Dennis Putnam dap1 at MINDSPRING.COM
Fri May 23 19:10:22 MDT 2003

CNN, which bills itself as "the most trusted name in news," was caught
lying during its "reporting" on so-called "assault weapons." On May 15, CNN
aired two pieces which deliberately misled its viewers into believing that
the semi-automatic firearms banned under the
<>1994 Clinton gun
ban are more powerful than other guns that weren`t banned.

CNN`s John Zarella arranged a live-fire demonstration with Sheriff Ken
Jenne of the Broward County (Fla.) Sheriff`s Department. The exercise began
with a deputy firing a Chinese AK-47 Zarella claimed was targeted by the
Clinton gun ban. Down range, viewers saw the rounds punching holes in
cinder blocks and penetrating body armor. Next, the sheriff fired what was
referenced as a different civilian AK-47 model that was not covered by the
`94 ban. Incredibly, viewers saw no bullet holes, dust, or smoke on the
cinder blocks during this demon-stration, as no rounds hit the cinder
blocks! In fact, CNN later acknowledged, the deputy was actually firing
into the ground. Obviously, the biased point the report was promoting was
that the firearms banned by the Clinton gun ban were somehow more powerful
than those that were not banned?a notion, of course, that is without any
factual merit.

In a later segment that same day, a deputy was aided by CNN in promulgating
the most blatant distortion of the truth. This time the gun used was a
fully-automatic firearm, and it obliterated the cinder blocks. Of course,
not one of the guns banned in `94 is fully-automatic. All of the firearms
covered by Clinton`s ban are semi-automatics. Fully-automatic firearms have
been strictly regulated since 1934.

This demonstration attempted to bolster the justification for Sheriff Jenne
and the Sheriff`s Department supporting the gun ban. This should come as no
surprise, though, since Jenne, who was a former Democratic state lawmaker
in Florida, supported a state bill banning semi-automatic firearms which
was defeated.

Thankfully this sad saga didn`t end here. On May 19, CNN offered viewers
this tepid explanation:

"On this program on Thursday, we aired a live demonstration on CNN set up
with law enforcement officials of a banned semi-automatic rifle and its
legal counterpart. We reviewed that demonstration and one on another CNN
program, and decided that a more detailed report would better explain this
complex issue."

NRA`s Wayne LaPierre called CNN on the carpet, forthrightly stating, "We
caught them red handed in the act. Now they`re backpedaling." Wayne also
noted, "Either it was a deliberate attempt to fake the story, or the
reporter had a complete ignorance of the story he`s covering." Either is
unacceptable. Wayne pointed out a glaring difference between CNN and the
New York Times, who recently fired a reporter for his long and sordid
history of fabricating stories, noting how when New York Times reporters
lie, eventually they get fired. But, such is not the case with CNN. If you
wish to contact CNN to convey your outrage, you may reach them at: One CNN
Center, N.W., Atlanta, GA, 30303-2762, (404) 827-1500, e-mail:
<mailto:CNN at>CNN at; website:
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