Media Bias

CBS’ SWAT, yet more machine gun wielding white supremacists

31 May , 2021   Video

In this episode of CBS’s SWAT (S4 E18 May 26, 2021), the team discovers that the white supremacist organization they have been going after this season, the Imperial Dukes, is even much bigger than they originally thought. They discover that the white supremacists are planning to disguise themselves as police officers and attack a peaceful demonstration of blacks who are upset with police racism. Of course, when they close in on where one of the white supremacists is hiding, he starts firing a machine gun at them.

Despite the image provided by CBS’ shows such as SWAT, it grossly exaggerates the mass public shootings by white supremacists and absurdly implies that these attacks involve machine guns. 

As the Crime Prevention Research Center has pointed out many times, television crime shows seem to think criminals are constantly using machine guns to commit crime. In real life, criminals generally use machine guns so rarely that a 2016 survey of prison inmates only broke down the numbers for uses in crime of handguns (11.2%), rifles (0.8%), and shotguns (1.1%). There are few rifles, and the survey did not even mention fully automatic weapons. A similar finding is available from the FBI UCR report, where 2.6% of all murders involve rifles of any type, and 0.3% of all murders involve unspecified “other guns.” There is a reason for that. Since 1934, there are only two known uses ever of a machine gun being used in a murder. And even before 1934, they were very rare. 

Other examples of entertainment television shows using machine guns is available here.

So far this season we have these shows with criminals using machine guns (this is not meant to be a complete list):

ABC’s The Rookie (Season 3): Episode 11 April 18, 2021; Episode 12 April 25, 2021; Episode 14 May 9, 2021Episode 3, January 17, 2021

NBC’s Law & Order: Organized Crime (Season 1): Episodes 1 & 2, April 1 and 8, 2021

CBS’s Bull (Season 5): E6, January 18 2021

CBS’s FBI Most Wanted (Season 2): E4 January 19, 2021E5 January 26, 2021.

CBS’ Coyote (Season 1): E2 January 7, 2021 and E5 January 7, 2021

CBS’ SWAT (Season 4): E7 Jan 13, 2021E8 January 27, 2021E9 Feb 17 2021, E18 May 26, 2021

CBS’s Blue Bloods (Season 11): Episode 16, May 14, 2021

CBS’ Magnum PI (Season 3): E3 Dec 11 2020Episode 7, February 5, 2021

CBS’ The FBI (Season 3): E1 Nov 17 2020E4 Jan 24, 2021

CBS’s NCIS LA (Season 12): Episode 8, January 10, 2021

NBC’s Law & Order: Organized Crime (Season 1): Episodes 1 & 2, April 1 and 8, 2021)

NBC’s The Blacklist (Season 8): Episode 1, November 13, 2020

NBC’s Chicago PD (Season 8): Episode 7, February 17, 2021

In last years’ season (2019-2020), we haven’t been keeping close track, but other recent examples include:

CBS’ SWAT (Season 3): E11 January 15, 2020; E21 May 20, 2020 

In last years’ season (2019-2020), we haven’t been keeping close track, but other recent examples include: 

CBS’ SWAT (Season 3): E11 January 15, 2020; E21 May 20, 2020

CBS’ FBI (Season 2): E12 January 14, 2020; Episode 18, March 24, 2020

Fox’s Deputy (Season 1): E1 January 2, 2020 

FBI: Most Wanted (Season 1): Episode 4, January 28, 2020; Episode 6, February 18, 2020, Episode 9, March 24, 2020 

Chicago PD (Season 7): Episode 10 January 8, 2020; Episode 16, March 4, 2020; Season 7, Episode 17, March 18, 2020; Episode 20, April 15 2020

Hawaii Five-O, Season 10, Episode 18, February 28, 2020; Episode 20, March 13, 2020; Episode 21, March 27, 2020

Magnum PI, Season 2, Episode 18, May 1, 2020

Blue Bloods, Season 10, Episode 19, May 1, 2020

The Blacklist, Season 7, Episode 18, May 8, 2020

Here is a list of shows from the 2018-19 television season that showed criminals using machine guns.

The Rookie (Season1): E2, E4, E9, E17, E20 

Magnum PI (Season 1): E1, E15 

Chicago P.D. (Season 6): E14 

Other examples of television media bias on this particular point can be found here

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