On June 21, NPR corrected their earlier report on Moms Demand Action Founder Shannon Watts by pointing out that she was not just a “regular” mom who happened to begin a gun control group. Rather, she was public relations officer, a Democratic Party donor, and a “corporate communications executive.”
According to The Washington Post, NPR’s correction was due in part to information uncovered by Newsbusters as well as evidence presented in the NRA publication Americans 1st Freedom.
The piece in America’s 1st Freedom was particularly damning to Watts’ depictions of herself and her life pre-Sandy Hook. The WaPo observed:
In addition to slamming Watts’s various statements on gun violence in the United States, the piece challenges the authenticity of her stay-at-home motherhood. How could Watts be a true stay-at-home mom, asks the article, when she started her own PR firm and worked as a consultant and did other professional things? “There’s nothing wrong with that, except ‘running a streetfront art gallery plus public relations business from my house’ is not the impression conveyed by ‘stay-at-home mom.’”
NPR originally bought Watts’ representation of her stay-at-home life hook, line, and sinker. On June 17, they reported:
Much of the groundswell behind this [gun control] crusade comes from just regular people pulled into it for their own reasons. For a woman named Shannon Watts, she was drawn in by another mass shooting — the murder of 20 schoolchildren 6- and 7-year-olds in Newtown, Connecticut. Watts wasn’t there: She lived 800 miles away in Zionsville, Indiana. She was folding her kids’ laundry, actually, when the news broke. And she wanted to do something. ‘I was obviously devastated but I was also angry and I went online and I thought, ‘Surely there is a Mothers Against Drunk Driving for gun safety.’ And I couldn’t find anything. Watts had never done anything political before but she made a Facebook page and she called it One Million Moms for Gun Control [now Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America].
Then NPR realized they’d been had. And, on June 21, they added the following correction:
This report refers to Shannon Watts as one in a group of “regular people” who began advocating for stricter gun control measures in recent years. After the December 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., she created the “One Million Moms for Gun Control” Facebook page. It later became “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.” We should have noted that Watts has a background in corporate communications. From 1998 to mid-2012, she was a corporate communications executive or consultant at such companies as Monsanto and FleishmanHillard. Before that, Watts had what she says was a nonpolitical job as a public affairs officer in the Missouri state government.
Our report also states that Watts had never “done anything political” before the shootings at Sandy Hook. We should have noted that Federal Election Commission records show she began contributing money to Democratic campaigns and political action committees earlier in 2012. According to those records, she has made about $10,000 in such contributions, and about one-third were made before the Sandy Hook shootings.
In addition to these things, it should be noted that Moms Demand Action is a Michael Bloomberg-funded gun control group, just like Everytown for Gun Safety.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.