Did the Media Distort Sandy Hook from the Outset?

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by Sharon Rondeau

The Connecticut State Police have clarified the firearms taken into the Sandy Hook Elementary School by Adam Lanza on December 14, 2012, when he murdered 26 children and adults, then himself

(Jan. 19, 2013) — On Friday, Connecticut State Police spokesman J. Paul Vance issued an updated press release confirming that three weapons were found inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School following the rampage which took the lives of 26 schoolchildren and personnel on December 14.

Vance stated in introduction, “To eliminate any confusion or misinformation, we will again describe and identify the weapons seized at the school crime scene.”  His press release lists three weapons, including a “Bushmaster .223 caliber– model XM15-E2S rifle with high capacity 30 round clips,” as having been found inside the school.  The one firearm indicated as having been “seized from suspect’s car in parking lot” was a “Izhmash Canta-12   12 gauge Shotgun.”

Major media have, in fact, made varying and contradictory statements about the weapons used and found after Lanza’s rampage at Sandy Hook as well as other aspects of the case.

USA Today reported that “Three weapons were found — a Glock and a Sig Sauer, both pistols, inside the school, and a .223-caliber rifle in the back of a car.”

On what appears to be the day after the attack, NBC News reported that four handguns “and only handguns” were taken into the school and a rifle left in the car, citing “several officials.” On December 15, NBC also stated that “Law enforcement officials gave out conflicting details about what type of weapons Lanza had.”

On the same day by the same news company, it was reported that Adam Lanza brought three weapons to the school.  Quoting the Associated Press, NBC News stated that “a Henry repeating rifle” and “an Enfield rifle” were “later recovered,” although the location was not identified.  The UK Daily Mail mentioned three additional weapons.

ABC News stated that “the rifle was found in his car,” but that is not what the Connecticut State Police have reported. NBC reported that “a long gun” was taken from a black vehicle in the Sandy Hook parking lot.

Williams’ reportage of which weapons were used and found has now been discredited by the Connecticut State Police.

In an article dated December 19, CNN appeared to report what the Connecticut State Police have officially stated:  that a rifle and two shotguns were brought into the school and a shotgun left in the vehicle Lanza drove.  At the time, CNN reported that “many details remain unknown about the weapons Lanza used that day.”

NBC Anchor Pete Williams stated that NBC had “been told” by “federal and state officials” that Lanza had attempted to purchase “another rifle” in a sporting goods store in Danbury. In a written report on the same day, NBC said:

Officials also told NBC News that Lanza unsuccessfully tried to buy a rifle at a Dick’s Sporting Goods store in Danbury three days before the slaughter, but later said they could not confirm the report, which was based on information from members of the public…

On December 15, Williams said that perhaps “the most telling piece of information” was that Lanza had entered into “some kind of altercation” with Sandy Hook staff members the day prior to his rampage, citing “two officials” as the source of the information.  On the same day, NBC wrote:

The motive for the mass killing was unknown, but officials told NBC’s Pete Williams that they were investigating a report that someone had an “altercation” with four staff members at the school on Thursday – three of whom were killed the next day. [Emphasis The Post & Email's]

A “report” of an altercation does not mean that the altercation actually took place or that if it did, it involved Adam Lanza.

On December 16, The New York Post quoted from NBC News’s reportage about the “altercation” but wrote that “Officials were also investigating whether Adam had an ‘altercation’ with four school employees the day before the killings.”

Reports published just after the shooting, including from NBC (second video), stated that Nancy Lanza had been “a kindergarten teacher” at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a contention that was repeated by Geraldo Rivera of Fox News that evening.

Within less than 24 hours of reporting that Nancy Lanza was a teacher at Sandy Hook, NBC “news” had changed.  After admitting that Nancy Lanza was not a “full-time” member of the staff, Williams then speculated as to whether she had been “a volunteer” or “a substitute teacher” at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

ABC News reported on the evening of the shooting that Nancy Lanza had worked at the school, but that information was later disputed, reportedly by the superintendent of schools.  In its synopsis of the day’s events, Nancy was said to be a “kindergarten teacher” and a “teacher’s aide,” which later proved to be untrue.
The Associated Press had been quoted as having said that Nancy was an instructor at the school.  Which “law enforcement officials” said that?

On December 15, The UK Daily Mail reported that “While initial reports had suggested school principal Mrs Hochsprung buzzed Lanza into the building – bypassing the newly-installed security system – police have confirmed that the shooter forced his way in.”

The exact same wording appears here, but where are the “initial reports” which had indicated that Lanza was allowed to enter the building?  NBC specifically reported that Lanza was not “buzzed in,” quoting Connecticut State Police spokesman J. Paul Vance.

On the day of the atrocity, ABC News reported that “numerous relatives and friends” of the Lanzas were being interviewed.  Adam Lanza has been described as a “loner” who did not relate to anyone other than his mother, until just before the assault, when he reportedly stopped communicating with her.

