This text is part of interview that Bernie Goldberg, the author of Arrogance, had with RATHERBIASED.COM.

RATHERBIASED.COM: You've said here today and in your books, both the last one and the current one, that bias in the news is mostly subconscious. But one of the themes you explore in your new book is that there are some cases, on some issues, where it's really quite hard to conclude that the bias is not deliberate, particularly in the case of guns used for self-defense.

GOLDBERG: Yeah, that amazed me. As a matter of fact, I did a lot of research on that, a lot. And I just figured this can't be true, and the more I did, the more true I found it to be. You want me to talk about that for a second?


GOLDBERG: I saw someplace, that a guy, a scholar, who was with several major universities and is now with a think-tank in Washington--

RATHERBIASED.COM: You're talking about John Lott?

GOLDBERG: Yeah, that's right. Had done some research and concluded that there were about 4 stories out of more than 200 that mentioned that the students who subdued the gunman at the law school in Virginia, Appalachian Law School in Grundy, Virginia--I don't have to tell you about the incident, you know that, right?


GOLDBERG: That the people who had the guns--the people who subdued him also had guns. And I'm thinking, 'That can't be, that just can't be.'

RATHERBIASED.COM: Just too incredible?

GOLDBERG: It just didn't make any sense. So I spoke to him, and he seemed like a reasonable guy, but it didn't make any sense. So I did a little research and then I found a guy at the University of Iowa who did two separate studies and he came up with just basically--I mean when you go into Nexis, you're always going to have different numbers but--

RATHERBIASED.COM: Oh, definitely.

GOLDBERG: But it was basically the same conclusion. And I said, 'Nah. You cannot have either a hundred or two hundred papers and only less than five of them reporting that the guys had guns who subdued the gunman. Can't be.

So I did my own research. I went to a hundred major news organizations, major, that covered the story, only those who covered the story. And I came up, out of a hundred, I found six newspapers that reported it. TheNew York Times was one of them, by the way. And the others were--several of them were in the area of the law school. At least one of them was in Charlotte, North Carolina where one of the students came from, you know, his hometown. And I said, 'This is unbelievable.'

And then I found one of the guys, Tracy Bridges, one of the students and had a long talk with him. And he told me--he said, 'I spoke with about a hundred reporters. I told every one of them what happened.'

And I said, 'Well, what do you think happened?' and he said, 'Well at the beginning, I thought it was just like they, you know, didn't hear me or something. But then when I saw so many not covering that, I came to the conclusion,' this is Tracy Bridges talking, 'I came to the conclusion they didn't want to show guns in a good light.'

Now, I think America is split into gun people, people who like guns, and people who don't like guns. I am not a gun person. I am not a gun person. But I'm not an anti-gun person. I think a lot of people on the left who don't like guns are anti-gun. They want to abolish them. I don't like guns but I'm not an anti-gun person. So I looked at this simply as a reporter, a reporter who doesn't like guns even! And I said, 'This takes it to a new level. This goes beyond groupthink, this goes to group lying.' This is one of those things where you have to say, 'Wait a second, wait a second! How could you have left this stuff out?'

John Lott is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. This article is adapted from his new book The Bias Against Guns.

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Some data not found at

Updated Media Analysis of Appalachian Law School Attack

Since the first news search was done additional news stories have been added to Nexis:

There are thus now 218 unique stories, and a total of 294 stories counting duplicates (the stories in yellow were duplicates): Excel file for general overview and specific stories. Explicit mentions of defensive gun use increase from 2 to 3 now.

Journal of Legal Studies paper on spoiled ballots during the 2000 Presidential Election

Data set from USA Today, STATA 7.0 data set

"Do" File for some of the basic regressions from the paper