USA TODAY Joins Bloomberg’s Anti-Gun Propaganda

USA TODAY Joins Bloomberg’s Anti-Gun Propaganda

U.S.A.-( The senior leaders at Gannett’s flagship newspaper, USA TODAY, have surrendered their objectivity, independence and impartiality to an anti-gun group that wants to strip law-abiding Americans of their constitutional rights.

After Joe Biden’s ATF nominee, David Chipman, was rejected by the Senate, these editors allowed their newspaper to be used by Chipman’s supporters – who are working in their own newsroom – to rewrite the narrative of Chipman’s aborted confirmation, and the editors are not letting their highly touted journalism ethics get in the way.

For USA TODAY, this is nothing new. It’s all part of an incestuous partnership the newspaper has with the Trace – the propaganda arm of billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun empire.

The Trace describes itself as the “only newsroom dedicated to reporting on gun violence.” It has slick digital packages that are chockfull of stories, photos and videos, so it’s easy to confuse the Trace with an actual news website. But a news site it is not. The Trace supplies propaganda for Bloomberg’s other anti-gun groups, which include Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, as well as any members of the media willing to cut and paste their stories.

The Trace advocates for more restrictive gun laws, but their message is a lot slicker than the handmade signs carried by Demanding Moms and Everytown supporters. Reporters at the Trace are activists, not journalists. They advocate for more gun control. That’s their job.

In June, we revealed how the unethical relationship between the Trace and USA TODAY produced a biased investigation, which targeted law-abiding gun dealers. The Trace supplied two editors and five reporters for the project, which was widely panned even before it was published.

We also showed how USA TODAY allowed Bloomberg’s activists to continue to write stories for the newspaper, which were biased, anti-gun hit pieces falsely labeled as news.

Now, the ethically challenged USA TODAY editors have allowed one of Bloomberg’s own anti-gun activists to interview Giffords’ most infamous anti-gun activist, Chipman, for a glowing puff-piece the newspaper titled: “Biden nominated him to head gun oversight. He went down in flames – but he’s not done fighting.”

The story was written by USA TODAY reporter Nick Penzenstadler and Brian Freskos, a staff writer for the Trace who’s based in Chicago. According to his bio, Freskos’ reporting at the Trace “has primarily focused on gun trafficking and community-based violence prevention.” To be clear, even though he shares a byline on the story with an actual newspaper reporter, Freskos is paid by Bloomberg as an activist, a position he’s held since 2016, when he graduated from Columbia University.

In the story, Chipman lashes out at everyone, including the White House and the Justice Department. He blames everyone but himself for the fact he became a laughingstock and the greatest meme generator since Joe Biden.

The story portrays Chipman as heroic, and claims the “ugly and personal confirmation process hardened his resolve to focus on gun safety and push back against the industry’s outsize influence on the agency — even if he has to do so from the outside.”

“Chipman said his political fight was minor compared to what victims of gun violence have experienced, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who endured brain injuries from an assassination attempt in 2011,” the story states. “I have the choice of buying a lake house somewhere and turning off social media and saying I give up. What am I going to tell Gabby? She’s still getting out of bed every day. What do I say? ‘This is too hard for me?’ I wasn’t shot in the head.”

In the story, Chipman accused the ATF of becoming too friendly with the National Shooting Sports Foundation – the trade association of the firearms industry. The NSSF, Chipman claimed, prevented the ATF from holding “bad gun dealers” accountable.

NSSF spokesman Mark Oliva is quoted in Friday’s USA TODAY story.

Oliva explained that the NSSF urged the Biden administration to pick “an individual who can administer the laws and regulations governing the firearm industry and the exercise of Americans’ God-given Second Amendment rights without bias or predisposition.”

Oliva told the paper that Chipman “was not that person.”

Oliva said Friday this wasn’t the first time he was interviewed by USA TODAY reporter Nick Penzenstadler.

“He contacted me last summer about the gun dealer story, but he never mentioned he was working with the Trace,” Oliva said. “He called later, before his Chipman follow ups, and it became evident he was working with the Trace. He never offered it. He never denied it. He seemed matter-of-fact about it.”

The NSSF does not participate in interviews with anyone affiliated with the Trace, Oliva said. He responded to Penzenstadler’s calls for Friday’s story only because Chipman has lashed out at NSSF senior vice-president and general counsel, Larry Keane, and he wanted to set the record straight.

“Chipman is definitely making the rounds,” Oliva said. “He’s throwing everyone under the bus, not just us. He threw the White House under the bus. He’s only validating why he is unfit for the job.”

Oliva, who reported for Stars and Stripes as a Marine, described the close relationship between USA TODAY and the Trace as “incestuous.”

“It is beyond the pale of any kind of objectivity when it comes to journalism. It is more embarrassing for Gannett than anyone else that this partnership happens with such a blatantly obvious anti-gun group,” he said. “The Trace is pushing an agenda and Gannett is allowing them to use their newsrooms to do it. It is completely devoid of any kind of objectivity.”

