It’s no secret that the legacy media in America is struggling to maintain a certain level of trust with the general public. Polls show that Americans often feel that there is a great deal of bias permeating the nation’s newsrooms, with one survey even showing there is less confidence in the press than there is in Congress or the Executive Branch.
Considering most people form their opinions about Congress and the White House based on reports from the media, and since government officials from across the political spectrum regularly question media reports, it’s no wonder that these three institutions reside in the basement of rankings based on public trust.
But politicians are expected to exhibit bias: that’s why we have different political parties, as they tend to embrace different ideological positions. To promote your platform, it is only natural to have bias.
The media, on the other hand, is supposed to be neutral; at least when it comes to simply reporting the news. Many don’t feel that is the case, with most (if not all) in the pro-Second Amendment community convinced that media outlets tend to present a distinct anti-gun bias.
Which brings us to this article’s titular question, “Andrew Who?”
Andrew Pollack is a man who likely warrants media attention. But the stridently liberal arm of legacy media appears to not be aware of the man, or is going out of its way to keep the general public from hearing his story.
Now, those who read our alerts regularly are likely aware of Mr. Pollack. Sadly, his daughter Meadow was one of the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Even those who don’t read our material, and don’t support the Second Amendment, may have heard of him last year, when the media also seemed to know him. Numerous stories on the aftermath of that horrendous murder-spree[CB1] [KK2] by a deranged former student of the school ran in the weeks and months following.
Andrew Pollack was one of the grieving parents, along with several students, invited to the White House for a listening session, where President Trump heard from some of those most directly impacted by the tragedy. Media coverage spoke of Mr. Pollack’s passionate demands that something be done.
“How many schools, how many children have to get shot? It stops here with this administration and me. I’m not going to sleep until it is fixed. And Mr. President, we’ll fix it. Because I’m going to fix it. I’m not going to rest,” Mr. Pollack stated.
Since that meeting at the White House, though, the legacy media seems to have forgotten who Andrew Pollack is.
Or is he being avoided?
Ever since Parkland, there has been a tremendous amount of coverage of some of the people impacted by the shooting. But those receiving the vast majority of the coverage have been promoting gun control as their response, which tends to coincide with what most in the media promote. Andrew Pollack, on the other hand, does not support that response.
In fact, Meadow’s dad decided to dig much deeper than simply looking at the type of firearm the gunman used, or how he obtained it, which has long been the standard reaction to these types of rare, but horrific events.
Banning guns, or increasing regulations on law-abiding gun owners, has always been the “easy” response to violent crime involving firearms. This approach doesn’t require looking into far more complicated matters, such as what drives someone to want to kill others, what are the warning signs of such intent, and what systems can be put into place to prevent someone from actually following through with their murderous intentions.
Andrew Pollack wasn’t looking for the “easy” response; he was looking for an effective response. This led to a partnership with Max Eden, a senior fellow in education policy at the Manhattan Institute. The two met when Mr. Eden visited Parkland to do his own investigation for an article. They became friends, and decided to collaborate on a book, “Why Meadow Died: The People and the Policies that Created the Parkland Shooter and Endanger America’s Students,” which was released this month.
While this isn’t intended as a review of the book, we will say that it is a well-researched, thorough treatise on Parkland. Most who have followed this tragedy are aware that there appeared to be not just warning signs about the shooter’s potential for committing the heinous act he committed, but missed opportunities to take action that would have prevented him from doing what he did.
That’s putting it mildly.
The investigation by Mr. Pollack and Mr. Eden revealed innumerable missed warning signs and opportunities. On second thought, it is likely more accurate to say the warning signs and opportunities were “ignored,” rather than “missed.” It is truly shocking how little was done to address such an obvious growing threat, and the book strongly supports Mr. Pollack’s assertion, “Parkland was the most avoidable mass shooting in American history.”
A book addressing a horrific tragedy that gripped the nation, written by a grieving father searching for answers, would seem to be newsworthy. But for some reason, most of the media are ignoring it. A cynic might posit that this is because the book doesn’t advocate banning guns and ratcheting up restriction on law-abiding gun owners, which is what the media likes to promote. But maybe they just aren’t aware of the book.
Lack of awareness, however, doesn’t seem to be the issue.
In fact, the authors told us that CNN had initially booked Mr. Pollack for an appearance, but cancelled the appearance, claiming “timing conflicts.” Again, a cynic might think someone wanted to do a segment on a book by a father who lost his daughter in Parkland, but once they realized the book was contrary to CNN’s usual anti-gun narrative, the powers-that-be instructed the segment be cancelled. Perhaps they will rebook him in the future, just to prove the cynics wrong.
Of course, CNN isn’t the only news outlet. On cable, MSNBC is also ignoring Mr. Pollack, as are print media giants, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post.
Fortunately, some are paying attention. Fox News has had Andrew Pollack on its programs a number of times, including a segment discussing the fact that others in the media seem to be ignoring him. Considering the fact that Fox News has long dominated the ratings when it comes to cable news, if only one outlet is going to cover your book, that’s the one you want.
We hope that the lack of coverage is only temporary, and other outlets start booking Mr. Pollack. He and his co-author have done compelling research that should not be ignored. This grieving father should be heard, even if his message might run contrary to a particular outlet’s political agenda. News, after all, is still news, and should be covered by news outlets. That’s how an open and free media should work.
At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work.
EDITORS NOTE: The NRA-ILA column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.