Leave it to MSNBC to exploit a shooting by a pair of deranged extremists to push the notion that violence is on the rise as a racist reacting to having a black man in the Oval Office.
That's what MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell did in a segment of the Tuesday edition of her MSNBC program, asking political consultant and former Attorney General Eric Holder spokesman Matthew Miller if the shooting was in part fueled by the fact that “we have an African-American president.”
On Monday's NBC Today, fill-in co-host Willie Geist posed an ominous question to viewers: "How would you feel if you saw someone walk into a store or restaurant with a rifle strapped to his or her back?" Teasing an upcoming story on the topic, he proclaimed: "It's perfectly legal in one state, sparking quite a controversy this morning, we'll explain." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed minutes later, correspondent Kerry Sanders announced: "...in Texas, it is legal to carry a long-barreled rifle, a shotgun, as long as you're carrying it openly....But when a group of gun enthusiasts and activists began carrying their long guns into places like restaurants and stores, it started a debate that's raging like a Texas prairie fire." The headline on screen declared: "Texas Gun Fight; 'Open Carry' Movement Sparks Controversy."
Liberal stand-up comedian Dean Obeidallah jumped right on top of the latest isolated incidents of disturbed nutjobs on shooting sprees to call out his fellow anti-gun liberals as way too timid in the gun rights vs. gun control debate.
And so, in a Daily Beast piece headlined "It’s Time to Think Big or Shut Up on Gun Control," Obeidallah proposed four concrete steps that liberals should make to fight back against the widespread cultural and political acceptance of the notion that Americans enjoy a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. His fourth and final action item, naturally, involved getting the unelected branch of government, the federal courts, to "Rewrite the Second Amendment" by:
The liberals at National Public Radio can’t really imagine guns being necessary for anything...unless perhaps it’s to keep Southern segregationists at bay.
On Thursday afternoon’s Tell Me More talk show, host Michel Martin brought on Charles Cobb, who wrote the book This Nonviolent Stuff'll Get You Killed: How Guns Made The Civil Rights Movement Possible. She called it a “hiding in plain sight story” and asked why he wrote the book:
Jon Stewart began his June 5 Daily Show with a 10-minute-long rant against Open Carry Texas, a pro-gun rights organization that recently received media attention for its members openly carrying guns into various chain restaurants throughout the Lone Star State. Doing so is perfectly legal in Texas, albeit rather rare in practice.
While the National Rifle Association (NRA) first condemned the behavior for showing a “lack of consideration and manners,” it later retracted those criticisms. And so Comedy Central’s favorite late night liberal had all the ammunition he needed to ruthlessly mock both NRA spokesmen and Open Carry Texas members, charging that the NRA is facing a “quandary,” because while “you have a right to carry a weapon” under open carry, you also have the right to “respond with deadly force” according to Stand Your Ground laws, therefore creating a “perpetual violence machine.” Stewart finished with a liberal classic, claiming the entire debate boils down to “a business plan for arms dealers.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
If there's one thing liberal media outlets enjoy, it's conservatives fighting with each other. On Tuesday, CBS This Morning journalists highlighted a dispute between the National Rifle Association and Open Carry Texas, another firearms organization. Co-host Norah O'Donnell related, "...The National Rifle Association is criticizing some of its usual supporters. NRA lobbyists say it's, quote, "scary and downright weird" that Texans are bringing rifles and shotguns into restaurants."
Members of the Texas group have been filming themselves bringing semiautomatic weapons into Chili's and Chipotle. Reporter Manuel Bojorquez hyped the resulting fight, " The nation's most vocal gun advocacy group condemned the activists saying, 'using guns merely to draw attention to yourself in public not only defies common sense, it shows a lack of consideration and manners.'" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
A month ago, I noted that the establishment press has ignored an especially pernicious program undertaken by Eric Holder's Department of Justice and the Obama administration's regulatory apparatus, namely Operation Choke Point.
On Thursday, a strong 321-87 bipartisan majority of the House passed H.R. 4660, the "Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (of) 2015." Among its provisions: "Sec. 554. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to carry out Operation Choke Point." The final bill's supporters included 204 Republicans and 117 Democrats. The establishment press has ignored the vote. Excerpts from Kelly Riddell's Friday coverage at the Washington Times follows the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Mass murder at a sunny college campus in a beach town would normally be considered "newsy," but Elliot Rodger's massacre at the University of California-Santa Barbara last Friday is getting surprisingly little press.
This is not a good case for liberals: The killer was an immigrant, a person of color, and the majority of his casualties resulted from attacks with a car or knife. It makes as much sense to rant about the NRA as to blame the Auto Club of America or the National Knife Collectors Association.
Actor Mark Ruffalo, currently starring in the Reagan-bashing AIDS drama “The Normal Heart” on HBO, told The Wrap website that any debate about gun control lingering in the wake of America's most recent mass shooting in Santa Barbara is “completely outrageous.”
