After spending the first half of the week acting as a stenographer for Barack Obama, Jon Karl on Wednesday night and Thursday morning finally featured some dissenting voices on the rush to promote gun control. The ABC White House correspondent sought out attendees at a gun show and leaders of the NRA. Yet, he still managed to hype the opposition as "ferocious," a word not often used for liberal resistance.
On Wednesday's World News, anchor Diane Sawyer used the President's preferred language, insisting that Obama "made his move" to "curb gun violence in America." (As opposed to his plan to restrict gun rights?) Sawyer touted, "The powerful NRA responded to him immediately, saying they would fight the President hard." Yet, at least ABC sought out opposition to the proposed legislation.
Despite CNN waging a crusade for gun control over the past month, and host Piers Morgan drawing attention with his incessant activism and bullying of his opponents on the gun issue, CNN’s own poll shows that support for some gun control measures has dropped over the past month.
CNN.com reported on its poll Wednesday: "According to the survey, 56% support a ban on semi-automatic guns, but that's down from 62% in a CNN poll taken in the days after the shooting at Sandy Hook. The same is true for a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips - 62% in December, down to 58% now - as well as a requirement for all gun owners to register their firearms with the local government - 78% last month, down to 69% now."
Despite Piers Morgan's consistentadvocacy, CNN's own polls show support for certain gun laws down from a month ago. That didn't stop Morgan from targeting two female gun rights advocates on his Wednesday night show, asking absurd questions, constantly interrupting them, and throwing a juvenile hissy fit.
"Where does it say you can have an assault weapon that can fire 100 bullets in a minute in your Constitution?" Morgan posed to Tea Party News guest Scottie Hughes. " Do you want the right to have a tank?" he followed up. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
At the top of Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams enthusiastically touted President Obama playing offense on gun regulations: "Fighting back. President Obama is out with his plan on gun control, the most sweeping in generations. As the NRA uses the President's own daughters in an attack ad."
Moments later, Williams framed the debate this way: "President Obama came out with his proposals for the most sweeping gun control measures in many years. The National Rifle Association launched a preemptive strike against it. It involved the President's family, in part. But this time they may have some formidable opposition to their position."
It's one thing for a journalist to promote stricter gun control but quite another to put that belief into practice. That's the message of a video produced by conservative activist James O'Keefe, who visited the homes of anti-gun reporters -- including Touré Neblett, the co-host of MSNBC's “The Cycle” -- and offered to give them a yard sign that read: “This Home Is Proudly Gun Free.”
Neblett apparently is offended that his hypocrisy and fear at admitting he does not own a gun was exposed to the general public.
New York Times reporter Peter Baker explored the metaphorical challenges of the gun debate: "In Debate Over Curbing Gun Violence, Even Language Can Be Loaded." It was a politically balanced, if perhaps oversensitive, analysis, until an unfair reference tying Sarah Palin, the former GOP vice presidential candidate, to the shooting by schizophrenic Jared Loughner of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. It's a false tie the Times has exploited before. An excerpt:
As former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw appeared as a guest on Wednesday's The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, he and host Stephen Colbert poked fun at former President Bill Clinton as the two discussed what a second term of President Barack Obama would likely involve.
While Obama's media predictably gush and fawn over the President's anti-gun initiatives Wednesday, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer not surprisingly had a different take.
Appearing on Fox News's Special Report, Krauthammer said, "The things he signed today, the executive orders are useless" (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
Weird stuff. Then again, we are talking about Jim Moran. Appearing on Al Sharpton's MSNBC show this evening, the Dem Congressman from Virginia declared that "older white guys" were "the most insecure component of our society." Added Moran, possibly alluding to the difficulties in adopting additional gun control measures, "we're much the problem with these kind of things."
Joan Walsh was there to support the self-doubting Moran. "There are a lot of terrific older white guys out there," reassured Walsh, naming Moran and Vice-President Biden among them. View the video after the jump.
Instead of holding the White House accountable, CNN's White House correspondent is helping the President make his case for gun control.
Jessica Yellin touted Obama's "persuasive advocates," young children who wrote letters to the White House pushing for stricter gun laws whom the President featured behind him as he pushed for more gun control on Wednesday. Yellin teed them up to explain why they wrote their letters. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
In a contentious exchange with Eric Pratt of Gun Owners of America on her Wednesday MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell declared that Constitutional rights, like the right to bear arms, were more like suggestions: "Well, they can be infringed, because the First Amendment is infringed, I have to obey all sorts of regulations from the FCC, there are things we can't say in a crowded theater, so every right also carries with it responsibilities and obligations." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
That was in response to Pratt explaining: "...a very important concept of inalienable rights, because whether it's the right to vote, right to sit behind a microphone, or the right to choose how I'm going to protect myself, all those rights cannot be infringed, as the Second Amendment says."
