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:
Wednesday's Today show on NBC ran a four and a half minute piece profiling Saratoga Springs, Utah, Mayor, and congressional candidate Mia Love, who has a very good chance of being the first black female Republican elected to Congress.
Herman Cain's new "Cain TV" project, which he announced in a promo video on his Facebook page, will feature not only "critical commentary on issues of the day" but "pearls of wisdom from Herman himself," MSNBC's Alex Wagner snarked in a segment on today's Now with Alex entitled onscreen "This Just Happened."
But the "pearl of wisdom" Wagner showed was a clip of Cain's video taken out of context that sounded completely bizarre in and of itself. What's more, liberal members of Wagner's panel reacted to the out-of-context comment to denounce Cain as "scary."
On Monday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Bill Whitaker seemed to allude to a debunked statistic that most guns that go to Mexican drug cartels originate in the United States as he repeated accusations by the newly elected Mexican president's party that the U.S. is the "exporter of guns fueling the violence" in the drug wars. Whitaker:
One of the biggest pet peeves of your humble correspondent is so-called journalists who continue to absurdly claim that there is no evidence that one of the purposes for gunwalking in Operation Fast and Furious was to advance a gun control agenda. Last week the culprit was Jillian Rayfield of Rolling Stone and now Steve Kornacki of Salon and MSNBC is the latest liberal to display his reality challenged assertion on this subject:
Update (June 25, 5:48 p.m. EDT): Wurzelbacher has responded in a blog post at RedState, linking to a Smart Girl Politics post which noted that "[o]f the thirty-one signatories [of the anti-Wurzelbacher letter], all but six are registered Democrats or have made financial contributions to Democratic candidates or PACs."
"A viral campaign video in which Samuel 'Joe the Plumber' Wurzelbacher links gun control to the Holocaust has sickened some members of Ohio's Jewish community, who sent the GOP congressional candidate a letter on Thursday that calls his claims 'misguided,' 'highly offensive' and 'harmful to the Jewish community,'" Sabrina Eaton informed readers of the Cleveland Plain Dealer in an article uploaded yesterday evening. In the video in question, Wurzelbacher noted that gun control programs in Turkey and Germany preceded the Armenian genocide of 1915-17 and the Holocaust, respectively.
NBC's Today kept up its complete omission of the Fast and Furious gun-running controversy on Wednesday, even as a House committee prepared to vote later in the day on whether to find Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. CBS This Morning stood among the Big Three morning newscasts in devoting a full report to the issue. ABC's Good Morning America gave only a 20-second news brief on the controversy.
Overall, NBC has punted on the story since December 2010, when the scandal first emerged. NBC Nightly News had its own blackout on Fast and Furious until June 12, 2012, when correspondent Kelly O'Donnell finally mentioned "Congress's investigation of a failed operation that sent U.S. guns into Mexico" during a 30-second news brief. The issue hasn't been mentioned since on the evening newscast.
Remember all the cries in the past for governmental transparency by the "progressive" media? Well, when it comes to the Department of Justice lack of transparency in refusing to turn over documents related to Operation Fast and Furious, Rolling Stone writer Jillian Rayfield excuses it away by claiming that the demand is really due to a GOP 'war' on Eric Holder:
A big part of the show is demonizing Holder himself. Several Republicans have recently called for Holder to step down, among them Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Jon Cornyn (R-TX), who did so to Holder's face in a Senate Judiciary hearing just last week. In one Republican primary debate, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum also both called for Holder's resignation. Romney, for his part, has steered clear of the issue so far, but he won't be able to for long if RNC Chair Reince Priebus gets his way. Priebus says that "Fast and Furious" will be a central 2012 campaign theme, so even if the contempt proceedings go away, it doesn't look like Holder will be off the hook anytime soon.
On Sunday's Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, as host Harris-Perry led a discussion of what the presidential candidates will need to do to appeal to white voters, panel member and CNBC contributor Keith Boykin asserted that Republicans have "carefully caricatured" the Democratic Party as the "party of black people," and suggested that Americans have been duped into believing that most federal tax dollars are spent to benefit black Americans. Boykin:
MSNBC host Alex Wagner has made no secret of her disdain for the Second Amendment, telling Bill Maher last November that if it were up to her, she'd repeal the amendment which enshrines the right of Americans to keep and bear arms, saying the right to own firearms is not "in the grand scheme" of things as important as the rights to speech and assembly. Back in February, Wagner seized on a tragic school shooting to complain about the lack of new gun control legislation.
So it's no surprise that, when turning again to the topic of gun control and gun rights today, Wagner would stack the deck in favor of the former and dismiss concerns about the latter. Regarding legislation in New York State that would require "microstamping" of firearms, Wagner brought on Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence president Dan Gross, who insisted the legislation in question was "a simple case of right versus wrong" that should face no legitimate criticism from gun rights advocates.
Almost alone among the mainstream journalists, CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson has been reporting on the Fast & Furious scandal. For that she should be commended. However she wasn't the first to report on it. In fact much of her information was provided to her by David Codrea (photo), the Gun Rights Examiner at Examiner.com and citizen journalist Mike Vanderboegh of the Sipsey Street Irregulars blog. That is why it was so grating when Attkisson wrote this jarring sentence in a report about the House Oversight Committee scheduling a contempt vote against Attorney General Eric Holder:
The story was exposed nationally for the first time by CBS News in February 2011.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner strongly objected to a slanted story on the Fast and Furious scandal by Times legal reporter Charlie Savage posted at the New York Times on Tuesday (it evidently did not make it into print).
The Daily Caller reported: "A spokesman for Speaker of the House John Boehner told The Daily Caller on Tuesday night that the New York Times published a false story alleging the speaker is trying to cut a deal with Attorney General Eric Holder over congressional subpoenas related to the Operation Fast and Furious scandal."
On Wednesday's The Ed Show, MSNBC host Ed Schultz took a condescending tone toward labor union members who voted for Governor Scott Walker in Tuesday's recall election in Wisconsin as he recounted NBC News exit poll numbers showing that a significant chunk of union voters supported the Wisconsin Republican.
A baffled Schultz relayed the numbers and recounted the decision of some union members to vote for Walker, using a mocking tone of voice: