This morning, BuzzFeed Politics' McKay Coppins ran a story titled "How the Gun Culture Won Over Liberals," that featured Complex magazine’s Foster Kamer, The New York Times‘ David Carr, and Reuters’ Anthony De Rosa. The three are described by Coppins as "the new 'gun nuts'," and the story features a photo of the three of them obviously having a good time and holding shotguns.
The thrust of Coppins' story is this:
The current flare-up in the long political battle over gun laws is coming at a moment when American gun culture is more expansive than ever, having gained a foothold among the type of coastal elites that, just a couple decades ago, would have dismissed the very idea of holding a rifle as obscene and offensive. Hunting and recreational shooting, once viewed by the left as backwater pastimes, have won over a liberal coalition of eco-conscious locavores, hipster hunters, and adventure-seeking New York media elites.
In other news: McKay Coppins received a Thesaurus for Christmas.
Anyway, at first glance, the story held little interest. It looked like just another example of what you see a lot of at Ben Smith's BuzzFeed Politics: his reporters sucking up to and attempting to ingratiate themselves with the elite media. To their credit, they’re superb at it, especially on Twitter, and this story seemed like the kind of splashy, cutesy, overly-precious BuzzFeed puff-piece/profile meant to advance careers, not report.
But now that two of the three subjects -- Kamer and De Rosa -- have very publicly and furiously denounced the story as false, my interest has piqued. In short, these two gentlemen have accused Coppins of claiming they had been won over by the gun culture after they told him in no uncertain terms that the exact opposite was true:
De Rosa's complaints are exactly the same:
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As of yet, Carr hasn't complained, but he did push back a little in an interview today with The Atlantic Wire's Elspeth Reeve (who gives BuzzFeed both, uhm, barrels):
The Atlantic Wire asked Carr what he felt like being a poster boy for a gun nut convert. The process does not sound like it's complete. At South by Southwest once, Carr said, he shot large-caliber handguns for a story. 'I found them absolutely terrifying in all regards.'
The New York Times and BuzzFeed Politics have some sort of official liplock going on. So even if Carr is upset, it likely wouldn't be appropriate for him to take it to the streets like his two gun-nut pals did.
Oh, but wait, they’re not gun nuts; and apparently they told Coppins they're not gun nuts, but Coppins didn’t mention that in his story about how they are gun nuts.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC