It’s not surprising that the mainstream media would quickly jump on the question of gun control in the wake of the mass shootings at Virginia Tech on Monday. On Tuesday, the second day for its new hosts, CNN’s "American Morning," broadcasting live from the Virginia Tech campus, jumped almost immediately on the gun control angle, citing from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, one of the leading gun control groups in America.
CNN correspondent Greg Hunter did two live reports on the guns that were used in the massacre during the competitive 7-9 am Eastern time slot. The first report, which came a mere 6 minutes after the top of the 7 am hour, cited that Virginia is "a state that is pretty easy to get a handgun, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence." Hunter then cited the reasons for this "finding" by the Brady Campaign, which included Virginia’s lack of a waiting period and no license requirements. He also cited the Brady Campaign’s advocacy of a "three-day background check."
Substitute hosting for Chris Matthews on last night's Hardball it didn't take long for David Shuster to bring up the specter of gun control in the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting. Shuster indicated that gun policies actually "enabled" the shooter to obtain his "weapons of choice." The following was Shuster's intro for the April 16th edition of "Hardball."
David Shuster: "At this hour, investigators are still trying to piece together what happened this morning on the Virginia Tech campus. Tonight, we will tell you everything we've learned about the killer's motive. We will bring you the most gripping interviews we have seen today from students who witnessed the rampage and tried to block the killer's path. And you will hear live from witnesses who saw the aftermath. Many questions are lingering tonight about the response by campus police, warnings to Virginia Tech students, even gun policies that enabled the killer to get his hands on his weapons of choice. But we start tonight with a campus community was rocked to its core and asking the question, why us?"
Perhaps a sign of how blind the liberally-biased media are to arguments from gun rights advocates, CBS's Andrew Cohen wrote in his Washington Post "Bench Conference" blog that "There Is Irony in the Tragedy at Virginia Tech."
I learned from CBS News' Armen Keteyian that school administrators and
college officials at Virginia Tech had in fact implemented reasonable
security measures (against the wishes of state legislators) designed to
limit guns on campus. In other words, even though the university was
relatively proactive in confronting the problem of guns on campus, the
brutal slayings occurred anyway.
Actually, that's not so much irony as the law of unintended consequences, something that any pro-gun rights advocate could tell Cohen. I've not seen a worse definition of irony since Alanis Morissette wrote a song about it. (continued...)
The April 17 New York Times did not focus on the "tremendous number of potential conflicts" of the AARP's decision to start offering health insurance while continuing to lobby the government.
The obvious conflict is regarding what AARP will lobby for once it begins providing private insurance to individuals.
But the Times didn't try hard to find that conflict. Only four people were quoted in the 700-word article including two AARP executives, liberal Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) and Judith A. Stein of the Center for Medicare Advocacy.
Conservatives often ponder why more young conservatives don’t go into journalism. Here’s one easy reason: the path to prizes and prestige doesn’t come from fierce investigative probing into liberal sacred cows or sharp-eyed conservative commentary. It comes from pleasing liberals with stories which advance their agenda.
The 2007 Pulitzer Prizes must have been a sad affair, what with no major prize for exposing and ruining an anti-terrorism program, and no major natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina to blame on President Bush. But that doesn’t mean the Pulitzers weren’t typically political. After all, the panels of judges are stuffed with long-standing figures in the liberal media establishment.
Let’s start with the Commentary prize, which was awarded to Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The official Pulitzer Prize Board’s press release hailed Tucker’s “courageous, clear-headed columns that evince a strong sense of morality and persuasive knowledge of the community.” Translation: she’s liberal, and she hates George Bush.
On the last half hour of Tuesday's Early Show, guest co-host Maggie Rodriguez moderated a debate on gun control between gun control advocate Paul Helmke and gun rights advocate Suzanna Hupp. Rodriguez threw softballs to Helmke. For example, if tragedies such as the Virginia Tech shooting "are happening because there are too many guns in the United States?"and very bland questions like "what do you think about that?"
On the other hand, she asked much tougher and very biased questions to the gun rights advocate, Suzanna Hupp. Rodriguez noted that her parents were killed in a cafeteria shooting and commented that "some would that, that would make you a bigger gun opponent." When Suzanna Hupp noted that the scenario may have been different had Virginia Tech students been able to defend themselves, Rodriguez returned to Paul Helmke and called Hupp’s comments "controversial." Rodriguez’s final question to Hupp summarized her stance on gun control.
