In anticipation of the Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of DC handgun ban on Thursday, CNN’s "Newsroom" program ran a report on both the sides of the gun case, in which the pro-gun control advocate was given twice the amount of air time as the gun rights advocate. The report, by CNN justice correspondent Kelli Arena, ran twice within 20 minutes; first, at the top of the 10 am hour of "Newsroom," minutes before the decision was released, and then immediately after the news of the decision broke.
In addition to this, when the 5-4 decision upholding the lower court’s finding that the ban was unconstitutional, the "Newsroom" program initially ran a graphic that read, "Supreme Ct. Kills Handgun Ban: Overrules DC Law." The graphic ran for just under a minute until being replaced by another that read, "Supreme Ct. Overrules Gun Ban: Overrules DC Law Forbidding Handguns."
Just over an hour after the Supreme Court’s ruling came down, near the bottom half of the 11 am Eastern hour of "Newsroom," CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, when asked about the local impact of the decision, snarked that "the communities that care about safety and communities that don't want the bad effects of guns will try to rewrite their regulations in line with what they think the Court decided."
Update 2: Stay tuned for a forthcoming piece by NB contributor Matthew Balan on CNN's coverage. Shortly after the decision came down the network aired a videotaped report that skewed in favor of a gun control advocate who survived last years Virginia Tech shootings.
Update: Goldstein notes there is just one majority opinion, no concurring opinions, but that there are two dissents.
The Supreme Court has overturned the D.C. handgun ban. The ruling is 5-4 with Justice Antonin Scalia writing the majority opinion. The Court finds that individuals have the right to keep and bear arms.
Writes Tom Goldstein at SCOTUSBlog:
It is striking that the decision is not clouded by ambiguity created by separate opinions. One opinion on each side.
Consider this an open thread on media coverage of gun rights.
Past research revealed that Violence Policy Center is nothing more than a mouthpiece for wealthy elites promoting their gun ban agenda.1 Now, it appears that desperation breeds hyperbole in an attempt to win back fading support.
An article in the Chattanooga Times Free Press begins reasonably enough, discussing how applications for concealed carry permits in Tennessee have "skyrocketed over the last five years..." The article also describes general requirements for licensure and locations which restrict licensed carry according to Tennessee law.2
Sergeant Mark Haskins of the Chattanooga Police Department, who teaches a handgun training course, believes "most people are seeking to protect their property or themselves in case they come in contact with a criminal," and said "he can't remember many examples of arresting someone for a gun crime who held a carry permit.3
CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin, when asked about the Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling in the DC handgun ban case on Monday’s "American Morning," repeated the gun control lobby’s argument that "most federal courts and the Supreme Court has found is that really doesn't mean that you can possess a gun. It means that the military can possess a gun, that it's a collective right." She later made the usual liberal claim that the current Supreme Court is "conservative."
"American Morning" co-host John Roberts asked Hostin about the Supreme Court case 48 minutes into the 6 am hour of the CNN program, since the Court’s decision on the handgun ban is expected to come down by the end of June. For the bulk of segment, the legal analyst detailed the origin of the case and gave a summary of what took place during the oral arguments in March.
She thinks she has lit upon a "responsible idea" to regulate guns. The idea Megan Kristen Lewis of the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat thinks is "responsible" is to put global positioning tracking devices (GPS) in every gun. That way the government could track down your firearm if it is "stolen" or used in a crime.
Miss Lewis attempts to assure the reader that she really is a fan of guns before she unleashes this great idea, of course. She knows people with guns, she claims, and she doesn't "fear" them. Why, she grew up around them, she says. Of course, they were always locked up in a safe so no one could get to them. Still, she says her Father taught her about "weapon safety from a very young age."
Sadly, her Father neglected to teach her about the Constitution or about world and American history because if he did her Big Brother gun tracking program idea would have never occurred to her in the first place.
In the latest in a long series of Armed Citizen stories that the media works strenuously to ignore, a man named Nabil Fawzi is the toast of the Detroit area. Courtesy of Cam Edwards once again, see the Detroit News report:
A longtime customer brazenly stood up to a suspected would-be bank robber at a Comerica bank on Monday and detained the man until police showed up.
At about 9 a.m., police said a 54-year-old Washtenaw County man walked into a Comerica branch in the 45400 block of Michigan Avenue and handed the teller a handwritten note demanding money.
It also indicated he was strapped with a bomb, police said in a release.
When the suspect demanded "bands of 50s and 100s," police said, the clerk hit the bank's silent alarm and began placing money in a bag.
A teller at an adjacent counter noticed the incident and alerted the longtime customer.
Police said the customer then pulled out a gun, pointed it at the suspect and told him, "You are not robbing this bank."
