Getting it wrong again

All right, this is repetitious, but is it too much to ask that highly paid TV news people display at least a rudimentary knowledge of what they talk about? I don’t mean they have to be experts in everything, or display a vast range of detailed knowledge, but at least grasp the basics of things most people should know anyway.

Here is the latest case in point.NBC news this morning made a reference to “the time President Clinton was trying to ban automatic weapons”. This is utter nonsense. Automatic weapons, which  to anyone other than an NBC news anchor means machine guns, have been effectively illegal since the 1930s. Apparently they were referring to the so-called assault weapons ban, which did not actually ban assault rifles. (They were already illegal because actual assault rifles have an automatic firing capacity.)

Whatever your feelings on various gun control issues might be, people will take you a lot more seriously if you give some indication that you actually know what you are talking about…even if you are a TV news reporter.

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