Updated (see bottom of post) | Today's Letters to the Editor section of the Washington Post contains five letters on the topic of gun control, three oriented towards more gun control and two expressing a pro-gun rights/enforce-the-laws-on-the-books position.
But one letter in particular is egregious as it contains a huge factual error that Post editors failed to correct: that President Obama signed legislation in 2009 that allows concealed carry in all National Parks.
As he hosted a debate on Piers Morgan Tonight on Monday, CNN's Piers Morgan repeatedly cut off conservative guest John Lott as the former University of Chicago professor tried to argue against imposing additional gun control.
At one point, as he grew impatient with Lott trying to explain that the overwhelming majority of guns - 86 percent - are "semi-automatic," and that an "assault weapon" is not as unusual a weapon as it might sound, Morgan lost control and started ranting:
Appearing as a guest on Monday's Piers Morgan Tonight, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recommended that America's police officers should go on strike and refuse to protect people until gun control legislation which would allegedly make them safer is enacted. Bloomberg:
He's not exactly a poster child but apparently rapper and heavy metal singer Tracy Marrow (stage name Ice-T) is a supporter of gun rights.
In an interview with a British television channel, Marrow stood up for the Second Amendment saying that the right to bear arms is "the last form of defense against tyranny" and not merely for hunting. Video and transcript below.
Appearing on Monday's Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC, Time magazine editor-at-large Mark Halperin confessed a broad media consensus to curtail gun rights: "If you walk the halls of most major news organizations or of the OEOB at the White House or West Wing, I think you'd find overwhelming sentiment that there should be stricter gun control laws in the United States." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Norah O'Donnell glossed over President Barack Obama's record of supporting gun control when she claimed that "Mitt Romney, in some ways, has been more for gun control than Barack Obama...He signed, as governor...a law, to ban assault weapons, and he only just recently joined the NRA." O'Donnell also played up that the President has apparently "disappointed gun control advocates." [audio available here; video below the jump]
In an unsigned 2009 report, the correspondent's own network actually acknowledged that Obama supported gun control as an Illinois state senator, a U.S. senator, and as a presidential candidate in 2008. Even before holding elected office, the Democrat sat on the board of a foundation that granted just under $2.7 million to gun control organizations.
CNN pushed for more gun control on the very day of the Aurora shootings – to the dismay of media critic Howard Kurtz – and host Candy Crowley continued the fight on Sunday and Monday.
In her Monday report, Crowley stressed the lack of "courage" – borrowing from a one gun control advocate – in today's Democratic Party to pursue firearms regulation. And when Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) noted the lack of outrage over gun violence, Crowley agreed, "She's right." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Seizing on the Colorado theater shooting to push for stricter gun laws, on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie teased an upcoming story: "...an undercover report that reveals just how easy it can be for anyone, even violent criminals, to buy assault weapons, no questions asked." Later introducing the segment, she fretted: "...it turns out Colorado has some of the weakest gun laws in the country." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen began his hidden camera expose of online gun selling by admitting that it had little to do with the circumstances surrounding the Colorado tragedy: "It turns out this shooter, this alleged shooter in Colorado, had no rap sheet, so he was able to buy his guns in a store legally." Rossen quickly added: "But even if he had a violent criminal record he still could have bought them."
Americans trust guns more than they do, God, Washington Post "On Faith" contributor Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite insists in her July 22 post. The liberal theologian preaches for the need to correct the idolatry by, you guessed it, more gun control, just as she did back during Holy Week.
Appearing on the Saturday, July 21, Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, NBC correspondent Michael Isikoff - formerly of Newsweek - made a point of noting that one of the guns used in the Aurora theater massacre used to be illegal under the assault weapons ban, as if shooter James Holmes could not simply have purchased a different gun to assist in his murder spree.
Isikoff asserted that the assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004, "was lifted under President Bush," and noted that President Obama had "pledged during his campaign to restore it" but that "he has dropped that issue." Isikoff:
Appearing as a panel member on the Sunday, July 22, Melissa Harris-Perry show, MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter - formerly of Newsweek - charged that the NRA has "imposed" a "gag order" that makes politicians afraid to discuss enacting more gun control.
He went on to advise that those who support more gun laws should say to the NRA that "We're not going to let you silence us."