MSNBC host Contessa Brewer [file photo] has taken some deserved heat here, as when NewsBuster Scott Whitlock caught her here, seemingly rooting for the entire Democratic presidential field.
But for at least one brief shining moment this afternoon, Brewer gave the pro-Second Amendment side of the VA Tech argument fair treatment. The fair Contessa's guests were University of Missouri law prof Kris Kobach, a former senior aide to former AG John Ashcroft, and Dennis Henigan of the Brady gun-control group.
Brewer began by expressing skepticism as to how additional gun control laws could have helped: "Dennis, let me put you on the spot here. What possibly have been done to keep Cho from buying a gun? We now know he didn't have a criminal record."
On Saturday’s "Good Morning America," correspondent Christianne Klein hyped this past weekend’s global warming rallies by reporting hyperbolic and misleading information on the subject of rising sea levels. Reporting from lower Manhattan before a gaggle of environmental activists, she said of the protesters, "Now, where they will stand represents where the Manhattan coastline could be if the sea level rises just 10 feet, actually, a moderate estimate for global warming standards."
A 10 feet increase is a moderate estimate? Not quite. As the CATO Institute's Patrick Michaels noted, the much hyped U.N. report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggested a rise of inches, not feet, is likely:
Under the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's medium-range emission scenario for greenhouse gases, a rise in sea level of between 8 and 17 inches is predicted by 2100....Even 17 inches is likely to be high, because it assumes that the concentration of methane, an important greenhouse gas, is growing rapidly.
It didn’t take the BBC World, airing on PBS, long to find a way to criticize America and our constitution it the midst of our national tragedy. After an initial segment on the events at Virginia Tech, the BBC felt another story on Second Amendment rights were appropriate for a broadcast. The story by Gavin Hewitt led with the following, "Today’s images from Blacksburg are at once horrific but shockingly familiar. Shootings on campuses, in high schools, in shopping malls, have become part of the American landscape."
After continuing with a re-cap of past school shootings, his analysis of the ‘American landscape’ concluded with the following:
In the United states there are 200 million guns in private hands. Many Americans believe it is their right to keep and bear arms, as is their right by the constitution. Attempts to bring in tougher gun laws are often weakened by the powerful National Rifle Association. Even after today's horrific shootings, laws are unlikely to change.
As noted by Matthew Sheffield and Tim Graham, elements of the left run a massive campaign to destroy major media figures that do not ideologically march lockstep with them. This story appeared on the April 16 edition of "The O’Reilly Factor" when former Los Angeles area NOW president, and self proclaimed liberal Tammy Bruce appeared to expose that agenda.
Host Bill O’Reilly noted that he is investigating with Sean Hannity how leftist distortions and smears find their way into the mainstream media. Tammy Bruce noted that elements of the left take phrases out of context to demonize not only conservatives, but anyone who is not a complete liberal ideologue and they started with a test case on Dr. Laura Schlessinger.
Isn't there something a tad, I dunno, hypocritical about a group of journalists who associate with each other on the basis of race and ethnicity issuing an edict to fellow journalists to ignore the race and ethnicity of the Virginia Tech shooter, Cho Seung-Hui?:
Like the rest of the nation, we at the Asian American Journalists
Association (AAJA) are stunned at the news of today's shooting at
Virginia Tech. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families and
friends as they cope with this horrific incident.
As coverage of
the Virginia Tech shooting continues to unfold, AAJA urges all media to
avoid using racial identifiers unless there is a compelling or germane
reason. There is no evidence at this early point that the race or
ethnicity of the suspected gunman has anything to do with the incident,
and to include such mention serves only to unfairly portray an entire
The effect of mentioning race can be powerfully harmful.
It can subject people to unfair treatment based simply on skin color
We further remind members of the media that the
standards of news reporting should be universal and applied equally no
matter the platform or medium, including blogs.
In all the media furor over fired radio host Don Imus, one fact was very rarely reported: that Imus is not a conservative. In truth, he is a moderate liberal. Aside from his stand against the Iraq war, support of John Kerry, abortion-rights, and the Democratic takeover of Congress, perhaps the biggest indicator of his liberal credentials was that liberal media elites like Tim Russert, Jonathan Alter, and Nina Totenberg appeared on his show on a daily basis.
Being in like Flynn with the left-wing media snobs didn't do anything for Imus when it came down to it, however. Many GOPers and conservative intellectuals would do well to learn this lesson. Trying to get in with the liberal media crowd (bashing fellow conservatives works best) will never earn you any protection.