Cam Edwards at NRANews.com shared this story with me about how one Bennington, Vermont teacher demonstrated the state's clash between gun culture and "peace" culture in a fourth-grade classroom. From Dennis Jensen in the Rutland Herald:
[Mother Wendy] Bordwell said that, during snack time, [her son] Jared was discussing the recent spring turkey hunting season with a classmate when [teacher Kathleen] Backus interrupted the conversation, insisting that there be no talk of "killing" in her classroom.
Reached through a relative, Backus declined to comment.
At Monday's board meeting, Bordwell read from a prepared statement.
Hillary Clinton's mention of RFK's assassination was the final nail in the coffin of her candidacy. Along similar lines, can you imagine the howls of MSM outrage if John McCain were to suggest that he might "bring a gun" to his campaign against Barack Obama? Yet Obama has made just such a statement. Expect the liberal media to . . . yawn.
Said the Dem candidate at a Philly fundraiser on Friday night, anticipating Republican attacks:
If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.
What happens when a society bans guns, and then the crime wave comes with knives? Is knife control next? Friday’s Washington Post suggests the answer is yes in Great Britain.
We at MRC saw knife-control writing on the wall many years ago. In 1990, a Utah man was stabbed in New York, and we saw this quote in the Post, from then-reporter Michael Specter: "The slaying, and those that preceded it and will follow it, certainly will intensify cries for more police and harsher penalties for criminals. But as long as the type of knife used to kill Watkins is sold in half of the variety stores in Times Square, it will be difficult to recruit enough police to erase this crime wave."
Post reporters Kevin Jordan and Jill Colvin suggested Britain’s crime wave is showing that mentality is breaking out again:
Knife crime among young people has sparked a widespread debate in recent weeks in Britain, where police say they have seen "a worrying trend" toward more severe knife attacks involving younger attackers and victims.
Barack Obama, liberal? Surely you jest. Rachel Maddow found the suggestion so silly, she literally burst out laughing. The Air America host was part of this evening's panel on Race for the White House. David Gregory couldn't complete his reading of Rich Lowry's take on Obama before Maddow let loose.
DAVID GREGORY: Let's go to Smart Take #2. This is Rich Lowry from National Review Online, he's also talking [in a NY Post column] about Obama [emphasis added]:
Obama represents a rejection of triangulating Clintonism. He had no Sister Souljah moment during the primaries. Indeed, he initially embraced his Sister Souljah, in the form of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, introduced to the public in videotaped anti-American rants. Nor did Obama make any creative policy departures, like Clinton's advocacy of welfare reform in 1992. Obama is the fullest flowering of liberal orthodoxy since George McGovern. And yet his candidacy might not be electoral suicide. He has formidable gifts as a politician; he's eloquent, winsome, a quick study. He confronts a Republican Party that, beset by intellectual exhaustion, congressional scandal and an unpopular incumbent president, teeters on the verge of a Watergate-style meltdown. So Democrats contemplate the delicious prospect of having their purity and victory, too.
As Gregory speaks the words "Obama is the fullest flowering of liberal orthodoxy since George McGovern," Maddow can be heard laughing off camera. When Maddow's turn came to comment, she tried to make the case that Obama doesn't make it as a real liberal.
The Miami (FL) Herald let lose with another propagandistic broadside against the 2nd Amendment on Thursday featuring some more moaning and false statements about how horrible it is for America that the misnamed "assault weapons ban" has lapsed. There is much wringing of hands, waterworks, histrionics and over dramatics by the aptly named Fred Grimm here. In "What's a few dead cops to the gun lobby?" Grimm's final pronouncement is that the 2nd Amendment is a "mythical right" but in between there are many misstatements and out right lies.
Grimm starts out putting on some faux "shock" that a modern "semiautomatic assault rifle" he had the occasion to handle was so light. "The shock was in the weight of the thing. Less than six pounds," Grimm writes. And, what exactly does this mean? A butcher knife weighs less then a pound and can kill, too. What does weight have to do with anything?
Columnist Tom Eblen of the Lexington [Ky.] Herald-Leader has proven to the world that he doesn't know what a "right" is. He thinks it is something that you can "compromise" over. He thinks it is something that can be endlessly tinkered with. He seems not to realize that a "right" is something that is supposed to be insoluble, unchangeable, permanent. Worse, he has equated an American right to the horse raising industry as if the business decisions made by a handful of ranchers is somehow comparable to the observance and maintenance of our rights. Ridiculously he says that if we don't compromise this one right, our 2nd Amendment right, it will be taken away. And hypocritically, after using fear to urge us to compromise, he accuses those of us interested in safeguarding the 2nd Amendment of using "fear" tactics.