“I don't know how many more of these are going to happen before we start to act like adults, instead of running around like a bunch of selfish children because there's some sort of machismo connected with the idea of having militarized weaponry sitting in your closet,” Ruffalo told TheWrap. ”It's just ridiculous. And our kids are paying the price.”
While the NRA and other gun-rights groups have kept silent in the past few days out of respect for victims of Elliot Rodger’s senseless killing spree in Santa Barbara, California, on Friday evening, the Washington Post saw fit to run a front-pager today devoted to the anti-gun crusade of Richard Martinez, the father of one of Rodger’s victims.
While Mr. Martinez is understandably distraught about the loss of his son, it is unfortunate that the paper would play off Martinez’s raw emotion and deliver readers an unbalanced story skewed heavily in favor of stronger gun restrictions. Post staffer Kimberly Kindy noted, deep in her article, that the NRA did not reply to requests for comment, but she failed to seek out other pro-gun rights voices who might like to give her readers the other side of the story.
Elliot Rodger's spree shooting this weekend has given MSNBC an opening to flog two of its favorite pet causes – restricting gun rights and waging combat against the so-called war on women. Weekend anchors Alex Witt and Melissa Harris-Perry, to their credit, downplayed those two issues while discussing the tragedy on their respective Sunday shows.
But it was former DNC spokeswoman Karen Finney who did not hold back on Sunday’s edition of her show Disrupt. She and her guests immediately tied the incident to the politics of gun control before later playing up the anti-woman angle. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Carol Costello surprisingly raised pro-gun rights points during an interview of Senator Richard Blumenthal on Tuesday's CNN Newsroom. Costello noted the "renewed calls for stricter gun control laws" after Friday's murder spree in California, and pointed out that the Golden State "has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. The shooter in this case abided by a background check....How would any gun control law prevent this particular shooter from buying a gun?"
The anchor, who has forwarded gun control in the past, also zeroed on the fact that the deceased murderer began his rampage by stabbing three people to death: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Actor Seth Rogen and director/producer Judd Apatow are hitting back at a Washington Post film critic for strongly suggesting that the sort of movies churned out by the duo are partly to blame for Elliot Rodger's deadly killing spree on Friday. For his part, Apatow effectively blasted Ann Hornaday for, well, trolling.
In a controversy pitting a fabulously wealthy, nanny-stater, anti-gun rights liberal versus conservative middle- and working-class gun-owning Americans, you can bet on Jon Stewart siding with the former over the latter.
Reacting to the news that Chipotle is requesting – at the urging of Mike Bloomberg – that their patrons not carry weapons in their stores, Stewart devoted a segment of his May 20 Daily Show to lambasting everyday Americans who own guns and who might have heretofore legally taken their guns into a local Chipotle. Naturally Stewart crudely caricatured the viewpoint of such Americans, perhaps thinking none of them watch his show anyway (MP3 audiohere; video below):
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's group Everytown For Gun Safety was also present — but barely. Media coverage of that group's activities largely tiptoed around the tiny number of people, some allegedly paid, the group was able to gather. Let's start with a Sunday morning report from NPR's Bill Chappell (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Lawyer-writer Mike Godwin says he came up with Godwin's Law to discourage facile comparisons to Hitler and Nazism, but sometimes facile happens anyway: Daily Kos featured blogger Hunter declared Monday that "Wayne LaPierre and Sarah Palin at the National Rifle Association [convention] is what an American Nazi Party rally would sound like if Germany had won the war."
From Hunter's post on the Indianapolis convention (emphasis added):
Wednesday's NBC Nightly News slanted steeply toward critics of Georgia's new gun bill, allowing them four quotes as opposed to just one for supporters of the bill. The state's legislation expands the places where citizens can carry guns to include bars, schools, churches and government buildings, with certain limits.
NBC's Gabe Gutierrez opened his report quoting the law's critics: "It's official name is the 'Safe Carry Protection Act' but critics call it the 'guns everywhere bill'." At least NBC gave the real name of the bill; the ABC World News only called it what critics have named it, as anchor Diane Sawyer reported: "The governor signed a bill nicknamed the 'guns everywhere bill,' churches, bars, schools."
In the mind of the folks at Time magazine, a new gun law that allows church leaders and business owners to decide for themselves if concealed-carry permitees can carry their weapons on premises is "radical."
Jill Abramson of the New York Times denied that her newspaper has a liberal bias during a Monday interview with Marlo Thomas of Huffington Post. Abramson asserted that the Times "reflects a very cosmopolitan, inclusive outlook, which can strike some readers as liberal," and later claimed that "the news pages are not ideological."
