.

Guns sway New York Times coverage of Ukrainian Civil War

A sharp and bloody civil war is raging in Ukraine, a war with ethnic, linguistic, political, and other roots in a deeply divided society. But you know why the civil war is bad? If you read the American press, it’s because of the guns. Gee, why didn’t we think of that!

Maidan before and after

The press is true to its antigun ethos, with one reporter arguing in a tweet that “protesters using firearms in Kiev” were “Horrible tactics – practically begging for a military crackdown.” Max Fisher’s “bitch had it coming” analysis of the protests tweet linked to this New York Times story, which also blames the protesters, not the police that are gunning them down:

“There will be many dead today,” Anatoly Volk, 38, one of the demonstrators, said. He was watching stretchers carry dead and wounded men down a stairway slick with mud near the Hotel Ukraina.

Mr. Volk said the protesters had decided to try to retake the square because they believed the truce announced around midnight was a ruse. The young men in ski masks who led the push, he said, believed it was a stalling maneuver by President Yanukovych to buy time to deploy troops in the capital after the authorities decided the civilian police had insufficient forces to clear the square.

“A truce means real negotiations,” Mr. Volk said. “They are just delaying to make time to bring in more troops. They didn’t have the forces to storm us last night. So we are expanding our barricades to where they were before. We are restoring what we had.”

Gunfire crackled around the Hotel Ukraina and protesters were hit in front of the Globus shopping mall. One protester walked near the fighting with a double-barreled shotgun slung over a shoulder.

“If our guys are dying, excuse me, what can I say,” said the man, who offered only his first name, Oleg. “If they didn’t use guns, the idea never would have come to us.”

The wide use of firearms in the center of the city was a new and ominous phase for the protest movement.

via As Kiev Truce Shatters, Rumors Grow That President Will Declare State of Emergency –

The essential divide in Ukraine is an ethnic one. Yanukovych and his party, fundamentally a neo-Soviet party, led by ethnic Russians and comfortable with subservience to Moscow. (Indeed, at every step in the instant crisis Yanukovich has sought and received instructions from his lord and master, Tsar Vladimir). They consider Ukrainians second-class citizens at best. The protesters are predominantly ethnic Ukrainians, who see the Russians through the prism of centuries of Russian oppression, including the Holodomor. On this map from CNN, Russian speaking regions are darker red:


The dynamic of ethnic-Russians-who-were-Soviet-era-overlords and local-ethnics-who-were-underlings has played out in the 14 non-Russia former USSR Republics and various former Autonomous Zones. It has come to shots in the Ukraine because the two parties are in rough demographic balance. This map, strikingly similar to the one above, shows the vote turnout — the Russophones voted for Yanukovych.


The peak of the current violence seems to have come when government sniper teams targeted protest leaders. US criticism of the crackdown has been ineffective in the light of Washington’s foreign and defense policy leadership vacuum. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel can’t even get his Ukrainian counterpart to answer the phone or return a call. If that’s not a sign of contempt, we don’t know what is.

Not everyone in the press has swung around to the neo-Soviet side where Fisher and the Times reporting team are comfortable. Sarah Kendzior has a piece in Politico, waspishly calling out Acela Corridor journalists like Fisher for “pretending to care about Ukraine.” Nicole Gervitz (whoever she is) did slam Max Fisher’s “bitch had it coming” tweet:

When people take up arms to protect themselves from the state that wants them dead, they are not “asking for it.”

Yeah. What she said.


The situation continues to develop apace. Security forces leaders, including  reportedly lost their stomach for internal violence and have sworn loyalty to the nation, implying their willingness to maintain order for a new regime. Opposition politician Yulia Tymoshenko has been released from prison, and parliament has deposed Viktor Yanukovych, former President.

Yanukovych fled by helicopter, with a few personal followers, to the ethnic Russian city of Kharkhov (of tank battle fame) in eastern Ukraine, a hotbed of neo-Soviet sentiment. Other Yanukovych loyalists fled by vehicle convoy.

The leaders weren’t being impeded in their flight by the protesters, but police and Interior Ministry forces, especially snipers, who fell into demonstrators’ hands were being beaten. The switch of the Interior Ministry, police, and Berkut troops to the demonstrators’ side may prevent further bloodshed (on both sides) for now.

The essential problem that Ukraine is divided politically has not been solved; if anything, the divisions are now more bitter. Right now, reconciliation looks like a harder path than partition. The situation remains fluid.

One for you Marines

Semper Fee, guys:

Her parents were affirmative-action-hire professors and she has a PhD her ownself, so of course this product of the Self-Esteem Generation is as dumb as a box of rocks, without the common sense God gave the birds of the air and the beasts of the field.

