Time.com Misleads Readers with Faulty Headline on Pittsburgh Shooter

<p>&quot;Shop Sold Guns to Pa., Va. Tech Shooters&quot; blares the headline for an August 7 Associated Press story carried on Time.com.</p><p>But <a href="http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1915308,00.html" target="_blank">Time's headline for the accompanying AP story</a> is woefully inaccurate and worse, deceptive. Pittsburgh fitness center shooter George Sodini, whom police say purchased his firearms legally, did not purchase them from online accessories dealer TGSCOM, Inc. </p><p>The same story <a href="http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jCr-8hvMxT_o93eW1whvXE... target="_blank">accessed at Google</a> has a more accurate headline,  &quot;Pa. gunman used same Web store as Va. Tech shooter.&quot; </p><p>Here's the story as carried on Time.com:</p> <blockquote><!--break--><p>(BRIDGEVILLE, Pa.) — The gunman who killed three women and wounded nine others at a Pittsburgh-area health club bought accessories for a handgun from the same Wisconsin-based dealer that sold a gun to the Virginia Tech shooter.</p><p>Forty-eight-year-old George Sodini bought the accessories from TGSCOM Inc. of Green Bay, Wis.<span class="see"></span></p><p>Police investigating Tuesday's shootings at the L.A. Fitness center in Collier Township have said Sodini bought his weapons legally.</p><p>TGSCOM's president, Eric Thompson, confirmed the purchases after WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh obtained a receipt. Thompson says he's cooperating with investigators.</p><p>Sodini committed suicide after the shootings, as did Seung-Hui Cho who bought a .22-caliber handgun from TGSCOM in February 2007, two months before he killed 32 people at Virginia Tech.</p></blockquote><p>At the <a href="http://www.tgscom.com/" target="_blank">Web site for his company</a>, Thompson denies that he sold any weapons used by Sodini and that he is cooperating with the ongoing investigation. </p><p>Other media outlets are taking an even more aggressive tack in spinning this development for maximum pro-gun control potential. </p><p>For example, <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/2009/08/07/2009-08-07_pittsbugh... target="_blank">New York Daily News's Rich Schapiro</a> takes aim at Thompson as an arms dealer to psychos (headline in bold below):</p><blockquote><b>Same dealer armed three mass killers: Pa. gym gunman, Va. Tech shooter, Ill. student</b></blockquote><blockquote>The sex-deprived loon who killed three women at a <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Pittsburgh" title="Pittsburgh">Pittsburgh</a> gym bought gun accessories from the same online weapons dealer that sold firearms used in two other massacres. </blockquote>

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters