The President’s Picture Trick: How the Headlines Write a New Story

Remember not long ago when the President tried to pad his gun-loving creds in this interview?

FF: Have you ever fired a gun?

Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time.

FF: The whole family?

Not the girls, but oftentimes guests of mine go up there. And I have a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations. And I think those who dismiss that out of hand make a big mistake.

Part of being able to move this forward is understanding the reality of guns in urban areas are very different from the realities of guns in rural areas. And if you grew up and your dad gave you a hunting rifle when you were ten, and you went out and spent the day with him and your uncles, and that became part of your family’s traditions, you can see why you’d be pretty protective of that.

So it’s trying to bridge those gaps that I think is going to be part of the biggest task over the next several months. And that means that advocates of gun control have to do a little more listening than they do sometimes.

Conservatives rightly scoffed at the President’s answer. At least one intrepid reporter asked Mouth of Sauron Jay Carney why, if the President shot skeet “all the time”, we’ve never seen a picture. Today, the White House released a lone photo it hopes will put all the laughter to rest.

Skeet-Shooting Obama

The MSM has pretty much fallen in behind the White House, which sent two of its most senior advisers onto Twitter to do a victory dance about the release. Their message is simple: the President did too shoot skeet, so all you insane doubters are no better than 9/11 Truthers of Flat-Earthers. The MSM headlines carry the less aggressive part of that message as well.

Did you see the little trick in every one of those headlines? The picture is “evidence” or “proof” that the President shot skeet, so the critics are clearly wrong. Except no one ever claimed the President never shot a gun nor that he never shot skeet at Camp David. They — we — laughed at the President’s contention that he did it “all the time”. One picture is not evidence of “all the time”. It sure as heck isn’t proof.

But, let’s examine that picture. Does it show a man who shoots skeet “all the time”? Does the President look like he’s comfortable with the hobby? Does he have some well-used gear on? Is he holding that shotgun with a well-practiced ease? I’m not asking you to delve into any detailed analysis about the graininess of the background or the make of the gun or anything like that. Just ask yourself what your eyes tell you about the man shooting that gun.

The picture the White House released today is no more proof the President shoots “all the time” any more than a photo of me jumping from an airplane with a parachute on my back would be proof I’m a member of the 101st Airborne.  It is, however, an opportunity for the President and his MSM lapdogs to score another point against the rights you own all to yourself. Assuming you let them.