Even if you're naturally a moderate conservative, it still won't earn you any respect from the far left's rage, as centrist conservative radio host Michael Smerconish is finding out. Writing at Classical Values, Eric Scheie reports:
Proof that even broken clocks are correct twice a day, CNN’s populist anchor and "Early Show" contributor Lou Dobbs appeared on the April 17 edition of the CBS show to provide some perspective on the recent Virginia Tech massacre. Dobbs stated that although the shooting at Virginia Tech was a terrible tragedy, it pales in comparison to some of the horrific tragedies that happen on college campuses every day. Suicide and binge drinking kill far more college students than these terrible but very rare incidents, yet the media rarely focuses on them. The transcript is below.
LOU DOBBS: Good morning, Russ, thank you. And good morning to all of you. This morning, we're grieving for the victims of what has turned out to be the deadliest shooting in this country's history and the senseless deaths, the shock of those death, of more than 30 people and the wounding of dozens more on Virginia Tech's campus won't diminish for us soon. My heart goes out to the families and the victims and all those touched by this tragedy. As we try to make sense of this madness, you and I know that in the days and weeks ahead, these horrible murders will dominate our news coverage and our national conversation. And we in the media will most likely lose some perspective and some sense of proportion. We'll be reporting on the worst shooting rampage ever in this country.
As liberals in the media call for the firing of well-known conservative radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh in the wake of the Don Imus controversy, none seems willing to turn the politically correct microscope on those espousing views from the left.
With that in mind, Lisa De Pasquale, Conservative Political Action Conference director for the American Conservative Union, published an article at Human Events Tuesday wonderfully illustrating the obvious double standard between what liberal media members can say or write versus their colleagues on the other side of the aisle.
The target of De Pasquale’s disaffection was the blogger formerly known as “Wonkette,” Time.com’s Ana Marie Cox (emphasis added throughout):
Here's a little lighthearted item to punctuate the serious news of the past day.
"The View" co-host Joy Behar appeared on today's "Martha Stewart Show" to help the program's host make piñatas from scratch. The final product: a piñata emblazoned with Rosie O'Donnell's photographic image.
For what it's worth, Behar insisted in a Q&A session with the audience that the heated discussion on-set doesn't translate to off-camera animosity.
A day after posting a blog entry
replete with falsehoods, and despite more than dozens of comments
pointing out the factual inaccuracies of the story, Brian Ross and Dana
Hughes of the ABC News blog "The Blotter" have yet to issue a
Does ABC News have an obligation to report facts, or is peddling a
political agenda buttressed by lies their preferred stock in trade?
As I noted yesterday, the ABC News blog did not get so much as a single fact in their blog entry correct.
The Ross entry states that high-capacity magazines "became widely
available for sale when Congress failed to renew a law that banned
assault weapons." This is a patently false statement, containing no
truth at all.
In the aftermath of the Duke lacrosse rape hoax, New York Times columnist Peter Applebome spoke out against the "socially conscious left" that was ready to convict the innocent Duke lacrosse players without evidence. Was fellow Times columnist Selena Roberts listening?
"The rape case that cost three Duke University lacrosse players a year of their lives and much more of their youth finally ended on Wednesday, when North Carolina Attorney General Roy A. Cooper said what many people have long known: all three were totally innocent of the charges against them.
Before this is over, I predict that Virginia Tech President Charles Steger will apologize for errors that he and his administration made in dealing with yesterday's massacre. But as of this morning, Steger was still seeking to defend the failure to alert students for two hours after the initial murders. As Matt Lauer politely pointed out, his explanation would seem to fail a simple test of logic.
"Today" host Lauer interviewed Steger during the show's first half-hour.
LAUER: As you continue to mourn here at Virginia Tech University, you're also facing some very difficult questions from students and from parents and from law enforcement people who are saying we had a shooting take place at 7:15 in the dormitory in this part of the campus, and yet an email didn't go out warning students even to be cautious until two hours later.
The easiest place to find liberal disgust at American gun laws in Tuesday's Washington Post was in Kevin Sullivan's roundup of international reaction from London. The headline was "Shock, Sympathy, And Denunciation Of U.S. Gun Laws: British Newspaper Asks, 'What Price the Right to Bear Arms?'"
One British expert even claimed you could easily buy automatic weapons along with your yogurt and bologna at the supermarket:
"I think the reason it happens in America is there's access to weapons -- you can go into a supermarket and get powerful automatic weapons," Keith Ashcroft, a psychologist, told the Press Association. Ashcroft said he believed such access, along with a culture that makes gun ownership seem normal, increases the likelihood of such attacks in the United States.