On the July 22 CBS Sunday Morning show, correspondent Lee Cowan highlighted criticism of gun rights by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, using a soundbite of the liberal mayor scurrilously remarking that gun rights advocates "think that the right to bear arms allows you to go out and kill people at random," before adding, "And that's not overstating it very much."
The report, which focused primarily on details of the Aurora theater massacre and its victims, digressed for a moment into the gun control issue, but only included the side that supports more gun control:
Time's Joe Klein on Sunday found out what it's like to actually have to debate conservatives rather than the liberal media members he normally appears with on political talk shows.
When he uttered the typical left-wing line on ABC's This Week about the need for more gun control in the wake of Friday's movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado, Klein got a much-needed education from George Will and the Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Candy Crowley got a much-needed education Sunday on the uselessness and futility of stricter gun laws in the wake of Friday's movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado.
As she pushed Governor John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) to agree that tighter gun restrictions are needed to prevent such incidents in the future, the Democrat pushed back, "If there were no assault weapons available, there were no this or no that, this guy’s going to find something...He’s going to know how to create a bomb" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Saturday's Today show, as NBC correspondent Michael Isikoff - formelry of Newsweek - filed a report on the drive to make people safer at movie theaters after the Aurora massacre, heconcluded his report by suggesting that, because "the powerful National Rifle Association has blocked any move for stricter gun laws," people will have to settle for "beefed-up security and greater vigilance," as if the NRA were preventing people from being safer.
Toward the end of the report, Isikoff relayed the complaint of gun control activists that it is too easy to obtain certain types of guns. Isikoff:
CNN anchor Piers Morgan devoted a considerable portion of his Friday program to pushing for more gun control, breaking with those who have advised delaying such talk until after a period of mourning for shooting victims in Aurora, Colorado.
Morgan not only began Piers Morgan Tonight with a "Piers' Special Commentary" calling for more gun laws, but, later in the program, he included three guests who argued in favor of more gun control, with only one to argue against, with whom the CNN host ended up becoming agitated as Denver University Professor David Kopel scolded Morgan for not waiting longer before launching into a divisive political debate.
Shortly after beginning the show, Morgan played a clip of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg advising the presidential candidates to talk about the gun control issue, and then began his commentary:
CNN's Piers Morgan spent much of his show Friday advocating for stricter gun laws in the wake of the massacre in Aurora, Colorado.
Bucking this activism was Denver University law professor David Kopel who scolded his host, "I think this is the wrong night to be doing this. And I really wish you'd waited to have this segment until after the funerals" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Poor David Espo and Nancy Benac. A six-paragraph squib this morning headlined "Calls for gun control stir little support" at the wire service's national site and "Despite a string of high-profile shootings, calls for gun control stir little support" at Newser.com really should have been titled "Why Aren't You Guys Politicizing This, D**nit?"
The two AP "reporters" bitterly wail and gnash their teeth over how little outcry there has been for stricter gun laws after the Aurora, Colorado theater massacre (shown in full because of its brevity and subsequent later expansion, to be discussed later in this post, and for fair use and discussion purposes).
This morning, in the aftermath of the unspeakable Colorado massacre that claimed at least 12 innocent American lives and injured dozens more, ABC "news" investigative reporter Brian Ross appeared on ABC's Good Morning America and made the outrageous, irresponsible, and completely unfounded claim that the alleged gunman, 24-year-old Jim Holmes, is a member of the Tea Party. Apparently Ross has learned absolutely nothing from the media's disgraceful rush to judgment and dissemination of misinformation following the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in January 2011.
That's twice now that the "news" media have falsely implicated the Tea Party in murder.
On a day where politics was supposed to take a back seat to "prayer and reflection" in the wake of a deadly Colorado shooting, CNN let liberal mayors drive the debate about gun control on Friday afternoon.
"[W]hy hasn't your party, the Democratic party done more to legislate guns?" anchor Brooke Baldwin pressed Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. CNN also played a clip of Mayor Michael Bloomberg calling on President Obama and Mitt Romney to speak out about guns. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]
MSNBC colleague and liberal pundit Chris Hayes was the first to jump on the anti-gun bandwagon, and bizarrely focused on suicide instead of the Aurora tragedy. Hayes argued that, "the availability of a gun makes suicide fatality far more likely" even though, it "doesn't make the impulse to do it more likely," ignoring the fact that suicide has nothing to do with the events of last evening.
