Often times, news networks would rather be first than be right. Media organizations are businesses, in it for the money, and it pays to be the first one on the scene. It gives them some semblance of professionalism and credibility, and it translates into more viewers. Or at least, that’s what’s supposed to happen.
Being first might attract a few viewers here and there, but they could just as well lose viewers for reporting false information. Like any other big event, that’s what has happened with the Navy Yard murder. The big news of the day wasn’t so much that some crazy guy killed over a dozen unarmed people and injured about as many more. The big news was that he used an AR-15. That was all the lefty political commentators needed to fill their rants, calling for more gun control. “I don’t see a logical reason why any civilian needs to have one of these killing machines,” opined Staff Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford on Piers Morgan’s show. Lunsford was one of the unfortunate and unarmed victims in the Ford Hood shooting a few years ago.
As it turns out, an AR-15 may actually have not been used by Alexis at all, according to CNN:
“A U.S. law enforcement official said Monday that gunman Aaron Alexis unleashed a barrage of bullets using an AR-15, a rifle and a semi-automatic handgun. Authorities believed the AR-15 was used for most of the shooting, the official said. The news prompted Sen. Dianne Feinstein, one of the strongest proponents of a ban on assault weapons like the AR-15, to issue a statement the same day asking, ‘When will enough be enough?’ However, federal law enforcement sources told CNN Tuesday that authorities have recovered three weapons from the scene of the mass shooting, including one — a shotgun — that investigators believe Alexis brought in to the compound. The other two weapons, which sources say were handguns, may have been taken from guards at the Navy complex. The sources, who have detailed knowledge of the investigation, cautioned that initial information that an AR-15 was used in the shootings may have been incorrect. It is believed that Alexis had rented an AR-15, but returned it before Monday morning’s shootings. Authorities are still investigating precisely how many weapons Alexis had access to and when.”
This is reminiscent of the Sandy Hook murder. Initially, the media claimed that Lanza had used an AR-15. Then, it was revealed that he may have not used one. In fact, he probably didn’t use one and only used handguns.
But the narrative remained the same. It made for better, more shocking news coupled with “scary” images of a semi-automatic rifle. And anyone who questioned the official story was a “conspiracy theorist.”