Liberal Daily Beast writer Michael Tomasky joined the gang of other liberal journalists expressing their overwrought, melodramatic outrage this morning at the NRA's latest Web ad which calls President Obama to task for dismissing their call for armed guards in the nation's schools.
But, being Tomasky, he had to crank the amp up to 11, suggesting that the ad was darkly coded in a way that might inspire violence against the president's daughters (emphasis mine):
The gun industry can’t do anything right … at least, that’s what the average citizen would think if they paid attention to the media. On Jan. 15, the Associated Press even attacked a gun industry trade show.
That same day, the annual Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show opened in Las Vegas. Only a limited number of media credentials were allowed in the show – if you consider 2,000 credentials to be “limited.” According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the show expects one in 30 attendees to be press. Yet the AP complained the “show was closed to the public and was covered by a limited number of reporters and photographers.”
As MediaBistro's TVNewser blog noticed on Wednesday, an image of NBC Meet the Press moderator David Gregory was featured in the newly released ad by the National Rifle Association, labeling him to be one of several "elitist hypocrites" on the gun control issue. [Watch video of the ad after the jump]
CNN host and gun control advocate Piers Morgan kept smearing gun rights advocates after President Obama announced his proposals on guns Wednesday. CNN's Wolf Blitzer was interviewing a GOP Texas state representative, who had proposed a bill that could make a felony any enforcement of a federal ban on semi-automatic guns or magazines within the state of Texas.
"Texas Republican congressman Steve Toth on CNN right now is everything that's wrong with America re guns. A stupid, dangerous man," Morgan ranted on Twitter. Blitzer interviewed Toth shortly after Obama's announcement and had tough questions for him, but didn't resort to name calling like Morgan did from his Twitter account.
What a surprise that the ladies of The View are outraged over a new NRA commercial that addresses President Obama’s hypocrisy over having armed guards in schools across America. Discussing the ad on Wednesday, January 16, the women of The View had some harsh words for the "sick" NRA spot.
After playing the ad, the entire cast expressed outrage, furiously talking over one another in a rush to bash the NRA as “nuts." Host Barbara Walters claimed to be particularly offended at the reference to President Obama’s two daughters in the advertisement, failing to point out the true message the NRA was arguing. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Bob Schieffer somehow topped Chris Matthews during CBS News's special coverage of President Obama's gun control press conference on Wednesday, as he became the worst caricature of a foaming-at-the-mouth cheerleader for the chief executive. Schieffer lauded "one of the best speeches I've ever heard him [Obama] deliver", and compared Obama's new gun control agenda to Lyndon Johnson's push for civil rights legislation in the 1960s.
The CBS veteran even went so far to liken the President's cause to the ten-year hunt for 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden and the difficult endeavor of winning World War II [audio available here; video below the jump]:
Liberal Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy is no stranger to NewsBusters criticism, but today he merits positive attention for going against the liberal grain on a policy issue: gun control.
While various liberals and some civil rights movement veterans have expressed outrage at the January 19 Gun Appreciation Day celebration -- noting its proximity to the federal observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day -- Milloy noted in his January 16 column the role that guns played in protecting civil rights activists in the 1960s (emphases mine):
CNN continued its trend of marginalizing gun rights advocates on Wednesday. Anchor Soledad O'Brien derided a CNN guest who had cited her fear of tyrannical government as reason to own a semi-automatic rifle.
"Some people make your head hurt when they speak. Wow. And that was one of those moments," O'Brien sneered in front of Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (Ill.). [Video below the break. Audio here.]
At the top of Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer hyperventilated over a newly released ad from the National Rifle Association pointing out the hypocrisy of President Obama on gun control: "Getting personal. The National Rifle Association out with a powerful new ad this morning, bringing the President's family into the gun debate." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The ad in question simply noted that Obama's daughters were protected in school by armed guards while the President was pushing for gun restrictions. Introducing a report on the ad, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed that it "gets very personal." Chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd followed: "...the NRA is signaling it intends to fight the President, and it's using this new web video that hits close to home, targeting his daughters."
The journalists at Good Morning America on Wednesday howled with outrage over a new ad by the National Rifle Association, deriding the commercial as a "vicious," "harsh" and "personal" attack on Barack Obama. The just-released spot wonders why the President isn't more supportive of armed guards in schools, pointing out that his daughters attend are protected with such security.
White House correspondent Jon Karl railed, "And in a sign of just how tough this fight will be, the NRA is greeting the President'sannouncement this morning with a harsh, personal attack on the President." The reporter complained, "The NRA video viciously attacks the President." Former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos echoed, "Very tough, very personal video. It even invokes the President's children." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
There was another theater massacre last weekend. Casualties ran to nearly 200. Victims were incinerated, bludgeoned, beaten, stabbed, pulled apart by cars (really) and, oh yes, gunned down by the dozen.
