Right-Wing Media Use GOP Donor's Report To Downplay Sen. Ayotte Background Check Confrontation

Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

Right-wing media are trying to downplay a confrontation over gun sale background checks between a woman who lost her mother in the Newtown, CT, shooting and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) by promoting a report from an Ayotte donor whose wife is the former chair of the New Hampshire GOP.  

Erica Lafferty, the daughter of Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung, asked Ayotte during an April 30 town hall meeting in Warren, New Hampshire, "why the burden of my mother being gunned down in the halls of her elementary school isn't more important" than Ayotte's claim that conducting background checks would be burdensome for gun store owners. According to NBC News, the meeting "drew more than 100 people who came to condemn or support Ayotte's vote."

Reacting to news reports of the confrontation between Lafferty and Ayotte, Shawn Millerick, editor of the conservative New Hampshire Journal, complained of "liberal media bias" and wrote that reports of Ayotte being confronted over her failure to support expanded background checks were exaggerated by the national media. Millerick also posted photographs of cars with out-of-state license plates that he says belonged to the individuals who opposed Ayotte's background check vote.

Breitbart.comThe Daily CallerThe BlazeRedState and NewsBusters are all promoting Millerick's report as evidence that the media was dishonest in its coverage of Ayotte's town hall meeting while also characterizing Millerick's online newspaper as a "local" media source and not mentioning its partisan slant. According to Breitbart.com's John Nolte, Millerick's report "expose[d] the leftist national media for the liars they are." The Daily Caller's Alex Pappas framed the issue as a discrepancy between "local" and "national" media:

If you read about the meetings in the national press, you likely went away thinking the Republican lawmaker was overwhelmed by pro-gun control critics. You might think the opposite if you read reports from the local news there.

According to NewsBusters, a project of the conservative Media Research Center, "If you read local newspapers on the ground in the Granite State, it becomes pretty clear that the national media's drive-by attack on Kelly Ayotte is rooted in the liberal media's desire to push gun control, not the actual facts on the ground."

None of these outlets disclosed that, according to Federal Election Commission filings, Millerick donated $500.00 to Ayotte during the 2010 election cycle:

[Federal Election Commission, accessed 5/3/13]

[Federal Election Commission, accessed 5/3/13]

According to the New Hampshire Journal and the New Hampshire Union Leader, Millerick's wife is a former chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party.  

Posted In
Justice & Civil Liberties, Guns
Network/Outlet
redstate.com, NewsBusters, Breitbart.com
Show/Publication
The Daily Caller, The Blaze
Stories/Interests
Guns
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