The Slatest

Today in Conservative Media: The NRA Isn’t As Powerful As Liberals Think

People comfort each other at a makeshift memorial outside the Route 91 Harvest music festival site in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

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A daily roundup of the biggest stories in right-wing media.

Conservative commentary on the Las Vegas shooting and the gun control debate continued on Wednesday. At National Review, David French argued that liberals vastly overstate the importance of the NRA:

Imagine if one day the Left got its wish and the NRA board of directors suddenly “evolved” on gun rights. At a stroke they changed its focus to gun safety, hunting, and target shooting; trap and skeet became more important than assault-weapons bans or concealed carry. Would America change? Hardly. Within days, millions of frustrated and angry gun owners would coalesce behind one or more competing organizations, the lobbying apparatus would rebuild, and we’d be right back where we are today — just with a different organization leading the charge.

The NRA is powerful for precisely the reason most potent progressive organizations are powerful. Like those progressive counterparts, the NRA is an effective part of a larger community, and it is effective precisely because it persuasively expresses the will of its members and allies. It represents those who understand and adhere to the central truths of American “gun culture.” We each possess an unalienable and inherent right of self-defense, a lawfully armed citizenry is a free citizenry, and no government ever constructed has merited the total trust of its people.

At Townhall, Ann Coulter decried pieces examining mass shootings perpetrated by white men, noting:

There was one characteristic of white men in abundant evidence at the Las Vegas massacre. They’re awfully chivalrous, these white male country music fans. Twenty-two thousand people came under sustained, high-powered gunfire and few people, if any, were stomped to death—something you can’t say for a Black Friday sale at a Long Island mall.

At the Las Vegas concert, men died protecting women, using their bodies as shields and standing up in the middle of gunfire to direct the women to safety. The New York Post reports that one woman said she “was running away and a couple of guys said, ‘Hey, come stand behind us,’ and boom, they went down.” Heather Melton has described how she felt her husband, Sonny, being shot in the back, fatally, as he shielded her from the rain of bullets.

Without many facts to go on, the only sweeping conclusion we can make so far is that there’s a reason feminism didn’t emerge from the country music community.

On Fox & Friends, Ben Shapiro denounced celebrities who have argued for gun control in the wake of the shooting, including Jimmy Kimmel. “I would never try to ban Jimmy Kimmel from talking on television—he should stop trying to ban me from owning a firearm,” he said. “[W]hen they say things like, ‘A little bit of common sense gun control would stop of all of this,’ that’s just a chimera; it’s not true. They’re making things up because this is all about the moral disapproval of people who own guns.”

In other news:

Multiple outlets ran posts criticizing mainstream media coverage of Puerto Rico. The Washington Free Beacon ran a post about a Morning Joe segment in which the hosts commented on an apology supposedly made by San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz to Trump, who has been feuding with her. Complete subtitles aired earlier on MSNBC do not seem to indicate Cruz made an apology. From the Free Beacon:

Despite the nonexistent apology, the “Morning Joe” panel took a deep dive into the falsely presented statement, which had been correctly presented on its own network less than 12 hours earlier.

“You know how this goes: the president comes to your district, your people are facing enormous suffering, and you just can’t afford to upset the president,” [host Joe] Scarborough said.

“And notice, she’s a woman,” [host Mika] Brzezinski added.

“For people that are outraged that she apologized to him, your outrage should all be to the president of the United States. She was actually being a leader. Even though she was in the right, she knew she had to say that,” Scarborough said.

Scarborough continued to slam Trump for his “lack of humanity.”

The Daily Caller ran a post about a heavily corrected Politico story that had originally claimed the Koch brothers had lobbied for the establishment of Puerto Rico’s fiscal control board. The correction later appended to the piece said there was no evidence the Kochs had done so. Puerto Rican freelance journalist Alejandra Rosa “attacks all the usual suspects,” the Caller’s Will Ricciardella wrote. “She even managed to take a unfair shot at the Koch brothers, the left’s favorite boogeymen. The corrections made by Politico at the end of the article tell the tale of journalist in the midst of an ideological rant, rather than a legitimate reportage of the facts. It is the picture perfect example of an article that should be pulled. Immediately. Or better yet, never published in the first place.”