The Chicago Tribune has lurched to the left of Sen. Barack Obama, at least on gun rights, marking the latest point in its evolution from a historically moderate-to-conservative paper to a reliably left-wing broadsheet.
That's how MRC Director of Media Analysis characterized the Trib's decision to issue an editorial last Friday calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment. The editorial board's writers whined that the Constitution's Framers "could have used an editor" in writing the Bill of Rights. [audio available here]
Below is a transcript -- h/t MRC intern Peter Sasso -- from Graham's appearance on the June 30 "O'Reilly Factor" with guest host John Kasich:
JOHN KASICH, guest host: When I heard that the Trib called for the repeal of the Second Amendment, I kind of thought that it might be an April Fools Day I didn't believe it. Tim, I mean, were you shocked?
TIM GRAHAM, MRC Director of Media Analysis: Yeah, I was told by an office mate today and I couldn't believe it, I thought it was a joke. You know, we saw obviously a lot of liberal urban newspapers, the New York Times, the Washington Post, take the Supreme Court decision where the justices basically said gee the second amendment actually means what it says about no infringement on the right. But this, this takes it to a whole new level. I mean this was so provocative, its sort of like somebody dancing in their underwear, very ah, sort of ridiculous to say the founding fathers were all rotten amendment writers and ah we think we could do better, we just think we should throw that second amendment out and start over.
KASICH: You know Tim, I wonder how many people who are living in a violent section of Chicago who now, or in DC or wherever who may now, mother and dad saying I might be able to actually have some protection for my family, you know, to protect me against one of these thug drug dealers that wants to break into my house. So in a way, has the paper lost touch with the people that are reading that paper?
GRAHAM: Papers like this don't see this as a people issue, they see it as a gun issue. They have such a hatred for the weapon itself that they don't really pay any attention to how its used. And we can chronicle on a day by day basis the way the news media ignores stories of citizens bravely defending themselves with their own firearms. It's the kind of story the news media just doesn't want to exist and so they don't tend to report it at all.
KASICH: Tim, how do they, how does a newspaper make a decision like this?
GRAHAM: Yeah, this one's a mystery, I mean a lot of time at an editorial board of a major newspaper, there's obviously not just one person writing the interviews, writing the editorials , there's a whole bunch of people. This clearly reads like its been written by one person who was having a bad day or just feeling, you know feeling feisty. Aah, but this really is a sad decline I think to a lot of people from what the Chicago Tribune used to be, it used to be a conservative sort of Republican newspaper, even a couple of decades ago, they were still seen as a moderate Republican newspaper. Now we're at a point where it sounds like they're more left than Barack Obama, At least the Barack Obama comments from the other day...
KASICH: You know, that's an interesting point you make. Because you know, Obama came out in favor of the Supreme Court decision, so how do they look at that, how does he look at that? How's he gonna defend this?
GRAHAM: I think he needs to be asked this question, I think the news media ought to say your home town newspaper has now suggested the second amendment should now be repealed. Do you agree with the Chicago Tribune and let him denounce the Chicago Tribune, we'd like to see that happen. But ah, clearly, Obama's position has definitely evolved.
KASICH: Yeah I thought that Obama had a good comment about this, I thought McCain did, it's clear that both sides believe in gun rights. And you know, obviously some people at the Tribune didn't get it and I am still waiting to see whether there are any letters to the editors from those people who are going to be able now to defend themselves and their children.