While the Daily Kos first reacted with horror like everyone else to the Aurora shooting, it didn’t take too long for the America-bashing to begin. The blogger known as “Killer of Sacred Cows” grew angry that Rep. Louie Gohmert would suggest the madness could have been stopped sooner if someone else in the theater was packing heat. That apparently put him in “Idiotsville.”
But KoSC really wanted to blame the American Culture of Violence for the shooting, that our screwed-up social system doesn’t tolerate diminished mental capacity, it creates it:
ABC’s Brian Ross's disgusting attempt to link Friday morning’s tragic shooting to a Tea Party member is just the latest example of the liberal media’s knee jerk reaction to impugn conservatives in the immediate wake of horrific crimes. After the shooting of former Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords liberal reporters were quick to condemn the Tea Party and conservatives like Sarah Palin and Mark Levin.
Just two hours after the attack on Giffords, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman pulled a similar Brian Ross-like assumption without the facts when he wrote in a January 8, 2011 blog that “We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was. She’s been the target of violence before....Her father says that ‘the whole Tea Party’ was her enemy.” During MSNBC’s live coverage of the Giffords shooting Luke Russert blamed Obamacare opponents when he theorized: “Remember, this is the deepest fear that was in the back of everybody's mind going through the health care debate. A lot of members were threatened...It looks sadly like it's come to fruition today." (quote compilation and videos after the jump)
Michael Grunwald is doubling down on what many liberals in the media are only hinting at. "[T]here is nothing wrong with politicizing tragedy," the Time senior national correspondent wrote this morning, reacting to the Aurora movie theater shooting. "If advocates or experts or even politicians think their policy ideas can prevent the next Aurora—by preventing potential killers from obtaining guns, by making sure potential victims can carry guns, or by some other method—then by all means, now is the time to spread the word."
Grunwald's callousness on this count has generated criticism, and not just from conservatives. Noah Rothman of Mediaite complained:
Our friends at Twitchy have an astounding roundup of tweets from liberals who are blaming Rush Limbaugh for the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado.
None of the folks they featured are liberal celebrities or members of the media, but given how the media have blamed conservative talk radio for mass shootings before, it would not be surprising if liberal journalists and pundits today pick up this thread and tug on it.
Liberal CNN host Piers Morgan took to Twitter this morning after learning about the horrific mass shooting overnight at a screening of the new Batman movie in Aurora, Colorado.
As you can see from the screen capture below, Morgan has tweeted his calls for more gun control laws, but, as of 9:55 a.m. Eastern, has not tweeted any apolitical expression of condolences for the victims and their families.
All three evening newscasts on Tuesday and two out of the three morning shows on Wednesday skipped the dramatic story of an elderly Florida man who saved a cafe full of people from gun-wielding robbers. Only Good Morning America covered the story of seventy-one-year-old Samuel Williams using his own weapon to fend off attackers.
News reader Josh Elliot lauded the "gun-toting senior citizen" for his quick action and for "not taking it anymore." Co-host George Stephanopoulos narrated the video: "There he is right there. Takes them on. Saves the whole cafe." Elliott praised it as "remarkable." He misleadingly described, "Williams does have a gun license and is not expected to be charged." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The liberal media continues to make a connection between "Operation Fast and Furious" under the Obama and "Operation Wide Receiver" under Bush, and major news outlets have made no effort to explain the difference.
So our friends at our sister site MRCTV sat down with NRA president David Keene, who explained there was a fundamental, life-saving difference between these two operations. [video follows page break]
NBC, which shamefully ignored the "Fast and Furious" controversy for months, failed to cover on their newscasts Monday evening and Tuesday morning the FBI offering a combined $1 million reward for the capture of four suspects in the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
ABC devoted a full report to the FBI reward on Monday's World News, but omitted mentioning Attorney General Eric Holder's part in the controversy. On Tuesday, ABC's GMA and CBS This Morning both devoted news briefs to the new development in the Terry case, but like World News, the two programs didn't mention Holder's name in their stories. Anchor Diane Sawyer introduced correspondent Pierre Thomas's report on the reward, and got a detail wrong out of the gate: