Accuracy in Media

Scott Israel, the current lead sheriff for Broward County, Fla., is facing calls to resign from Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran and other state Republican lawmakers.

Israel played both sides of the gun control debate, calling for bans while trying not to blame guns for the problem to placate gun owners.

The media has since published several articles reversing their praise of the sheriff following revelations that his on-duty officer at the high school did not enter the high school to try to find and stop the shooter.

The New York Times’ headline read, “Under Pressure, Florida Sheriff Defends ‘Amazing Leadership,’” and in the article, reported the following about the sheriff’s department’s inaction:

The sheriff acknowledged on Sunday that the deputy’s inaction might have cost lives.

“Do I believe if Scot Peterson went into that building, there was a chance he could have neutralized the killer and saved lives? Yes, I believe that,” he told the host of the program, Jake Tapper.

Deputy Peterson’s actions are not the only ones in question.

The sheriff’s office is also investigating whether other deputies who arrived on the scene failed to enter the high school immediately. Officers from the Coral Springs Police Department, who were the first to respond to the shooting, told CNN that at least three Broward County deputies had hung back during the response. Standard police protocol for dealing with an active shooter requires officers to try to confront the shooters as quickly as possible.

CNN’s Jake Tapper grilled the sheriff over the department’s response to the mass shooting, questioning the sheriff’s “amazing leadership” claim post-shooting.

The Washington Post’s headline said, “Florida lawmakers call for suspension of sheriff as he defends ‘amazing leadership’.”

Compare these headlines to last week, where the Washington Post headline read, “Florida massacre: Broward Sheriff Scott Israel’s plea for gun control.”





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