So in a segment where she’s concern-trolling the military, she gets all choked up about the power of military mottoes. Like “Semper Fee.”

This is the same girl that showed her complete lack of class and breeding, not to mention her unseemly racism, in an attack on Mitt Romney’s grandchild (a) because the kid was black and (b) because she disagrees with Romney’s politics. What can you really say about a person like this, who was not raised with a shred of humanity or decency?

She comes from the academic class, and no doubt thinks that Marines (and all the rest of us “green-collar” workers) are dumb. Well, how does it feel to be dumber than every. Single. Marine. Boot. Ever. Huh? And every one of their friends and family members?

AKs everywhere! But what if there never was an AK?

In the comments from yesterday’s post, What did Kalashnikov ever do to these guys?, historian Daniel E. Watters had a key insight into the hand-wringing and pearl-clutching that crept into almost every Mikhail Kalashnikov obit:

[E]very small arms design the Soviets adopted was handed out like cheap party favors. If Kalashnikov’s design wasn’t selected, the journalists would have been decrying the ubiquitous nature of some other Soviet engineer’s rifle.

via What did Kalashnikov ever do to these guys? | WeaponsMan.

He’s got a point. If Sudayev, who died at age 33, had lived, or if Bulkin’s AB had edged out the AK  (instead of having a lot of its internals form the bolt carrier and piston, and recoil spring, of the final AK), people who bemoan the butcher’s bill of the AK-47 might be weeping over the AS-47 or AB-47 instead. (You can see some of the contenders here at Max’s).

Given Russian history and capabilities, they were going to come up with a pretty good gun, or keep trying until they did. And given Soviet ideology and foreign policy, when they got it right they were going to give it to every nascent country, revolutionary group, and terrorist outfit — at least, terrorist outfits that aimed to terrorize someplace other than Russia or the “fraternal Socialist states.”

Not just for the Soviets, arms supplies have always been a tool of international diplomacy. The US has used arms to cement alliances worldwide (gaining collateral benefits of employment at home in the arms industry, and the leverage that comes with controlling the tap of spare parts). As Louis XVI fought his epic wars with Britain, tends of thousands of stands of arms (a musket, bayonet and accoutrements) shipped to the rebellious American colonies, to the point that when the USA began to manufacture its first rifle, the M1795 Springfield, it bore the characteristics not of the .75 caliber Short or Long Land Pattern Musket (Brown Bess) standard in the colonies pre-war, but the .69 caliber Charleville M1766 that our first ally, the Kingdom of France, had provided in such great quantities.

NBC Attacks gums Pearl Harbor vets

Carson Daly and Natasha Leggero laugh at Pearl Harbor vets on NBC.

Carson Daly and Natasha Leggero laugh at Pearl Harbor vets on NBC.

So, one of the benefits of not watching the boob tube is that you don’t know who Carson Daly is and he has to be explained to you. Apparently he became famous on a string of “reality shows” which is what people whose reality is insufficiently stimulating sit down and watch, presumably while breathing through their mouths.

Hey, it takes all kinds to make a world.

So this makes Daly, evidently, NBC’s go-to guy to host a telecast of New Year’s Eve festivities, for all the people whose lives are so narrow that they can only experience a celebration virtually through the screen.

This year his co-host was one Natasha Leggero. Our usual pop-culture explainers were lost and unable to explain her at all; presumably she was selected because she’s pretty, although not everbody finds tawdry drunks — Natasha’s New Year’s Eve persona — attractive.

Wikipedia says she’s a regular on a TruTV series called “World’s Dumbest…” so we probably shouldn’t expect too much from her.

Amid quips about her bikini wax, though (a subject on which we’ll defer to her expertise), she made a vile comment about Pearl Harbor survivors.

SPAGHETTIOS-PEARL-HARBORBackground: last December 7th, a food company was crucified by concern trolls for a Pearl Harbor tweet for Spaghetti-Os, an inoffensive canned-food product much beloved of children. (Even more beloved of their mothers who find cleaning up a Spaghetti-Os mess easier than bringing order from the chaos created by giving a three-year-old the good old linear pasta that Marco Polo, or whoever, brought back from Cathay). The “offensive” tweet is to the right. Media people, whose kids are raised initially by nannies and subsequently by inpatient rehab, find in Spaghetti-Os an object of class scorn, so they took delight in piling on.

So Natasha, or her writers, thought it would be clever to concern-troll about how terrible it must have been for those poor nonagenarian Pearl Harbor survivors to be “insulted by the only food they still can eat, ha ha.” Carson laughed along, as did the whole cast and crew. Nothing is funnier to young and wealthy nomenklatura types than old people who aren’t waited on hand and foot (unless they’re waited on in a VA hospice, which Carson and Natasha find completely side-splitting, evidently).