This latest op ed, "NRA's slippery slope full of holes," was the result of some flack he took for touting the existence of a small gun owner's organization that many NRA members claim is a front group for an anti-gun group. He wrote admiringly about this small group and was assailed by emails and messages informing him that he was giving support to a stealth gun grabbing group and, instead of checking out the group more thoroughly, these emails seemed to set Eblen off. Typical of a self-righteous denizen of the media, instead of finding out if the complaint letters were right and reassessing his original support, Eblen merely lashed out at 2nd Amendment supporters who alerted him to his mistake. (In fact, Eblen doesn't even bother to try to find out more about the small gun group he wrote about before merely blowing off his obligation to be informed about what he writes.)
During the roundtable discussion on Sunday's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Cokie Roberts not only made a relatively rare identification of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as "liberal," but she also argued that Obama needs to choose a running mate who is a "Bible-thumping, gun-owning, white guy from a swing state. I mean, maybe that's who the party should have nominated." (Transcript follows)
As the group discussed the running mate possibilities, Roberts contended that it would be a bad idea for Obama to choose Clinton: "I don't think that it's good for the Democratic Party to have two liberal Senators from states that are going to go Democratic anyway. I mean, he needs a Bible-thumping, gun-owning, white guy from a swing state. I mean, maybe that's who the party should have nominated."
Sam Donaldson jumped in: "You mean, in other words, somebody who disagrees with him on all the issues."
Below is a transcript of the relevant exchange from the Sunday May 11 This Week with George Stephanopoulos:
Would it have been any better for Barack Obama to have said people "rely" on bigotry rather than "cling" to it? I don't think so, but apparently he does . . .
This morning's "Today" aired an extended clip from an interview Meredith Vieira recently conducted of Barack and Michelle Obama. The full interview will be shown Saturday on MSNBC. While I didn't detect any blockbuster moments, there were a few notable nuggets.
On the issue of why he didn't distance himself from Rev. Wright sooner, Obama says: "When those first snippets came out, I thought it was important to give him the benefit of the doubt." That would suggest Obama actually had some doubt as to where Rev. Wright stood. Is that credible, after 20 years in the angry pastor's pews?
Bob Herbert: voice of reason? On economics and the role of government, no. On the dynamics of the Dem nomination race? Actually, yes. In both his TV appearances and columns, Herbert, a military veteran who grew up largely in a comfortable New Jersey suburb, comes across as more clear-eyed and down-to-earth, less angry and ideological, than his NY Times confreres like Paul Krugman or Frank Rich.
Take Herbert's column of this morning, Heading Toward the Danger Zone. My sense is that, at heart, Herbert backs Obama. But that doesn't deter the columnist from offering an unblinking assessment of the very perilous electoral path on which Obama finds himself. Let's work backwards from Herbert's stunning conclusion [emphasis added]:
One of Senator Obama’s favorite phrases is “the fierce urgency of now.” There is nothing more fiercely urgent for him right now than to reassure voters and superdelegates that an Obama candidacy will not lead to a Democratic debacle in November.
If you are a major network and want to 'target' gun owners and gun dealers in a story, what would you do? Why you would write a story about a gun dealer offering a steep discount on firearms for college students, and then only interview the dealer and those who oppose his business and his special offer.
According to an ABC News story covering Eric Thompson, owner of TGSCOM Inc., Thompson is "targeting students" whose limited income doesn't always allow for such high-dollar purchases.
The owner of TGSCOM, Eric Thompson, announced today that for the next two weeks he will sell firearms at cost in the hopes of targeting students who may be on a tight budget. Customers will have over 5,400 different kinds of firearms from which to choose.
"This offer allows students and people who might not have otherwise been able to afford a weapon to purchase one at a hefty discount and at a significant expense to myself," Thompson told ABCNews.com.
Thompson unknowingly sold firearms to the shooters at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University. Because of this, he has determined he needs to turn these tragedies around by offering steeply discounted firearms for a limited time so that citizens can afford to protect themselves and their loved ones. He plans to visit the Virginia Tech campus to speak to students who support his efforts.
"The next news story I want to be involved in is how I sold a firearm to someone who helped stop a mass murderer. By forgoing a profit, I hope to help give law-abiding citizens the tools to prevent tragedy," he said.
Sounds great, doesn't it? However, ABC News and those they interviewed for this story don't seem to think so.
True to the liberal penchant for blaming every ill in the world on the USA, ABC News has produced a "report" claiming that the increasing number of guns and drug cartel violence in Mexico is all the fault of... the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That's right, it isn't the drug dealers and killers in Mexico that are at fault, it's James Madison and the Founding Father's fault! Now, before you imagine that I am employing hyperbole in my introduction, just look at the title of their piece: "U.S. Guns Arming Mexican Drug Gangs; Second Amendment to Blame?"
ABC wrote that "U.S. gun stores and gun shows are the source of more than 90 percent of the weapons being used by Mexico's ruthless drug cartels," but then noted that "It's virtually impossible to buy a firearm in Mexico as a private citizen." To anyone really thinking about it, this fact sort of confirms the pro-gun bromide that "if you make owning a gun a crime, only criminals will have guns," doesn't it?
