On Thursday morning, the Columbus Dispatch's Darrel Rowland reported ("Gun battle slated for high noon in downtown Columbus") that "Mayors Against Illegal Guns is coming to Columbus on Friday for an event urging Sen. Rob Portman to support expanding background checks on gun purchases," and that "guns rights groups are planning to make their voices heard, too." There was no follow-up on what happened at the Michael Bloomberg-supported group's rally; we'll see why shortly.
Organizing for Action, the group which exists solely to promote President Barack Obama's agenda, also scheduled a rally to promote illegal-immigrant amnesty in Columbus on Friday. Intrepid center-right blogger Jesse Hathaway reported attendance (HT Twitchy) of perhaps a half-dozen. A search of the first couple of pages (here and here) of results on "immigration" at the Dispatch's web site returned no relevant coverage (results were not sorted by date, but seemed to generally move backwards in time).
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, Jeff Pegues spotlighted the lack of GOP speakers at the 50th anniversary commemoration of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech: "Noticeably absent from this event, the GOP...the two most senior Republicans in the House...were invited to speak but declined." However, Pegues failed to mention that the event organizers didn't make much of an effort to get Republican Tim Scott, the only current black U.S. senator, to speak.
The correspondent also zeroed in on former President Bill Clinton's dubious claim during his speech at the commemoration – that "a great democracy does not make it harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Reporter Josh Lederman is in on it too. He never specficially describes Obama's current actions as "orders." Alternate words include "announced," "proposing," "executive actions," and "new policy." It isn't until the second-last of his 13 paragraphs that Lederman informs readers that "the White House has completed or made significant progress on all but one of the 23 executive actions Obama had previously ordered in January" (but the actions themselves are not called "orders".
In advance of a month full of events oriented towards demonstrating displeasure with lawmakers who won't give carte blanche to President Obama's healthcare, gun control, "climate change," and immigration agendas, Organizing for Action Executive Director Jon Carson claimed that "We will own August." New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Mayors Against Illegal Guns also anticipated high levels of support during this months's "No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence" tour.
It hasn't happened in either case. If right-wing, tea party, or social conservative efforts fizzled as OFA's and MAIG's clearly are, those failures would be making headlines, and shown as proof that support for the related causes is weak. By contrast, the national establishment press is mostly ignoring and in some cases obscuring these left-wing implosions.
Noting that the teenage suspects in the slaying of Australian exchange student Christopher Lane already broke gun laws by possessing a revolver -- the minimum age to do so is 21 -- Stephens County [Okla.] District Attorney Jason Hicks told members of the press. We here at NewsBusters don't imagine Hicks's comments will bear repeating on national news outlets, but would be trumpeted by the same if he used the horrific slaying as an opportunity to push for more federal and/or state gun laws.
Corrected from earlier | People who were wondering whether Jesse Jackson would ever respond to the killing of an Australian collegiate baseball player by three "bored" teens in Oklahoma, one of whom allegedly posted racist tweets, got their answer today. Jackson's early Wednesday morning tweet read as follows: "Praying for the family of Chris Lane. This senseless violence is frowned upon and the justice system must prevail."
A BBC report has police saying that "The boy who has talked to us said, 'we were bored and didn't have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.'" The related Associated Press report doesn't carry the direct quote, instead impersonally relaying that "Police say the two killed 22-year-old Christopher Lane on Friday to overcome boredom." The AP has not reported Jesse Jackson's passive-voice reaction at its national site, effectively covering for a statement which comes off as "Well, I'd better say something, so let's get it over with." Let's compare Jackson's reaction to what he wrote on July 15 in a Chicago Sun-Times column about the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin situation:
[UPDATED] Not surprisingly, CNN's Piers Morgan used last Friday's indiscriminate murder of an Australian student in Oklahoma to push for more gun control. His shilling for stronger gun laws has become a tired story.
On his Tuesday night show, Morgan lamented "What is wrong with America that it has to be partisan? That you have to be if you're pro-gun, you're Republican so therefore you can't bring in gun control. If you're anti-gun outrages as I am, apparently you're some liberal freak. What is wrong with the argument in America that makes it so nonsensical?" He also took his outrage to Twitter.
Are stronger gun laws in the U.S. inevitable? CNN's Brooke Baldwin seemed to think so on Wednesday, asking "when" a majority of the country will back stricter gun control and not "if" they will.
"[I]f you talk about intensifying [gun] laws, I guess this is my final question, and to both of you. When do you ever think – let's say 10 years, 50 years – that the majority of the country will be on the side of Marc Lamont Hill?" Baldwin asked her guests. The liberal Lamont Hill had pushed for "intensifying" existing gun laws. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
MSNBC anchor Alex Wagner and her band of left-wing panelists sneered at the legislative recall effort currently underway in Colorado on Tuesday’s NOW with Alex Wagner. Serial MSNBC contributor Joy Reid even went so far as to refer to the NRA, one of the groups behind the recall, as “Neo-Confederate.”