This is a character many novelists and playwrights have had fun with over the centuries: the woman of externally pleasant appearance, harboring a blackened, shriveled, monstrous and evil soul.

DavidSarnoff_Brig_General_1944NBC was founded, incidentally, by David Sarnoff, who put it — then a radio network — and its electronics-company parent, RCA, in the service of the war effort in World War II. Sarnoff served ably as a general officer on Eisenhower’s staff. Then he returned to RCA and brought the world, first, broadcast television and then, color television. Time magazine, when it still mattered, called him The Father of Broadcasting. A better-written PBS bio is also online.

If not for David Sarnoff, then, and the rest of his World War generation, Natasha Leggero would probably be entertaining the public one man at a time, on her knees, in an alley. Come to think of it, so would Carson Daly.

Defining ‘Arsenal’ Down

Arsenal? Are you kidding, CBS?

This constitutes an “arsenal”? Are you kidding, CBS?

How big is an “arsenal”? The term historically denotes a facility for the industrial-scale production and storage of weapons of war, and carries even in figurative use a strong connotation of “a great quantity of guns and ammunition”. Merriam-Webster says the term dates to Italy in the 16th Century, arsenale, from an even earlier Arabic expression, dar sina, “place of manufacture.” M-W defines the modern English word as follows:

1 a : an establishment for the manufacture or storage of arms and military equipment
1 b : a collection of weapons
2 : store, repertoire “the team’s arsenal of veteran players.”

Increasingly, though, the media has been redefining “arsenal” to mean “any quantity of guns owned by someone we don’t want to have guns,” and “someone we don’t want to have guns” seems to be “anyone but government agents, our own hired bodyguards, career crims who are just misunnerstood after all, and anyone who shares our Party membership.”

We’ve seem some pretty pathetic “arsenals” over the years, especially compared to what we and our friends call a “gun room,” “gun vault,” or even “gun safe.” It’s made us ask the question: “How small can it get, and still be called an ‘arsenal’ by some twerp in the media?”

Well, the answer is in, and CBS can retire the trophy: nobody’s going to go lower than the one-gun “arsenal” we heard CBS News Radio describe in the 1700R news slot Tuesday, December 17th. Discussing a creep who went to his school to shoot his hated debate-club advisor, and shot a fellow student instead, CBS announced that his one slide-action shotgun, his stock of spare ammo (not used), and his machete (also not used), constitutes an “arsenal.” Not just any “arsenal,” either, boyo: a “deadly arsenal.”

Now, the Ron Burgundy who sputtered that Department of Redundancy Department quote was surely, like all CBS electronic-media staff, selected for accidents of biology that produce straight teeth and a full head of hair, or sonorous voices. Certainly not for any intelligence, or ability, traits which are not required (or welcome) in the job. And surely, he (you can tell the “hes” from the “shes” by the fundamental pitch of their voices and the cut of their clothing and hair, but they’re otherwise interchangeable) was a member in good standing of the media monoculture and The Party.

True, the little creep in the case at issue did have some number of homemade molotov cocktails, which didn’t work as he’d hoped (he set off at least one, maybe two, according to media reports, but the media have reported a lot of nonsense in this case, including multiple casualties, when he only shot and wounded one student). But his main weapon as a Joe-Biden-approved pump 12 gauge.

And someone has notated in the stylebook that the word “arsenal” tests well for arousing a condemnatory spirit in the listener; therefore, it should be always used with any quantity of guns. But “a shotgun, a machete, and a couple of beer bottles of gasoline” ≠ “arsenal”.

Among the usual media malpractice, like completely fabricating “facts” and lifting other “facts” from some random Twitter feed, the media have found one fact about the shooter too painful to report — he’s a lefty like they are. They’ve failed to find another fact, and disseminate it, because it also harshes the mellow buzz of their preferred narrative: the whole thing was over in less than a minute and a half, because a good guy with a gun, the school resource officer, showed up. At that point, the would-be mass murderer took his Slow-Joe-approved shotgun and killed himself. CBS News does not want to talk about that. They want to talk about the creep’s “arsenal”.

Poe could have had fun with this. The newsman awakes, aching, bound hand and foot and full of inchoate terror, on a cold floor in a pungent puddle of his own urine. And he looks around, and realizes with shock and horror that he is in a medium-size collector’s gun room and is surrounded 360º by… guns. O, the horror. O, the humanity! He knows they freeze when he looks at them but when he turns his back, their muzzles turn towards him and their beady optics focus on him, burning his skin…



Gabriel Malor notes that the media always blame someone else for murders committed by lefty nut jobs. Guess who?