The truth is sometimes a bitter pill to swallow. That’s become apparent after several media outlets examined why David Chipman couldn’t gain support in the U.S. Senate to be confirmed as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Media believed Chipman was the cure-all to push gun control. He was their gun control medicine man – a shaman who would usher in the gun control fix. Except he wasn’t. He’s more of a gun control advocate than a law enforcement policy guru. He never gained support even among Democratic senators. He wasn’t a serious contender for a serious role.
That’s a fact some in the media just can’t stomach.
Beast’s ‘Besties’ Claim
Take the latest column in The Daily Beast by Eleanor Clift. Clift’s piece is behind a paywall, so here’s the gist to save you money. Clift claims Chipman’s nomination was sunk by a too-powerful gun lobby that played fast and loose with the facts on Chipman. Clift quoted an unnamed source saying, “It was a total smear campaign,” and offered the debunked photo published by The Daily Mail of an individual in front of the burned remains of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.
NSSF included the alleged photo in a blog post, noting it was alleged, but unproven to be Chipman. The photo was removed when it was clear it wasn’t Chipman. Chipman, nor Giffords gun control for which Chipman was a lobbyist, nor The White House ever denied it was him until his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee. NSSF removed the photo before the hearing.
Clift, however, took her opinion column a step further, writing, “Chipman, now in his mid-fifties, spent 25 years as an agent with the ATF, where he worked closely with NSSF’s chief lobbyist, Larry Keane, on building safety training programs, only to see Keane and the NSSF take the lead in circulating a photo with false information about him that they knew was untrue.”
The photo is already explained. While I did know Chipman and harbor no personal animus toward him, the claim that we worked closely together on building training programs is untrue. NSSF developed the Don’t Lie for the Other GuyTM program with ATF leadership long before Chipman came to ATF headquarters. And, he was long gone from headquarters when NSSF and ATF launched the Operation Secure Store® program. While at headquarters he never held an executive level leadership position. He was an assistant Special Agent-in-Charge in Detroit and later a liaison for the ATF’s Office of Public and Governmental Affairs, according to the resume he submitted to Congress. There’s no mention of his work on developing the Don’t Lie program.