CNN crosses line shaping gun control debate

For two days now, CNN, which bills itself “the most trusted name in news,” has been spinning the idea that 90 percent of Americans want Congress to pass more restrictive gun control legislation.

National Democratic chair and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and Piers Morgan discussed gun control on CNN Tuesday night.

More than once during the interview Wasserman Schultz referred to “90 percent” as the magic number of people demanding stronger gun laws. Where, I wondered, did she get this figure?

As it turns out, she apparently got it from CNN, from a poll that was released Wednesday — the day after the interview.

And it only released partial results of the CNN/ORC International poll.

I call them “partial” because for the life of me, I’m unable to find either the raw data or the actual polling questions.

I’ve used CNN/ORC polls in the past, and CNN has always provided a link to this kind of information — not this time, at least not that I’ve been able to find. Why is this important to me?

As an example, the results claim that “Eighty-six percent of those questioned in the survey say they support some form of background checks that are not currently required by law for gun sales.”

Did the respondents know what checks are currently performed when purchasing a gun from a licensed firearm dealer? Were they aware that there’s no such thing as direct Internet sales of guns from dealers? An online merchant will only ship a firearm to another dealer from whom the end-purchaser picks it up — after passing a background check.

The answers to these kinds of questions can only be ascertained by reviewing the survey questions, the allowed responses to those questions and the raw data.

What makes this truly suspect is the timing of their “90 percent” story.

The Senate is scheduled to take up gun-purchase background check legislation Thursday. That being the case, we would expect all the media to be running stories on the issue.

But CNN is taking it a step further. They seem to be actively campaigning, with their campaign slogan being, “90 percent of America want Congress to pass new gun laws.”

There’s a lot of misinformation out there on both guns and gun sales. Even those who write our laws on the subject demonstrate a terrifying ignorance on the subject. Instead of shedding light on the issue, CNN appears to be promoting its own agenda.

Watch the Wasserman Schultz interview with Morgan below.

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