MSNBC’s Krystal Ball Screams ‘The NRA Shoots Down a Qualified Obama Nominee’

MSNBC’s anti-gun agenda has made its way to its online site MSNBC.com when Krystal Ball, co-host of “The Cycle” penned a piece on Monday March 17 bemoaning how the NRA supposedly “shoots down a qualified Obama nominee.”

The nominee in question is Dr. Vivek Murthy, President Obama’s pick to be the nation’s next surgeon general, and far from just a doctor. Despite his questionable credentials , Ball lamented how Obama’s nominee “was in danger because Murthy has advocated gun safety and linked public health to gun violence."

Ball’s anti-NRA piece continued as she whined how “That the National Rifle Association is poised to scuttle the president’s choice for surgeon general is both depressing and absurd.” Ball’s unrelenting complaint continued:

Murthy’s nomination passed out of the Senate Health Committee with the unanimous support of the committee’s Democrats and even one Republican – Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk. Since then, Murthy has faced increasing opposition from pro-gun senators, right wing media outlets and the NRA.

Their stated opposition stems from a letter Murthy signed as a founder of Doctors for America where he advocated gun safety measures including an assault weapons ban, limits on ammunition sales, and mandatory gun safety training. Dr. Murthy has also opposed bans on doctors discussing gun safety in the home with patients.

The MSNBC host continued to show her displeasure with the NRA by huffing that “My MSNBC colleague Toure called the backlash to Murthy’s nomination “Gun McCarthyism.” He’s right. Good and qualified people can now apparently be deemed unfit for public service and have their careers ruined simply for uttering even the most innocuous comments about gun safety.”

Ball then asserted that Murthy’s anti-gun sentiments, which he expressed via Twitter, are mainstream and are in-line with conventional medical thinking:

Pro-gun Murthy opponents have painted him as an anti-gun radical. He is nothing of the sort. His views are mainstream, both in the public health community and across the U.S. more broadly.  And given the prevalence of gun injury and death in our country, gun safety as a public health issue is an indisputable fact.

If you don’t believe me, ask the American Medical Association which has advocated for both an assault weapons and high capacity magazine ban. “As individual physicians, our members see first-hand the devastating consequences of gun violence to victims and their families. As a professional community, we must do everything we can, not only to treat the victims and their families, but also to reduce the epidemic of gun violence in our nation, much of which is preventable,” the AMA has written.  

Ball’s piece omitted a key fact that the NRA isn't the only group that objects to Murthy’s nomination. Dr. Murthy is more than just a doctor; he is an activist who co-chaired the advocacy group Doctors for Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign. That group became Doctors for America after the election whose goal was to promote health care reform through ObamaCare.

Furthermore, as The Daily Beast noted:

While Murthy is unquestionably accomplished, there is one major gap in his résumé: He has never served as a traditional doctor. He is a hospitalist—a type of doctor who performs inpatient shift work, taking care of patients in a non-ICU setting on a floor with medical patients.   

Rather than mention the serious questions surrounding Murphy’s credentials, Ball focused her rant squarely at the NRA by complaining that, "It is plainly absurd that the NRA would have a say in the selection of our next surgeon general. Murthy has been quite clear that if confirmed, he would focus primarily on the national obesity epidemic. But radical pro-gun sentiment has lost any basis in analysis and rationality.”

Ball concluded her outburst by concluding that:

Senators live in fear of the NRA, whose wrath is unleashed for even the most minor of transgressions.  The NRA would have us believe that they are protectors of our Constitutional liberty, but their repression of dissent, retribution against opponents and the imposition of a pure extremist orthodoxy is more reminiscent of Mao than Jefferson. 

The Constitution enshrines the principles of transparency and rigorous debate.   Perhaps we can send a copy to the NRA. I wonder how they’d score the vote if the First Amendment were being ratified in the Senate?

The MSNBC host never explained why the NRA didn’t deserve a say in the nomination of the surgeon general when he makes comments that directly impact its mission. Instead, Ball chose to smear the NRA’s actions, and claim that they scare individuals into supporting their policy agenda. Murthy is more than just a doctor, he is an ObamaCare activist and gun control supporter, yet Ball thinks any criticism of Obama’s nominee is just a way of shooting down a “qualified Obama nominee.” 

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.