ABC Continues Blackout on Obama's Gun Control Setback; CBS, NBC Minimize Coverage

ABC continued ignoring Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's move on Tuesday to drop a proposed federal ban on so-called assault weapons. Neither Wednesday's World News nor Thursday's Good Morning America covered the congressional development. This lack of coverage stands out in light of the network's hype of President Obama's supposedly "dramatic and emotional" lobbying effort for the ban during his State of the Union address.

NBC and CBS's Wednesday evening newscasts also ignored Senator Reid's deep-sixing of the gun control legislation. Their morning shows on Thursday devoted news briefs to Vice President Joe Biden and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's "renewed call" for the assault weapons ban, but failed to explicitly mention the Nevada Democrat's role in dropping the bill.

Norah O'Donnell, CBS News Anchor; Screen Cap From 21 March 2013 Edition of CBS This Morning | NewsBusters.orgAnchor Norah O'Donnell spotlighted how "in New York, the push for gun control is still on" during her brief during the 7 am Eastern hour of Thursday's CBS This Morning. O'Donnell continued that "Biden and Mayor Michael Bloomberg are meeting today with the families of [the] Newtown shootings", and merely noted that "the meeting comes after Senate leaders scrapped a ban on assault weapons this week."

Of course, the Democrats in the Senate have the majority in the Senate, but the CBS on-air personality didn't mention this detail. An on-screen graphic trumpeted the "Gun Control Battle: Biden, Bloomberg Continue Push For Reform" during O'Donnell's brief.

Exactly two hours later, news anchor Natalie Morales reported on the Vice President's "renewed call for gun control" on Thursday's Today. She then followed in the CBS anchor's example in omitting Senator Reid's part in throwing out the bill: "On Wednesday, Biden said the White House is still pushing for Congress to pass a ban on the so-called assault weapons even though the Senate has dropped the measure from its gun control package."

The transcript of the news briefs from Thursday's CBS This Morning and NBC's Today:


03/21/2013
07:09 am EDT
CBS This Morning

[CBS News Graphic: "Gun Control Battle: Biden, Bloomberg Continue Push For Reform"]

NORAH O'DONNELL: In New York, the push for gun control is still on. Vice President Joe Biden and Mayor Michael Bloomberg are meeting today with the families of [the] Newtown shootings. The meeting comes after Senate leaders scrapped a ban on assault weapons this week. Both Biden and Bloomberg say they are going to continue to fight for that ban.


03/21/2013
09:09 am EDT
NBC – Today

[NBC News Graphic: "Gun Control; White House Not Giving Up On Assault Weapons Ban"]

NATALIE MORALES: Well, Vice President Joe Biden is making a renewed call for gun control during an appearance today with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and families from Newtown, Connecticut. On Wednesday, Biden said the White House is still pushing for Congress to pass a ban on the so-called assault weapons even though the Senate has dropped the measure from its gun control package.

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