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Fear & Loading: Mistrust of 60 Minutes?

Fear & Loading: Mistrust of 60 Minutes?

Remington has issued a statement about the “60 Minutes” segment aired on Sunday, and you may be surprised what the company says was left out of the report.

“For example, 60 Minutes knew but did not disclose that both of the rifles in question were examined and tested by forensic scientists employed by each state’s crime lab and were found to be in proper working order,” the company’s statement explains. “Remington provides this response to offer a more complete record of the relevant facts and a comprehensive overview of the incidents described in the story, and the recall which was at the center of the story.”

The laundry list of omissions by the TV news magazine, according to Remington, is long. Here are a few of the highlights.

  • Producers were provided documents from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations and the FBI lab in Quantico that one of the two rifles’ triggers detailed in the story were not defective.
  • Testimony from a Mississippi Crime Lab expert attested to the fact that the firearm in the other incident didn’t go off due to excessive bonding agent in the trigger mechanism (which prompted the recall), and the state’s Supreme Court decision upholds that contention, because it didn’t see fit to overturn the manslaughter conviction.
  • The story details a 1994 verdict against Remington dealing with the Walker trigger mechanism, but somehow overlooked paperwork the company provided detailing its victory in the only two subsequent verdicts in similar cases—in 2008 and 2011.  

Good reports—the ones that do a public service by informing an audience so they can form their own opinion—should include “Just the facts,” as Sgt. Joe Friday in “Dragnet” would say.

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