It all happened on the screen, to fictional characters. But when Hollywood stars begin demanding gun control for the rest of us, as many have in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, it’s worth taking a hard look at the violence they portray and often glamorize. (video after the break)
Have a look at the screengrab: it shows Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, she holding chin in hand, he hanging head. Their melodramatic reactions come in response to an NRA ad decrying the hypocrisy of political and media elites who want "gun free zones" in the schools where most Americans send their children, while sending their own children to schools with armed guards.
The panel's reaction was one of collective hyperventilation. Mike Barnicle called the ad "political pornography." Donny Deutsch said it's "one of the grossest things I've ever seen in my life." Scarborough asked Mika "what's wrong with these people?" Brzezinski replied that some of the people running the NRA are "sick in the head" and that she is "embarrassed for our country." But what of the substantive point made by the ad? View the video, including the ad, after the jump.
Being publicly identified as to whether or not you are a gun owner is fine for thee but not me.
That is the attitude of many newspaper editors and journalists as was revealed in a video produced by Project Veritas. Here is the Project Veritas explanation of what happened:
Posing as "Citizens Against Senseless Violence," we visit the homes of journalists working for Westchester Journal News, MSNBC, and the Star-Ledger. We also visited the home of Eric Holder. None will take our signs that say "THIS HOME IS PROUDLY GUN FREE."
When I attended primary and secondary school — during the 1940s and '50s — one didn't hear of the kind of shooting mayhem that's become routine today. Why? It surely wasn't because of strict firearm laws. My replica of the 1902 Sears mail-order catalog shows 35 pages of firearm advertisements. People just sent in their money, and a firearm was shipped.
Dr. John Lott, author of "More Guns, Less Crime," reports that until the 1960s, some New York City public high schools had shooting clubs where students competed in citywide shooting contests for university scholarships. They carried their rifles to school on the subways and, upon arrival, turned them over to their homeroom teacher or the gym coach and retrieved their rifles after school for target practice. Virginia's rural areas had a long tradition of high-school students going hunting in the morning before school and sometimes storing their rifles in the trunks of their cars that were parked on school grounds. Often a youngster's 12th or 14th birthday present was a shiny new .22-caliber rifle, given to him by his father.
As news outlets, notably MSNBC, CBS, and CNN, all tout gun control, it’s hard not to accuse these news outlets of exploiting tragedy to promote a left-wing political agenda when a new Washington Post/ ABC News poll shows that gun control isn’t a top political priority with the American people.
Examining the results of a new Washington Post poll, the Post's Chris Cilizza in his The Fix blog noted today that Americans believe the national debt and the federal government's chronic deficit spending are greater issues than gun regulation. In fact, only 28 percent of Americans, including a paltry 41 percent of Democrats, feel the gun control issue requires urgent attention:
Central liberal tenet -- in lieu of a solid argument, resort to rhetorical hyperventilation.
As you'd expected given the host's default toward bellicosity, two guests on Ed Schultz's radio show yesterday climbed over the top in shabby attempts to smear the National Rifle Association for the thought crime of defending a constitutional right. (audio clips after page break)
Leftist radio host Mike Malloy is aghast at the notion of a "Gun Appreciation Day" to be celebrated by 2nd Amendment supporters on January 19 this year. On his January 14 radio program, Malloy attacked the "right wingers who want to see blood in the streets, the Hannitys, the Limbaughs, they want the killing to start. Glenn Beck would like nothing more!"
Commemorating the one month anniversary of the Newtown shooting, CNN stacked its Monday line-up with gun control advocates and Democratic politicians.
Over the course of the entire day, CNN interviewed guests about the gun issue. 13 guests were gun control advocates, including five Democratic politicians. Only two Republican guests went on to oppose further gun control measures or defend the NRA's proposal for armed guards in schools.
Updated: The National Rifle Association did NOT commission the app in question. James Joyner of OTB explains. | "Just weeks after the National Rifle Association forcefully blamed violent video games for gun violence, the gun-rights organization has released a new shooter game for kids as young as four," Andrew Mach complained in a January 15 story at NBCNews.com. "The game's launch comes one month after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., which touched off a national debate over how to limit gun violence," he added.
The implication, of course, is that the NRA is hypocritical and ghoulish with its January 14 release of the iPhone/iPad NRA: Practice Range app. And the age 4+ appropriateness rating is just icing on the cake. But an objective journalist might actually take a look into how Apple approves apps and assigns ratings, as well as how long it takes for an app to clear through its internal approval process. Mach failed to consider those things, so I looked into it.