The executive editor zeroed in on the issue of gun control as her example of how the New York Times is supposedly balanced: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Last Tuesday, in an incredibly childish piece, even by his non-standards, Politico's David Nather acted as if the resistance at Clive Bundy's ranch was endorsed and supported entirely by the tea party movement and/or Republicans and/or conservatives, so he could then characterize their post stand-off behavior — i.e., pursuit of their longer-term political goals — as some form of abandonment.
I was tempted to ignore Nather's nattering, but a couple of subsequent events are making Nather look even more foolish than usual. The first is the fact that Bundy still has significant armed assistance, something the Politico reporter appears not to have anticipated. The second relates to allegations of misbehavior, including illegal property destruction, by Bureau of Land Management agents. First, let's get to some of Nather's blather (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Billionaire former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s bizarre revelation that he thinks he already earned a spot in Heaven with his campaigns to destroy the Second Amendment proves just how arrogant and delusional he has become with his riches.
The anti-gun former New York mayor is launching a new $50 million gun control campaign using a slickly-produced video to push viewers’ emotional hot buttons, boasting that he will target politicians who oppose his anti-gun demagoguery.
Conservative commentator S.E. Cupp had some tough words for former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the wake of him giving $50 million to push his gun control agenda.
Appearing as a guest on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, the CNN Crossfire co-host mocked Bloomberg’s efforts: “Well, he's the best, and by that, I mean the worst face for gun control. And believe me, my friends at NRA high-fived when they heard about this. [See video below.]
Wednesday's NBC Nightly News featured an overwhelmingly positive profile of Michael Bloomberg's new gun control advocacy group. That built upon the network's cheerleading of Bloomberg on Wednesday morning.
Almost the entire story featured quotes from Bloomberg and supporters, with just one soundbite from the NRA. Anchor Brian Williams reported Bloomberg's $50 million pledge without a hint of irony after lamenting big money politics two weeks before.
In a glowing interview with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie touted the anti-gun activist's latest crusade: "You're putting $50 million into the effort....saying essentially this new group is going to borrow a page from the NRA's playbook. The NRA has been very successful in frightening lawmakers who oppose them....You're quoted in The New York Times this morning saying, 'We have to make them afraid of us.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Only two weeks earlier, NBC was wringing its hands over a Supreme Court ruling loosening campaign finance restrictions. On the April 3 Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed: "And you thought there was already too much money in politics. Fasten your seat belts. From now on, there's gonna be a whole lot more."
Let it be noted that at 7:17 p.m. on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, CNN.com finally broke down and posted a story on the alleged criminal behavior of California State Senator Leland Yee. The headline at the story by Matt Smith and Jason Carroll ("Feds: Calif. pol Leland Yee schemed to trade arms for campaign cash") gets to the heart of the matter — unlike the headline ("LAWMAKER YEE PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO FEDERAL CHARGES") at the Associated Press's most recent story on Yee. But Smith and Carroll waited until the fourth paragraph to tag Yee as a Democrat (the AP story at least got there at Paragraph 3).
CNN's story arrives 13 days after Yee's initial arrest, and 11 days, 9 hours and 58 minutes after a snippy person at the "CNN.com Writers" Twitter account — apparently one Eliott McLaughlin, according to the account's home page — claimed that its non-coverage of the Yee story was "in line with us covering state senators & state secretary of state races just about never." Yours truly disproved that assertion in about three minutes on March 29.
At time of publication there's no indication that the shooter, Spc. Ivan Lopez, broke any laws in purchasing the gun nor that Guns Galore broke any in selling them to him, and yet the Lean Forward network's website aims to make the store out as a villain. [see screen capture below page break]
For the second time in five years, Fort Hood was the site of a shooting by a rogue member of the military. While the shooting, which occurred during the afternoon of Wednesday April 2, had fewer victims than the one five years ago, CNN predictably used the tragedy to push for greater gun control in America.
After Piers Morgan's Twitter tirade on Wednesday night, CNN’s Chris Cuomo wondered despite the shooter having mental health issues, why he was “Still able to walk into a private store and get this semi-automatic handgun that he winds up using, not a military issued weapon, his own. Don't you think that's something that needs to be addressed in terms of who's abled to get these conceal carry permits and weapons?” [See video below.]
When an unmistakable embarrassment to liberalism occurs, a standard establishment press fallback tactic is to accuse conservatives of some form of incivility — and if there really isn't one, to make up a story about it anyway.
That's exactly what Bloomberg Businsessweek's Paul M. Barrett did on Tuesday in covering the NRA's reaction to the arrest of California State Senator and ardent gun control advocate Leland Yee on gun trafficking charges. The story's headline claimed that the group did "a victory dance." Barrett's content claimed that it was "gloating" and "strained to veil its pleasure." In truth, the group was doing nothing of the sort — unless the speech police now believe that making any kind of obvious observation about a liberal's failure is inherently unfair: