'Today': Being Tough on Crime Puts Rudy at Odds With NRA

At first I thought I might have misunderstood. Lester Holt surely didn't mean to imply that befriending the NRA jeopardizes a politician's reputation for being tough on crime, did he?

Oh yes he did.

View video here.

On this morning's "Today," weekend co-anchor Holt introduced a segment on Rudy Giuliani's Friday speech to the NRA, in which Rudy tried to take some of the sharp edges off his prior anti-NRA positions . . .

LESTER HOLT: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giulani remains the apparent GOP front-runner of his party for the White House, but his long record of being tough on crime was put to the test on Friday as he addressed one of his party's biggest supporters, the NRA. NBC's John Yang has the story.

Yang perpetutated the notion that crime-fighting and supporting the NRA are intrinsically at odds.

JOHN YANG: As a crime-fighting NYC Mayor, Rudy Giuliani called the NRA "right-wing extremists." As a presidental candidate he's asking for their votes.

A bit later, Holt began his conversation with NBC political analyst Craig Crawford by choosing an unflattering metaphor for Guliani and his softening of his anti-Second Amendment stance.

HOLT: It was almost as if you could hear the sound like from a garbage truck backing up "beep, beep, beep" as Giulani tried to explain to the NRA campaign what he said then and what he's saying now.
Later, Lester left no doubt that as far as he's concerned, being strong on law and order requires opposing the NRA and Second Amendment rights.
HOLT: Is there a bigger message [he's] sending to social conservatives, at least coming back a little bit from his [anti-NRA attitude]. I mean he's got to keep his strong law-and-order stance but obviously he has to take care of groups like this to some extent, doesn't he?

So there it is. As far as Holt's concerned, the NRA is just a bunch of "social conservatives" who Rudy needs to pacify, or "take care of" as Lester put it. And that's a problem because opposing the NRA is what's required "to keep his strong law-and-order stance."

Oh, and would people please alert me the next time anyone in the MSM analogizes Hillary Clinton to a garbage truck?

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.