The Jury Talks Back


Big Media Falsely Claims Texas Governor Joked About Shooting Reporters

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 8:33 am

Imagine my surprise at reading this headline at CBS News:

Texas governor jokes about shooting reporters

I respect Greg Abbott, and set about reading the story to see if he had actually done what CBS News accused him of.

He did not.

Here is their own account:

Two days after a GOP House candidate from Montana was charged with assaulting a journalist, Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, joked about shooting reporters, according to the Texas Tribune.

The comment followed Abbott’s Friday signing of a bill that reduces the licensing fee to carry a handgun in the state of Texas from $70 to $40.

The governor then made his way upstairs to the shooting range for some target practice, and once he was finished, he held up his target sheet to show off his marksmanship, joking to the reporters and photographers present that, “I’m gonna carry this around in case I see any reporters.”

And here is the Texas Tribune account:

Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday visited a shooting range to sign a bill into law that significantly reduces the cost to get a license to carry a handgun, making Texas one of the states with the lowest fee in the nation.

“The right to bear arms is something that is synonymous with the state of Texas. We are proud to expand the right to bear arms by lowering the cost of what you have to pay in order to get a license to carry,” Abbott said. “Texans’ ability to bear arms is going to be even bolder today than it’s ever been before.”

The law, Senate Bill 16, reduces the first-time fee for a license to carry from $140 to $40 and the renewal fee from $70 to $40. A license to carry permit is valid in Texas for five years. The new fee will go into effect on Sept. 1.Texas governor jokes about shooting reporters after signing gun bill

Following the bill signing, Abbott tested out a few guns at an upstairs shooting range.

“I’m gonna carry this around in case I see any reporters,” Abbott joked while holding his bullet-riddled target sheet.

The story doesn’t say he joked about shooting reporters. The headline does.

The Texas Tribune version has the photo, which I will reproduce here as fair use to help criticize the headline of the story.
Greg Abbott

The caption is: “Gov. Abbott admires his practice target after signing Senate Bill 16, which reduces the first-time fee for a license to carry handguns, on May 26, 2017.” And indeed, his markmanship looks pretty good.

You can easily see what actually happened. He was joking that he wants to have the evidence of his excellent marksmanship directly on hand if he runs into reporters. So he can boast about it.

The bit about shooting reporters was made up by the Texas Tribune headline writer — and all of Big Media seems to have run with it.

This is a great example of why people despise Big Media.

I don’t think joking about violence against reporters is funny. But Greg Abbott didn’t do that. Stop saying he did.


  1. Ding.

    Comment by Patterico — 5/28/2017 @ 8:58 am

  2. Isn’t there some sort of federal regulatory case law about monopolistic effect? Tried in industries like boxed breakfast cereal and frozen ice cream confections, where all the supposedly independent and major providers have the same stuff in the same sort of boxes at the same price — above what local little guys set?

    Seems to me there is a media monopoly of colluding provider for news and analysis. Journolist being perhaps gone (who knows) but not forgotten.

    Comment by pouncer — 5/28/2017 @ 12:37 pm

  3. Yes, the First Amendment jurisprudence involving the media is based on the false premise — better called an “outright lie” than a “legal fiction” — that there is such a thing as a marketplace of ideas and competition in it will sift out the truth. In reality, the mainstream media coyotes bay in unison. You don’t see the alphabet networks, the national newspapers, or the wire services correcting each other.

    Comment by nk — 5/28/2017 @ 9:59 pm

  4. Nobody that voted for Abbott here in Texas cares what the media said about this because we all know the type of man our Govenor is and what sort of character and class he has.

    Comment by Sean — 5/29/2017 @ 8:26 am

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