On Saturday morning, Dec. 15, one day after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, NBC’s chief justice correspondent, Pete Williams, spoke with “Today” show host Matt Lauer.
Williams shared “new information this morning from a couple of federal officials and state officials.” Said Williams, “They say now that there were actually four handguns recovered inside the school, not just two as we were initially told; four handguns and apparently only handguns that were taken into the school.” (Italics mine)
Williams said that Lanza also brought an “assault style, AR-15 style rifle” with him to school, but, he added, “We have been told by several officials that he left that in the car.”
Later that same Dec. 15, Dr. Wayne Carver held a press conference. Gun-control zealot Piers Morgan did not like what he saw and savaged the conspicuously lab-coated Carver via Twitter.
“Extremely disrespectful press conference going on with #Newtown medical examiner,” Morgan tweeted. He added later, “Really disgusted by this medical examiner’s showboating behaviour – should be kept well away from cameras in the future.”
What Morgan did not foresee, however, was that the showboating Carver had introduced a new bit of information, that, whether true or not, Morgan would exploit for weeks to come.
As Carver explained, he and his team of his team of 14 assistants had started the autopsies of the 20 children that morning and finished by 1:30 p.m. Only in the Q-and-A did a question arise about the weapon used:
Reporter: Doctor, on that examination, could you tell which caliber of the handgun compared to the rifle on these shooting victims were?
Carver: It’s a good thing there’ll not be a prosecution ’cause then I couldn’t answer that. All the wounds that I know of at this point are caused by the one weapon.
Question: So the rifle was the primary weapon?
Question: What caliber was used?
Carver: The question was what caliber were these bullets. And I know I probably know more about firearms than most pathologists, but if I say it in court, they yell at me and make me answer. So I’ll let the police deal with that for you.
As he admitted, Carver had only done seven of these hastily performed autopsies himself. He did not even know the caliber of weapon used. He and the reporters seemed unaware of Williams’ authoritative report just hours earlier that federal and state officials had only found handguns at the scene.
To watch Carver in his fumbling 15 minutes of fame is to understand that he was only accidentally part of a media-government plot to focus on “assault” weapons.
The initial reporting on the press conference likewise failed to grasp the narrative that was about to emerge. I could not find a single headline that mentioned assault weapons. “Children at Sandy Hook were shot multiple times” was one common theme. “Worst I’ve ever seen,” was another.
In the days that followed, the story would shift to the AR-15, not as the exclusive weapon – two handguns remained in the narrative – but as “the primary weapon used in the attack.” On Dec. 19, CNN reported, “Police say Lanza’s rifle used numerous 30-round magazines.”
This, of course, may be true, and Williams’ sources may have been wrong, but my investigations into TWA Flight 800 and the Oklahoma City bombing have taught me that the early reporting is often the most reliable, especially when there is a Democrat in the White House with an agenda.
Although the word was not used back then, the Clinton White House, with the help of a complicit media, rewrote the TWA Flight 800’s “narrative” to assure re-election.
To control that narrative, the White House allowed the FBI to talk only to the New York Times. Four weeks after the 1996 crash that killed 230 people, the Times would report, “Now that investigators say they think the center fuel tank did not explode, they say the only good explanations remaining are that a bomb or a missile brought down the plane.”
A missile attack was too obvious and ominous. So a week later, likely under White House pressure, and without any new evidence, the FBI shifted its story line from a missile to a bomb.
“Prime Evidence Found That Device Exploded in Cabin of Flight 800,” reported the Times above the fold on Aug. 23, just a few days before the Democratic National Convention. The Times reached this conclusion by interviewing exactly none of the 270 FBI eyewitnesses to a missile strike.
But even this scenario threatened the peace-and-prosperity message to be promoted at the Democratic National Convention just days away. And so the story was allowed to die. For the next three weeks, there was no meaningful reporting at all.
In mid-September, two months after the crash, the FBI shifted the narrative once again from a bomb to a center fuel tank explosion, a possibility that had been ruled out a month earlier. The other media unquestioningly followed the Times.
In a similar spirit, media alchemy made Timothy McVeigh’s Oklahoma City accomplice disappear. A week after the 1995 bombing, the Washington Post reported that McVeigh was ordered held without bail.
This order followed four hours of testimony from FBI Special Agent John Hersley in which “he described eyewitness accounts of a yellow Mercury with McVeigh and another man inside speeding away from a parking lot near the federal building.” (Italics mine)
For the next six weeks, the swarthy John Doe No. 2 was the most hunted man in the world until, without explanation, the FBI and the media lost interest.
Why the loss of interest? A third conspirator, especially an Islamic radical, would have ruined the “Republican revolution caused this” narrative that the White House had learned to exploit with great success.
So desperate was the White House to enforce its narrative that in McVeigh’s trial it did not put a single witness on the stand who could place him in or near Oklahoma City. These witnesses could not be allowed to testify because every one of them saw McVeigh with his foreign-looking accomplice.
Bottom line: If the Democrat-media complex can turn an obvious missile strike into a mechanical failure and lose John Doe No. 2 to history, turning four handguns into an assault weapon is child’s play.
Read other Thursday WND columns on gun control:
Guns don’t kill people, the mentally ill do by Ann Coulter
The consequences of volatile speech by Phil Elmore
It’s all about safety by Craige McMillan
Guns and government by Andrew Napolitano
‘Gun Culture’ – what about the ‘Fatherless Culture’? by Larry Elder