CBS Bombards NRA's Keene Over 'Off-Bounds' Ad; Being 'Out of Touch' with Membership

Norah O'Donnell barely contained her contempt for NRA president David Keene during an interview on Thursday's CBS This Morning. O'Donnell confronted Keene over a new ad that ripped President Obama's support of gun control and referenced the armed Secret Service protection for Sasha and Malia Obama: "The NRA put out this ad in which you mentioned the President's kids....Why is it not off-bounds to use the President's kids or anybody's kids in a political ad?"

Keene tried to explain the intent behind the ad, but the anchor interrupted him mid-answer. The outrage in her voice was unmistakable [audio available here; video below the jump]:

DAVID KEENE: The ad was not about the President's kids. The ad was about the fact that the President's children-

NORAH O'DONNELL: Let me stop you right there, David, because I looked at the ad again this morning. I read through the transcript. You actually mentioned the President's kids three times! Three times!

David Keene, NRA President; Norah O'Donnell, CBS News Anchor; & Charlie Rose, CBS News Anchor; Screen Cap From 17 January 2013 Edition of CBS This Morning | NewsBusters.orgKEENE: Of course, we did, and we also had pictures of a number of other people, including David Gregory and others who send their children to schools that have protection, and derive the idea that average citizen's children should be protected. That was our point. Our point is not about the President's kids. It's not about his kids – it's about everybody else's kids. We think that one of the most important things we can do is provide security to the children of America, and we don't think that's an inappropriate message.

Despite all of the attention on the NRA ad, O'Donnell didn't once bring up how President Obama surrounded himself with schoolchildren during his Thursday press conference on gun control. She also failed to mention a new online video game that lets users simulate assassinating Keene.

The CBS anchor came out of the gate with her slant earlier in the segment: "We have a new CBS News/New York Times poll out this morning that shows 85 percent of NRA households support background checks on all gun buyers. Are you out of touch with your own membership?"

Co-anchor Charlie Rose also set the slanted tone of the interview in his lead question: "Did anything that happened in Newtown change anything about the NRA, or will your efforts simply be to resist, resist, resist?"


Rose and O'Donnell have regularly ganged up on conservative/Republican guests on the CBS morning newscast. On November 14, 2012, the two anchors pummeled Senator John McCain over his opposition to Susan Rice as a potential replacement for Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Almost three weeks before that, they badgered former RNC head Haley Barbour on then-Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's strong pro-life stance.

The two CBS journalists even ganged up on former Obama chief of staff/current Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel on December 18, 2012, hitting him from the left on the gun control issue. But neither raised the issue of the Windy City's high murder rate, and what that might say about that Democratic stronghold's strict gun control regulations.

[Update, Thursday, 5:55 pm Eastern: The full transcript of the David Keene interview is available at MRC.org.]

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center