Wagner was slamming the NRA, which seemingly everyone at MSNBC loves to do, when Reid joined the conversation and introduced the racial element into the mix: “Yeah, it’s interesting. There is a sort of Neo-Confederate thread that runs through these sort of pro-gun movements and the NRA movement.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
For her "photo of the day" entry, Hot Air Green Room blogger Katie Pavlich noted how, "[d]uring the press conference and in an effort to take advantage of a good photo-op, the clueless anti-gun zealots pointed the seized firearms at...the audience." The photo shows rows of handguns resting on a blue-clothed table with the muzzles pointed towards the audience. What's more, Pavlich added in an update linking to pro-gun rights site BearingArms.com, it appears most if not all of the guns "had the actions/bolts closed and the safeties off."
On Wednesday at CBSnews.com, Sharyl Attkisson reported that "Three more weapons from Fast and Furious have turned up at crime scenes in Mexico."
A Google News search at 10 a.m. on ["Fast and Furious" guns] (typed exactly as indicated between brackets, past 7 days, sorted by date, with duplicates) returned 26 relevant items. Very few (to be noted later) are from establishment press outlets.
NewsBusters reported the other night that during a debate on guns, CNN's Piers Morgan falsely claimed that according to FBI statistics, Virginia had the highest murder rate in the country in 2009. Over 38 hours later, Piers apologized and admitted "It didn't."
This came at a pivotal moment in the debate as Morgan's pro-gun opponent had cited Virginia's falling violent crime rate coinciding with its rising gun sales. By labeling Virginia the number one murder state as of only four years ago, and appealing to authority to support his claim, Morgan put his guest on the defensive with a completely false statistic not anywhere close to the truth. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
In the center of the Daily Beast's website is a "Cheat Sheet" digest which teases "must reads from all over" the Web. The Cheat Sheet typically runs a thumbnail image and caption, as well as a one-word reaction from editors in red-lettering. [see screen captures below page break]
[UPDATE BELOW] Trying to refute his guest's argument that "more guns equal less crime," CNN's Piers Morgan fell flat on his face on his Tuesday night show.
When guest A.W.R. Hawkins cited Virginia as an example where violent crime fell in 2012 as gun sales increased, Morgan answered that "It's Virginia, the very state you just quoted to me actually has the highest murder rate in the country. According to 2009 statistics by the FBI." Morgan's assertion was entirely false, according to the FBI's 2009 report on crime. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Just before Christmas last year, the Journal News in New York's Westchester County north of New York City published maps containing "the addresses (and names) of all pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties," and announced their intention to add Putnam County. A firestorm of outrage ensued, but the stubborn paper's operators held out for almost four weeks before finally pulling the maps — but "somehow" allowed the raw data to get out (more on that later). In the interim, there were reports that criminals had begun using the maps to target homes to rob, and that prison inmates were threatening prison guards identified as gun owners.
On Wednesday, Journal News competitor the Rockland County Times reported that an editor involved in the story and over two dozen others had been laid off as part of a nationwide cost-cutting move by Journal News parent Gannett (bolds are mine; HT to BearingArms.com via Instapundit, Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin's place, and Ace):
On Friday's MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports, while previewing President Obama's upcoming press conference, host Andrea Mitchell turned to The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza and lamented the lack of liberal policy successes in the President's second term: "There's a disappointment factor because he doesn't have immigration reform, he doesn't have any notches on his belt, if you will, on domestic legislation..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Cillizza commiserated with Mitchell and declared: "Well, Andrea, and look, you know, I think if you said at the start of the year, "By August, would President Obama have something to point to say we reacted to Newtown?"....I mean that was sort of the thing that we were talking about every day. Could some sort of gun control measure pass? I think everyone expected something to pass."
Well, the Washington Post is back to their usual tricks in distorting the facts about guns and background checks. On page A2 of today's print edition, staff writer Philip Rucker gave readers a story, which read pretty much like a press release for a left-wing pro-gun control group, calling itself Third Way. Rucker harped on the misleading “gun show loophole” and how, according to Third Way, criminals are taking to the Internet to arm themselves for murder and mayhem.
That's far from the truth, as Rucker's colleague Brad Plumer noted in an August 5 Wonkblog post which cut against Rucker's Wild West narrative on online gun sales. Of course, Plumer's item didn't make it into print while Rucker's did, on page A2.
During a panel discussion on Thursday's NBC Today about some school districts arming teachers to defend against mass shootings, fill-in co-host Carson Daly teed up New Jersey American Federation of Teachers president Donna Chiera to slam the idea: "Donna, you're a teacher. What's the impact – what do you think the impact would be on a child if they knew their teacher was carrying a gun?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Chiera launched into a bizarre rant: "I would hate for students to say, 'Oh, my goodness, if I answer the wrong question, is my teacher going to shoot me? If I make my teacher angry, is my teacher going to shoot me?'" Rather than reject such an absurd notion, Daly soberly wondered: "Do you think they would they make that connection?" News reader Natalie Morales and weatherman Al Roker also maintained straight faces following the outrageous commentary.
