NBC Uses Newtown Tragedy to Support Obama's Push for Gun Control

On Friday's Today, NBC's David Gregory used the Newtown tragedy to buttress President Obama's push for more gun control. During a heartbreaking story about the grieving father of shooting victim Emilie Parker, Gregory switched to a massive petition for the White House to pursue gun control.

"This morning, President Obama has posted this video response online to nearly 200,000 people that signed a petition on the White House website, pushing the President for action on gun control," reported Gregory.

Just before, Gregory had relayed Robbie Parker's emotional remarks at his daughter's memorial: "After his remarks, Parker broke down in tears, unimaginable loss gripping a father in so much pain."

Gregory included President Obama's response that "This week I called on Congress to take up and pass common sense legislation that has the support of a majority of the American people." He included no soundbites from gun rights advocates, however.

"The politics, it's just so hard to hear about people in so much pain as we go into the holidays. But it's all over that area, and we all feel it," he concluded.

A transcript of the segment, which aired on December 21 on Today at 7:09 a.m. EST, is as follows:

[7:09]

DAVID GREGORY: The nation pauses for a moment of silence at 9:30 Eastern time this morning, one week after the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Church bells tolling 26 times for the victims who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The latest step in the difficult grieving process.

(Video Clip)

ROBBIE PARKER, Emilie Parker's father: There is no reason for us to be here tonight. I'm so thankful for everybody that's here. I can't
--

GREGORY: In Ogden, Utah Thursday night, a public memorial was held for six year-old Emilie Parker. She was born there, and speakers included Emilie's father Robbie, who thanked people in Utah for their support.

PARKER: As we were coming up the roads and we started to see all the ribbons and all your tributes to Emilie everywhere – and a lot of you don't even know who she is. A lot of you never even met her. And to see your love be expressed in that way for us was so meaningful and we were so comforted.

GREGORY: Like so many other grieving Sandy Hook parents, Robbie Parker shared memories about his little girl who loved to go on walks and pick dandelions. And just days before Christmas, heartbreaking details about how Parker and his wife Alissa celebrated their first holiday with Emilie in Utah.

PARKER: I went past the first house that Alissa and I lived in after we were married, and the house that we were in when Emilie was born. And it was just so sweet to be able to picture her inside there on that small house on 23rd Street, to picture our first Christmas there where all we could do was make homemade presents.

GREGORY: After his remarks, Parker broke down in tears, unimaginable loss gripping a father in so much pain.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Robbie thank you. And dear family and friends of the Parker family –

BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States: And in the days since the heartbreaking tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut –

GREGORY: This morning, President Obama has posted this video response online to nearly 200,000 people that signed a petition on the White House website, pushing the President for action on gun control.

OBAMA: This week I called on Congress to take up and pass common sense legislation that has the support of a majority of the American people –

(End Video Clip)
 
GREGORY: The politics, it's just so hard to hear about people in so much pain as we go into the holidays. But it's all over that area, and we all feel it.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014