On his January 10 program, pro-gun control Hardball host Chris Matthews was utterly perplexed at the very notion of gun shows themselves, going further than the call to close the so-called gun show loophole regarding background checks. " I'm a suburbanite city mouse. I generally have lived in urban -- suburban areas, but I don`t know why you need a gun show. I mean, if you want to buy a gun, you buy a car, you go to a dealer. Why do you have to have a show?" Matthews griped.
Well, now it turns out that Matthews's employer, NBC Universal, is actually sponsoring a massive three-day-long gun show in Las Vegas. The Washington Free Beacon's C.J. Ciaramella reported shortly after 6 p.m. Eastern on Friday:
The NBC Sports Network, a subsidiary of the communications giant Comcast, is helping to sponsor the largest gun trade show in the country despite anti-gun rhetoric on the NBC family of television networks, including a controversial monologue by one of its sports announcers.
NBC Sports is listed as one of the primary sponsors of the 2013 SHOT Show, which takes place Jan. 15 to18 in Las Vegas and bills itself “the world’s premier exposition of combined firearms.”
Neither MSNBC nor Comcast responded to a request for comment.
MSN Money's Aimee Picchi picked up on the story in a December 14 story, by which time NBC executives made sure they got their story straight for the media:
Amid a nationwide debate about gun laws, Comcast's (CMCSA) NBC Sports is continuing to sponsor one of the biggest gun shows in the country.
The SHOT Show, which runs in Las Vegas from Tuesday to Friday, last year attracted more than 57,000 attendees and 1,600 exhibitors. To be sure, not anyone can get into the show: It's not open to the public, and only commercial buyers and sellers of shooting, hunting and related trades are allowed, according to the show's website.
The support of the show isn't new for NBC Sports. It's been involved "for several years as part of our commitment to our outdoor programming block," NBC Sports spokesman Greg Hughes tells MSN Money.
While Hughes wouldn't disclose the amount of its sponsorship, he did note that the value is "very nominal."
NBC Sports Network, which changed its name from the Versus network over a year ago, airs outdoor programming such as "Whitetail Diaries," which features "the best hunting stories from across the country that highlight North America's most popular game animal, the whitetail deer," according to the network's site.
In fairness, the SHOT gun show is closed to the public, limited only to "shooting, hunting and outdoor trade professionals and commercial buyers and sellers of military, law enforcement and tactical products and services ONLY [emphasis SHOT's]." That being said, it is still a gun show, and it will almost certainly include the sort of "military-style" and "assault" weapons that the liberal media disdain:
Any firearm that may be legally sold by a federally licensed firearms dealer (Type 01), subject to specific exceptions noted below, may be displayed in the Firearms Section of the Show.