ABC, NBC Ignore Democrats' New Push For Gun Control; CBS Covers

CBS This Morning stood out on Wednesday as the only Big Three newscast so far to devote any air time to a new gun control proposal by Democrats in Congress. Nancy Cordes reported on the "fierce opposition" to a proposed amendment to an extension of an existing ban on so-called "plastic guns", which would "require that all guns contain a piece of metal that cannot be removed".

However, both of Cordes' talking heads during the segment were from Democratic supporters of the proposal, and she failed to include any soundbites from gun rights supporters. [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

Anchor Norah O'Donnell introduced the correspondent's report by noting how "the Senate will act on a gun control bill passed by the House on Tuesday. It extends an existing law that bans guns able to get around metal detectors or X-ray machines, including those made from plastic 3-D printers....Senate Democrats say they want to expand the gun control bill, but they face fierce opposition."

Cordes continued that "the ban is set to expire in just a few days if the House and Senate don't work this out. House Republicans actually extended the ban as is...But Senate Democrats say dangerous new technology has rendered it obsolete." She soon played a clip from her interview of Rep. Steve Israel. It should be pointed out that Cordes did raise the conservative argument against the new gun control amendment:

NANCY CORDES: Gun rights supporters say you're creating a problem where none really exists right now.

REP. STEVE ISRAEL, (D), NEW YORK: Who wants to be the first person to be injured or killed by a bullet fired by a plastic gun? Nobody does. And so, rather than having to play catch-up to that, why don't we just keep pace with technology and protect the American people from that possibility?

The CBS correspondent also read an excerpt from a statement from the NRA: "The National Rifle Association disagrees [with Rep. Israel], saying in a statement, 'The NRA strongly opposes any expansion of the Undetectable Firearms Act.'"

Later in the segment, Cordes pointed out how "the debate took on new significance this year, after a Texas man – Cody Wilson –  managed to build a mostly-plastic gun using a home 3-D printer. The State Department was so concerned others might try it too that they ordered Wilson to remove the blueprints from his website." She then played her second soundbite from a liberal supporter of the gun control proposal – Senator Chuck Schumer.


CBS This Morning also spotlighted the successful recall of two pro-gun control state legislators in Colorado back on September 11, 2013, as NBC's Today ignored the story. Instead, they devoted 36 seconds of air time to Hillary Clinton receiving the Liberty Medal. ABC's GMA also minimized their coverage of the recall.

[Update: the full transcript of Nancy Cordes' report from Wednesday's CBS This Morning can be read at MRC.org.]

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