At the end of their story, the newspaper describes the Trace as “a nonprofit investigative journalism outlet focused on firearms.”

“That is obviously untrue,” Oliva said. “The Trace is nothing but a mouthpiece for gun control and Mr. Bloomberg’s agenda to strip gun rights from law abiding citizens.”

Second Amendment Foundation founder and executive vice president, Alan M. Gottlieb, said he has known for years that USA TODAY and its parent company Gannett harbored extreme anti-gun rights views.

“Now, by partnering with the Trace, they have proven it,” Gottlieb said. “The problem for them is that by allowing Bloomberg’s activists to participate in the reporting and editing process, their work product can no longer be called news. It is propaganda – anti-gun rights propaganda.”

Maribel Perez Wadsworth, president of the USA TODAY network and publisher of USA TODAY, did not respond to emails seeking comment for this story.

This story is presented by the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and wouldn’t be possible without you. Please click here to make a tax-deductible donation to support more pro-gun stories like this.

About Lee Williams

Lee Williams, who is also known as “The Gun Writer,” is the chief editor of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project. Until recently, he was also an editor for a daily newspaper in Florida. Before becoming an editor, Lee was an investigative reporter at newspapers in three states and a U.S. Territory. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a police officer. Before becoming a cop, Lee served in the Army. He’s earned more than a dozen national journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. Lee is an avid tactical shooter.

Lee Williams

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Deplorable Bill

Yup, that guy is tyrannical and corrupt and absolutely against the constitution which he swore allegiance to. He was part of a government funded and outright evil, unconstitutional government entity namely the batf. He was at least on site during the siege and murder of men, women and children at Waco. He and they have blood on their hands all because someone did not pay the illegal $200 tax stamp assuming one or more of the melted firearms found in the rubble at the branch Davidian”s church site. They forget to mention that they had followed Koresh in and through… Read more »


If only the rural “red state” sheriff office employees had not contacted the BATFE and asked them to get involved, maybe the entire atrocity could have been avoided.

Last edited 1 year ago by JSNMGC

Yes, the round-the-clock downvoters believe that video of the sworn tesimony by the very McLennan County Sheriff Office Lieutentant who cooperated with the BATFE is fake. It’s has to be a fake video, right? Otherwise it would it would be one more data point dispelling the myth that the rural “red state” enforcers are on your side (and it’s only those pesky federal guys you have to watch out for). Below is a link to the testimony of Gene Barber, who was a Lieutenant of the McLennan County Sheriff’s Department. He gave that testimony on August 21, 1995 at the Joint… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by JSNMGC

Totalitarians are attacking the American way of life on many fronts. When they tell people that “trans” females are females it, predictably, leads to problems.

Those polices require enforcement. When the dad of a sexually assaulted real female speaks up, who forcibly hauls him off so he cannot speak up?

The name of their employer is written in big letters on their body armor:


Recent FBI statistics show more criminals committing felonies were killed by armed citizens than by police officers in the last year . These facts alone put the gun grabbing liberals lies to rest and prove that guns for personal protection deter crime and criminals more than these meaningless laws that the left promote to tie the hands of law abiding citizens to protect themselves from the same criminals that these same liberal clowns turn loose on society daily .


if they wont jail them, or arrest them we have to box them and return them to family


Publish chipman’s home address


Propaganda is an insidious tool! I met a woman years ago who opined the “Koresh got what was coming to hi:because he spanked baby’s. I told her…”Yeah, the ATF spanked them all real good, didn’t they!” She wouldn’t talk to me after that!


The fact that gun rights organizations, along with individual advocates are overwhelmingly law-abiding citizens, is to gun grabbers, who are primarily of the Left, to be ignored. The former are, in the later’s view, unwashed, loathsome, disgusting, right-wing yahoos. They’ll give us no quarter. They’ll rather not deal with us. Too bad, we must deal with them.

Roland T. Gunner



Propaganda is a fine art. I developed a real taste for well constructed propaganda in my travels in the Third World. If you ever get a chance to go to school at the farm you get world class instruction, instruction that rivaled my instruction at a major California university. So here is what you need to know: the Cubans, the Chicoms, the Russians (Soviet flavor), the North Koreans et all would not use USA Today as bird cage liner. Good propaganda must be at least 80% true or it becomes a joke. Late in the history of the Soviet Union… Read more »


Lee, enjoy your writings. Well done!!


Time for these Nazi’s to go, just like 75+ years ago…


This is news? Gannet has bought out a bunch of small newspapers to spread their ideology. In S. Utah, a very red part of the state, the Spectrum is full of liberal crap, including anti-gun rhetoric. One more way they are infiltrating red areas and able to push their Bloomberg perspective on the public.

Roland T. Gunner

“Bad gun dealers” are extremely rare, up there with other rare bad guys like serial murderers, school shooters and Arlo Guthrie’s “father rapers”. David Chipman is going to earn himself a bullet in the head and a shallow grave in the Chihuahuan desert.


Do we have any billionaires on our side, ready to help spread the truth?

Roland T. Gunner

We wish.