Television Show Bias against guns: CBS’s Ransom main character left the FBI because he hates guns

21 Apr , 2019   Video

During negotiations with a formidable sociopath who is targeting diabetics with tainted insulin, CBS’s Ransom Eric Beaumont, the shows main character played by Luke Roberts, explains to the killer why he stopped working for the FBI. Beaumont, the good guy, says that he left because he hated guns. The bad guy then says that he likes guns.

To make matters worse, one of the members of Beaumont’s hostage negotiation team, Oliver Yates, has a gun that gets him into trouble later in the segment. The FBI was going to investigate him for shooting someone when it turned out that the person he shot was the sociopath who had planned the poisonings and that she had actually pulled the trigger on the gun. The dialogue at the end of the show gives an idea of how heavy the bias is here. After Yates almost gets in trouble with the FBI, they have this discussion.

Eric Beaumont: “Why the gun?”

Oliver Yates: “After what happened to Maxime, I just didn’t feel safe.”

Zara Hallam: “Why didn’t you come to us?”

Yates: “I know that you wouldn’t approve.”

Beaumont: “I get it. I do. But in my experience, the problem with carrying a gun is that eventually it will go off.”

Yates: “I think that I need help.”

(CBS’s Ransom, Season 3 Episode 8, Saturday, April 20, 2019)

For other examples of television show bias on guns see here.

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1 Response

  1. Charles Jessee says:

    “Bias” sometimes suggests an unconscious tendency to favor certain views, but in this case, it’s a conscious effort to manipulate opinion.

    Tuft’s author Brian Schaffner, commenting on his recent Brit J Pl Sci publication “Reexamining the Effect of Mass Shootings on Public Support for Gun Control” reported findings that proximity to a mass killing drives policy, and advises use of TV, movies, etc., to alter public perception and opinion. I think his error is expecting what doesn’t work in new media will work in TV shows and movies. The bias on guns driven by the news media has driven a polarization in news media consumption, with readers now accessing news through the media channels that mirror their leanings. Why would those who scoff at NYT and WaPo articles biased against gun ownership be swayed to a gun control agenda by TV and movie fiction?

    “I think gun control advocates especially need to think about a long-term strategy for generating fundamental change in public opinion on this issue, rather than hoping to see opinion shift quickly in reaction to tragic events. This probably means trying to influence the views of young Americans who are just coming into the electorate, but who could serve as a strong basis of support for gun control legislation for many years to come.

    It may also mean trying to influence views via non-political avenues—for example, through narratives on television shows, movies, and so on.”


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