CNN's Piers Morgan plugged Great Britain's handgun ban on Tuesday as he and attorney Star Jones wondered how to take more guns off the streets in the U.S.
"Well, in Britain, we had a sort of dramatic reduction in all fire offenses when we made it a mandatory five-year jail sentence if you were caught with a handgun. It works," Morgan insisted. Jones suggested hiking the cost of ammunition. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
As he guest hosted the Friday, July 19, All In show, MSNBC's Ezra Klein -- also of the Washington Post -- stuck by the liberal line that all of the blame for the Trayvon Martin shooting lies on George Zimmerman, primarily because the neighborhood watchman followed Martin, without regard to who might have thrown the first punch.
Ignoring the absence of any eyewitnesses to confirm which party struck first, or even the witness who saw Martin on top of Zimmerman, Klein asserted that Martin "was not the violent one that night."
Imagine that FDR, in his first inaugural, instead of rallying Americans with the notion that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself," had stoked the nation's unease by harping on how bad the Depression was. If Mike Allen had been around in 1933, perhaps he would have defended FDR by writing "there was plenty of unease before the speech, so it's hard to blame the President."
For that is the same approach that the Politico's Allen took in his Playbook this morning in defending President Obama's divisive remarks of yesterday on Trayvon Martin and the Zimmerman trial. Wrote Allen [emphasis added]: "Many conservatives are complaining that the remarks will stoke division and dissension. But there was plenty of that before, so it's hard to blame POTUS." Some might accuse Allen of the soft bigotry of low expectations. More after the jump.
Imagine if you will a conservative Republican mayor used public employees' work time to advocate stricter state-level abortion regulations throughout the country? The Left would, and to an extent rightfully so, raise a fit, and the liberal media would, again, rightly so, beat the drums and make the abuse of power a major national story.
But when it's liberal independent Mayor Michael Bloomberg doing the same thing to push a gun control agenda, the media are not-so-strangely silent, given the media's push for ever-more-restrictive gun laws.
Welcome to the Obama administration's cringe-inducing non sequitur of the week. On Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder continued stoking the fires of racial resentment over a Florida jury's acquittal of George Zimmerman. In an address to NAACP leaders, who are demanding federal intervention, Holder attacked Stand Your Ground self-defense laws.
On the Tuesday, July 16, PoliticsNation, MSNBC contributor Joy Reid complained that pro-gun groups like the ALEC and the NRA are "almost creating a Wild West atmosphere" to protect gun owners.
After she seemed to suggest a profit motive of wanting to "sell a lot more guns," Reid lamented that these conservative groups are trying to "roll back anything that would inhibit a rational, reasonable person from getting and carrying and even discharging a firearm."
After host Al Sharpton brought up singer Stevie Wonder's declaration that he would not perform in states with Stand Your Ground laws, Reid responded:
Norah O'Donnell gushed over Eric Holder on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, trumpeting the supposedly "remarkable" and "very personal" speech that the attorney general gave to the NAACP on Tuesday. O'Donnell also played up how "Holder, the first African-American attorney general...talked very personally about, after Trayvon Martin's death, counseling his own 15-year-old son if he was stopped by police" [audio available here; video below the jump].
The morning newscast spotlighted how the controversial Obama administration figure "sharply criticized the so-called 'stand your ground' laws in Florida and other states", and played 36 seconds of clips from his speech to the organization:
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was predictably unhappy with Saturday's verdict in the George Zimmerman case. He used it as an opportunity to go after what he calls "shoot first" laws, which people in the real world refer to as "stand your ground" laws.
It was an irrelevant rant, as Politico's Maggie Haberman pointed out: "In the Zimmerman case, neither the defense nor the prosecution ultimately used “Stand Your Ground.” Zimmerman’s attorneys ... presented a conventional self-defense strategy." Problem is, Haberman waited until her final paragraph to note that, and gave readers every impression that the case was about "stand your ground" up until that point (presented in full for fair use and discussion purposes; bolds are mine):
Joe Scarborough might want to reflect on people in glass houses, casting the first stone, beam in your eye—all the adages counseling against hypocrisy, against condemning others for sins without considering one's own wrongs.
In a Politico piece brimming with self-righteousness, Scarborough bemoans the "vulgar state" of American politics and condemns "hyperbolic political pronouncements" about the case. Hyperbolic? We got your hyperbole right here. Does Joe not remember that in 2012, long before all the facts of the case were available, he eagerly condemned George Zimmerman as a "murderer"? More after the jump.
On Tuesday's Piers Morgan Live, actor Jeff Daniels pushed for universal background checks because the Second Amendment was written during a "different time."
"I'm one of the guys that goes back to the Second Amendment and just goes, 'you know what, it was a different time and now we're into the Sandy Hooks and the – you know, all of that and whatever happened between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin that night, only they know'," Daniels told host Piers Morgan. [Video below the break. Audio here.]