Gun Violence Course: We Took Bloomberg’s Money, Not His Influence

AP Photo/Dean Miller
AP Photo/Dean Miller

In response to reports that the Phoenix-based Dart center was taking money from one of Michael Bloomberg’s gun control groups to underwrite an upcoming April workshop on “journalism” and gun violence, Dart executive director Bruce Shapiro acknowledged the receipt of “$48,000” from Bloomberg’s group but says that will not influence the workshop’s lesson plans.

According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Shapiro said “even [the Dart center] took Everytown’s money… neither the anti-gun group nor the former mayor would be part of the curriculum.”

He said the Dart Center “was accustomed to working with program funders who might be seen as having political motivations on various issues… [but] in each and every case we craft gift or grant agreements which guarantee the independence of programming, research and teaching, and which are vetted thoroughly by Columbia’s grants office.”

Shapiro said that is exactly how the acceptance of funding for the upcoming workshop was handled.

On January 13, Breitbart News reported that the workshop will be held April 17 and 18 and will be conducted under the auspices of the Columbia Journalism School. Dart’s website indicates the two days will be spent on “topics such as federal and state gun laws; patterns of gun sales and gun trafficking; national trends and polling; education and preventative initiatives; social, economic, and public health impacts; and special populations (e.g., children and youth, women and returning veterans).”

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