On Thursday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told an Albany radio station some of his ideas for gun control: “Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option. Permitting could be an option — keep your gun but permit it.”
But in covering what Cuomo said, Thomas Kaplan at the New York Times prefaced Cuomo's specific statement, which he buried in the story's seventh paragraph, by writing that "Mr. Cuomo did not offer specifics about the measures he might propose." Looks "specific" enough to me, Tom. The Times, perhaps sensing that a statement such as Mr. Cuomo's might be the kind with the potential to seriously damage the gun control cause, buried Kaplan's story on Page A29 in Friday's print edition and gave it a boring headline:
The hatred the media have for Wayne LaPierre knows no bounds.
Hours after the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association presented a strategy to protect America's students from the kind of massacre that happened in Newtown, Connecticut, a week ago, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell opened his program Friday by accusing the gun advocate of being "the lobbyist for mass murderers" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Controversial liberal filmmaker Michael Moore said on Thursday that many Americans purchase guns because “we're a very frightened people” and stated that “fear is used to the point where everybody feels like they’ve got to have a gun in the house.”
Moore made the comments the day before his 10-year-old film, “Bowling for Columbine,” was to be aired on the liberal cable channel Current TV on Friday, one week after 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 adults and 6 children at the Shady Brook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., along with his mother and himself.
Friday's New York Times teased on the front page two profiles of prominent figures in the gun control debate (conservative David Keene and liberal New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg). Can you guess which one got more respectful treatment?
NBC News correspondent Luke Russert marveled at Code Pink's disruption of the National Rifle Association's press conference in a Friday post on Twitter: "That was probably the most effective code pink protestor I've ever seen."
On Friday's Today, NBC's David Gregory used the Newtown tragedy to buttress President Obama's push for more gun control. During a heartbreaking story about the grieving father of shooting victim Emilie Parker, Gregory switched to a massive petition for the White House to pursue gun control.
"This morning, President Obama has posted this video response online to nearly 200,000 people that signed a petition on the White House website, pushing the President for action on gun control," reported Gregory. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The press is engaged in a furious feeding frenzy in the wake of the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. And talk show hosts like Piers Morgan have resorted to insulting their guests when they can’t counter their arguments. You’ll need to watch Morgan’s debate with GOA’s Executive Director to believe it.
Time and again, the “old guard” media is demonstrating that it can’t shoot straight when it comes to reporting the news and is guilty of peddling several worn-out myths.
Joe Scarborough had quite a hissy fit on the MSNBC program bearing his name Friday.
In the middle of a discussion with Congressman Tim Huelskamp (R-Ks.) about the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, Scarborough barked at his guest, "Do you dare come on my show and say I am using the slaughter of 20 little 6 and 7-year-old children, I'm using that for political purposes?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Norah O'Donnell helped Bob Schieffer hype his upcoming segment with actor/director Ben Affleck on Thursday's CBS This Morning. O'Donnell played a clip of the soon-to-be aired interview and remarked, "He sure does sound like a politician. He won't give you a straight answer!"
Schieffer ballyhooed Affleck's supposed credentials to be a possible replacement for Senator John Kerry, who could be named the next Secretary of State [audio available here; video below the jump]:
If today's gun control debate seems a bit stale to you, you're not wrong. Twelve years ago, MRC's Geoffrey Dickens wrote a Special Report on network coverage of gun controversies over a two-year period from July 1997 to June 1999.
ABC, CBS, and NBC harped on several major themes in their coverage of gun policy stories. The arguments most commonly advanced by the network stars had one thought in common: guns are the problem. Check out just how similar yesterday's complaints were to today's:
The day after a gun control advocate told CNN that America's gun problem includes handgun shootings, Starting Point anchor Soledad O'Brien began asking Democratic politicians if they would consider legislating handguns.
"Well, is going to the assault weapons far enough?" O'Brien asked Democratic Rep. Ron Barber (Ariz.) on Tuesday. "I think it's 80 percent is handguns involved in gun violence. Does this, do you think open up a conversation toward limiting handguns?" she questioned Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) the same day. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, Major Garrett tried to shoehorn Steven Spielberg's screening of his recent film "Lincoln" for the Senate into his report on President Obama's Wednesday press conference on the fiscal cliff and gun control. Garrett hyped how the movie "celebrates presidential power and crafty legislative strategy," and that Obama "may need the wisdom of Lincoln for his latest legislative battle - gun control."
The correspondent even played a clip from the film about the sixteenth President to hint at a parallel between the passage the 13th Amendment, which happened after the carnage of the Civil War, and possible new firearms regulations in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut massacre [audio available here; video below the jump]:
MSNBC’s Toure has reached a new low in his anti-gun crusade. Speaking on Thursday’s The Cycle, the co-host disgustingly said that the National Rifle Association would "want" shootings like the Newtown, Connecticut massacre of schoolchildren to happen for their benefit.
Toure’s perverse logic is that increased gun sales and NRA membership following the Newtown school shooting aids the gun organization: [Video after the jump; MP3 audio here.]
It seems apparent that NBC is following orders from The White House to continue to argue for stricter gun control in the wake of the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Appearing on Thursday morning's Today, NBC’s White House Correspondent Kristen Welker continued to peddle The White House message to “pledge action to prevent such a massacre from every happening again.”
Welker provided a one-sided segment in favor of President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden’s new gun control task force. The segment was peppered with gun control advocates and White House talking points, with only one pro-gun quote sited throughout the entire segment.
For ABC's Good Morning America, favoring more guns on the streets is "controversial" but President Obama's plea for gun control is simply news.
"Those who argue that the best way to stop mass killings is to have more guns in the right hands at the right time, even in the classroom. It's a controversial debate," reported co-host George Stephanopoulos on Thursday. In contrast, ABC's Jake Tapper framed the Newtown shooting as a "tipping point" amidst Obama's push for more gun control.