Wrote The New York Post:

Weapon-loving Nancy Lanza regularly took her awkward loner-son Adam to shooting ranges, where the painfully shy boy — who suffered from the autism-related Asperger’s syndrome — blasted away targets using his mom’s small arsenal of guns.

But do we know that to be true?

The Post also reported that Adam Lanza took two “powerful” rifles and a handgun to the scene of the crime, which is not the information the Connecticut State Police have released.

The New York Daily News reported that Nancy Lanza had not spoken with her son for the “three days” just prior to the attack but had previously taken him to see a psychiatrist as he became increasingly withdrawn.  The newspaper has numerous links to a petition it sponsored advocating an assault weapons ban which is also prominently advertised at the bottom of the page.  The petition contains the statement, apparently directed at Congress, “Blood on your hands…As burials begin, it’s time for D.C. to act.”

The same article reported that Nancy Lanza had encouraged her son “to leave the Newtown home that provided refuge from reality,” contending that he spent “hours and hours” playing video games.

Different articles state that Nancy “did not like” to leave Adam alone.  An MSNBC report stating that Nancy “didn’t like to leave gunman alone” has had its “text content” removed from the internet.

Fox News reported that Nancy was a “volunteer” at the school last year and had recently taken steps to have her son committed to a mental institution.  On December 19, The UK Daily Mail reported that “Sandy Hook gunman Adam Lanza was left home alone with an arsenal of weapons in the $1.4million mansion he lived in with his mother for three days while she went on vacation, it emerged today.”  The same article contended that Nancy “often” went to New Hampshire for a “mini-break.”

Do we know that to be true? 

The same publication claimed that Nancy had been looking “for a new home” for her son but “could have known the end was coming.”  Does that make sense?

The Daily Mail also reported that Nancy had planned to “uproot her life and move with her son when he decided on a college in either Seattle or the Carolinas.”  How could all of these things be true?  If Adam Lanza could not function as a member of society and was “deranged,” how could he possibly have been planning on attending college?

By federal law, all handicapped children are entitled to a free public education through age 21.  Adam Lanza was reportedly 20 years old at the time of the murders.

Should the Lanzas’ “divorce mediator” have been speaking with the press rather than the police?

As photographic sensationalism bordering on pornography adorns the right-hand column of The New York Daily News, the article about the Lanzas displays numerous links to those pushing for “gun control,” including an article titled “Elie Wiesel:  If Massacre of 20 Children Doesn’t Bring Gun Control, What Will?”  When clicking on the link, the reader is brought to a photo of the author speaking to the United Nations.  Another featured article is titled, “The NRA’s Comeuppance.”

As of January 17, it was reported that no surveillance video of Lanza entering the building had been released by the police.

On January 6, 2013, The Hartford Courant reported that evidence of gunshots was found outside the school, “including some in at least three cars belonging to school personnel.”

The Courant also stated that “police discovered that Lanza had thousands of dollars worth of violent video games,” an item not widely reported by the media.  Rather, the focus has been on banning assault weapons and instituting stricter gun control, which Obama revealed on Tuesday he intends to accomplish through 23 “executive actions” and urging Congress to pass legislation.

Prior to Obama’s announcement on Tuesday, putative Vice President Joe Biden reportedly indicated that “video game industry officials were among ‘a whole lot of people’ participating in the discussion” about gun violence.  ABC reported that Biden did not place blame on the manufacturers of violent video games.  Some in Congress have accused the Obama regime of having awarded “a pass” to such companies whose executives generally support Democrats politically.

Of violent video games, CNN reports that “To be sure, any role they may have played in Newtown remains unclear. Police have said nothing about them, and scattered news reports have gunman Adam Lanza playing games ranging from the military strategy “Starcraft” to kid-friendly “Dance Dance Revolution,” neither of which rank among the more violent titles on the market.”

But police have said something about them to The Hartford Courant.

The New York Times reported that in regard to violent video games, “No clear link has emerged between the Connecticut rampage and the gunman Adam Lanza’s interest in video games. Even so, the industry’s detractors want to see a federal study on the impact of violent gaming, as well as cigarette-style warning labels and other measures to curb the games’ graphic imagery.”

The National Rifle Association’s urging that armed guards be stationed in schools has been rejected by Obama and many of his supporters, and the idea of deputizing some staff members with carrying a concealed weapon on school premises has been spurned by Newtown Superintendent of Schools Janet Robinson.

Cold Case Posse investigator Michael Zullo has accused the media of “gaslighting,” or making a statement to convince the public that something is true when it is not.

Those who have questioned the reporting of the events at Sandy Hook and similar events have been ridiculed, excoriated and their employers denigrated by the First Selectman of Newtown…and the media.

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