NRA’s words for media

The National Rifle Association doesn’t like the media. I totally get it. Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president, said the media is partially responsible for the recent massacre of 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

But just how much does the NRA hate the media? I analyzed LaPierre’s speech for some answers.

From the text of his speech, here are the words and phrases associated with the media:

  • Reckless, dishonest, violate, demonize, machine, copycats, offend, shock, conglomerates, untrue, misinformation, fame, stockholders, conceal, rewards, attention, propaganda, provoking;
  • Toxic mix, moral failings, dirty little truth, criminal cruelty, complicit co-conspirators, silent enablers, shocking headlines.

Now, here are the words and phrases associated with the NRA:

  • Experts, (3 times), expertise (twice), knowledge (twice), mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, dedication, resources, preeminent, willing, qualified, safety, noise, anger, advanced, credentialed, protecting;
  • Plan of action, respectfully silent, positive defense.

Besides blaming the media (and others), LaPierre called for every school in America to be protected by armed security guards or police officers. The New York Times, in an editorial, said it was “stunned” by LaPierre’s “mendacious, delusional, almost deranged rant.”

President Barack Obama has called for “meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.”

The NRA surely would oppose new legislation to limit access to firearms. Words that did NOT appear in LaPierre’s statement include: license, reform, improve, restrict.

The NRA chief DID mention: slasher films, video games, monsters, drug gang members, and foreign aid.

Chimps, dirt, playing, sticks

Few people connect and dissect words and phrases as carefully as comedians. Jerry Seinfeld gives us a glimpse of his joke-writing process in a new profile by the New York Times magazine.

The story and video offer terrific details. Seinfeld writes jokes on yellow legal pads and uses Bic pens, clear barrel with blue ink. “I’ve never shown anybody this stuff,” he says.

I particularly enjoyed the analysis of his Pop Tart joke. The introduction of Pop Tarts, when he was a kid, was so illuminating, it was like “chimps in the dirt, playing with sticks.”

“What makes the joke,” he said, “is you’ve got chimps, dirt, playing and sticks. That’s seven words; four of them are funny.” If a joke is too long, “you’ll shave letters off of words, you count syllables, to get it just (right) … it’s more like songwriting.”