At his news conference on Wednesday, President Obama opened with a statement of over 1,100 words, all of it on gun violence, including his announcement that "I’ve asked the Vice President to lead an effort that includes members of my Cabinet and outside organizations to come up with a set of concrete proposals no later than January -- proposals that I then intend to push without delay."
That should reasonably have been expected to put the gun control issue to bed for the rest of the day. How many meaningful questions could reporters possibly pose after all of that (other than the one Jake Tapper of ABC asked, which will be seen later in the post)? But as Ben Sisario at the New York Times's Media Decoder blog reported Wednesday afternoon, that didn't satisfy many media critics, who -- with Sisario seeming to agree -- expected and wanted to see an all-gun-control, all-the-time exercise, and were angry that it didn't unfold that way (bolds are mine throughout this post):
In the wake of a monstrous crime like a madman's mass murder of defenseless women and children at the Newtown, Conn., elementary school, the nation's attention is riveted on what could have been done to prevent such a massacre.
Luckily, some years ago, two famed economists, William Landes at the University of Chicago and John Lott at Yale, conducted a massive study of multiple victim public shootings in the United States between 1977 and 1995 to see how various legal changes affected their frequency and death toll.
Bill Plante apparently couldn't be bothered to find more than one conservative/Republican for his report on Wednesday's CBS This Morning. Plante aired one soundbite from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, but followed it with three straight clips from liberals/gun control supporters - White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, the Brady Campaign's Dan Gross, and Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth, who attacked the NRA's leadership as "bullies".
The correspondent hyped supposed "public outrage over the massacre [that] has also emboldened members of Congress to challenge the power of the gun lobby." Plante also spotlighted the NRA's multi-million dollar lobbying campaign in 2012:
British CNN host Piers Morgan continued ranting about America's "gun problem" on Wednesday and claimed ownership of semi-automatic rifles has "nothing to do with the Second Amendment."
"And so you have to deal with the primary problem that America faces, which is guns. Guns. Guns. Guns. And it's nothing to do with the Second Amendment right to defend yourself, and everything to do with military-style weapons that could slaughter," he insisted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
What a shock it's not -- liberal radio host Thom Hartmann responding to last week's unspeakable atrocity in Newtown by demanding redistribution of wealth.
That the rampage occurred in a leafy bedroom community in one of the most affluent states in the country has apparently eluded Hartmann, as has the fact that Connecticut is among the states with the most stringent gun laws. (audio clip after page break)
For the third day in a row, ABC's Good Morning America used the horrific Newtown tragedy to push its gun control agenda. On Wednesday morning, both ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas and Pierre Thomas hyped that now is a "watershed moment" and a "tipping point" as stores halted sales of some guns and Democratic NRA member Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) considered changing his views on gun laws.
"Big-city mayors and one of the nation’s biggest police unions have called for a ban on assault rifles and high-capacity clips. And for some long-time allies of the gun lobby, this week was a tipping point," Thomas touted voices favoring gun control. [See video below page break. MP3 audio here.]
A spokesman for ABC News has accused The Daily Caller of provoking “400 horrible, pornographic messages” to an editorial producer who tweeted public requests for interviews from people closely connected to the victims of the Newton, Conn. school shooting.
The accusation came despite the fact that a number of other websites had reported on the producer's trolling for victims.
CNN's Piers Morgan has been on a rabid anti-gun rant since July's Aurora, Colorado, shootings that has gotten even more venomous after Friday's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
On Tuesday, he rudely and disgracefully tore into guest Larry Pratt, the Executive Director of Gun Owners of America, calling him "an unbelievably stupid man" who's "dangerous," concluding the interview by saying, "You shame your country" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Sunday's episode of The Chris Matthews Show featured an exchange between host Pete Williams and New York Times White House reporter Helene Cooper on President Obama pushing for stronger gun control legislation the day of the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. Cooper laid out the issue in emotional terms, suggesting people must choose between the protection of the Second Amendment and the safety of little kids at school. As if even a total repeal could ever guarantee that.
I'm in New England this week, and this afternoon caught Ann Coulter on the Howie Carr show. She spoke of the amazing ignorance of liberals when it comes to firearms. Just a couple of hours later, Chris Matthews provided a perfect case in point.
On this evening's Hardball, speaking with Illinois Dem Senator Dick Durbin, Matthews proposed that Congress "outlaw" semi-automatic weapons. Does he not realize that doing so would render illegal virtually every hunting rifle in production? View the video after the jump.
Liberals politicians and journalists are on a full-blown assault on the Second Amendment ever since Friday's horrific shooting in Newtown, Conn. Gun ban-pushers like Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) are making the rounds in the media, including taxpayer-funded PBS. On December 17, NewsHour anchor Gwen Ifill gave Feinstein the floor to push her agenda. Naturally, Ifill failed to bring on an opposing point of view nor did she ask Feinstein tough questions.
Trying to explain an evil act like the one that killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., is on a par with explaining how the universe was formed.
The natural human reaction after extending sympathy and prayers for the victims and their families is to ask what actions might have been taken to prevent the massacre. More gun laws? Connecticut already has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. Those laws did not prevent a man with evil intent from carrying out his heinous act.
At The Daily Beast, Howard Kurtz compares the gun debate to civil rights and the gay marriage issue. This despite his wanting the media to be "fair to all sides" on the issue.
After suggesting a "media agenda" on the gun issue, Kurtz notes "There was certainly a media agenda during the battle for civil rights in the late 1950s and 1960s. Television helped shine a spotlight on Alabama Gov. George Wallace and other Southern politicians who were fighting to preserve a segregationist society." Oh, so is the NRA the new George Wallace?