Friday's NBC Nightly News took a balanced look at the issue of whether colleges would be safer if students were allowed greater freedom to carry concealed weapons on campus. Though the report failed to delve into any supporting statistics, soundbites were featured from advocates on both sides of the issue, including Mike Guzman of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus: "This is where we see mass shootings occur, at gun-free zones, because these criminals have a government guarantee or a university guarantee that their intended victims will be unarmed and unable to defend themselves." (Transcript follows)
After the clip of Guzman, correspondent Janet Shamlian introduced a clip from Lori Haas, the mother of a school shooting victim, who "believes armed and well-intentioned students would be no match for a gunman like the one who shot her daughter." Haas: "He had two guns, he had the element of surprise. The fear that grips you when you're worried about your life is paralyzing."
Below is a complete transcript of the story from the Friday April 18 NBC Nightly News:
The cable network MSNBC has refused to air an advertisement from Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the group created by New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg,on the grounds that the ad is too "controversial."
The ad, below, features each of the three leading presidential candidates pledging to make it harder to buy guns at gun shows, and images of three mayors urging viewers to call Congress and ask that a bill closing the "gun-show loophole" be passed.
The ad is airing on CNN and Fox, and on affiliates around the country, a Bloomberg aide said.
During Morning Joe's opening segment today, Joe Scarborough, in an apparent allusion to the ambitions Chris Matthews has expressed, facetiously wondered whether the panel should start calling the Hardball host "Senator."
But just a bit later, Scarborough seized on a question Matthews posed to John McCain yesterday to illustrate a classic bit of MSM bias: the way the liberal media only speak of a "litmus test" when it comes to Republicans choosing pro-life nominees, never in regard to Dems picking pro-choicers.
Admiration for the movie star Charlton Heston poured out of the obituaries and appreciations when he died. He would say he was an actor, which he certainly was, but he was also a star, a riveting presence that could credibly play great men like Moses. But the story of Heston’s activism came like a cautionary note, that he used to be a civil rights hero, but then he wandered badly astray.
Many were struck at the similarities of the late careers of Heston and Ronald Reagan, two actors who became more conservative as the 20th century moved on, and both passed away through the long and difficult descent of Alzheimer’s Disease. Journalists and biographers who suggest a dramatic conversion of these two men – sometimes with a nasty implication that they cynically switched sides in the debate to keep their faltering careers alive – often fail to acknowledge how the political and cultural ground shifted under their feet, causing the leap.
On Monday’s CBS "Early Show,"a story on the controversial comments by Barack Obama that people in small Pennsylvania towns are "bitter," was introduced by co-host Julie Chen this way: "The battle among Democrats and Hillary Clinton's relentless attempt to turn Barack Obama's words against him." Rather than focus on what Obama actually thinks about small town voters, correspondent Dean Reynolds followed with a report in which he declared:
Clinton hammered Obama all weekend over his suggestion that Americans from small economically hard pressed towns turn inward, become bitter, and cling to their guns or their religious faith during tough times, rather than look to Washington for leadership. Clinton, who is trying to hold on to what polls say is a slim lead here in Pennsylvania, said she found the statement demeaning, even snobbish. And she said so just about everywhere she went.
With Obama looking like the victim, Reynolds went on to briefly mention that the Illinois Senator apologized for the comments: "Obama was thrown on the defensive, forced to acknowledge his words were clumsy and later to apologize if he offended anyone." However, Reynolds immediately followed with the Obama campaign’s defense: "But he said his opponent was intentionally twisting his meaning...Obama also said Clinton's attempt to paint him as the sportsman's adversary and herself as their champion was laughable."
If you don’t support abortion on demand, you’re against women’s rights. That’s according to "The View’s" Joy Behar. Debating how closely aligned John McCain’s policies are with the Bush administration, it led to a mention of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. [Audio available here.]
BEHAR: I said to [McCain] off the camera, I said to him "listen how can you be against Roe v. Wade? You can not turn on women like that."
HASSELBECK: Why is that turning on women?
BEHAR: Because it’s against women and you know it.
Can it be a coincidence that just hours after Bob Novak published his column reporting that it's unclear just who is directing Hillary's campaign--Mark Penn or Geoff Garin--the latter dashed off an email to supporters claiming to be in charge? But if Garin really does have the reins, why is the campaign employing tactics that Novak suggests would be worthy of the "kamikaze" Penn?
The Associated Press cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered pro-gun or the propaganda arm of the "gun lobby." For example, in 2006 the AP implied that the NRA was responsible for the increase in violent crime begun in 2004.1
In a recent article, the AP once again to insinuated that machinations by the "gun lobby" to sunset the Clinton gun ban may have resulted in an increased criminal use of "assault weapons"; particularly in their "discussion" of a criminal homicide which occurred last fall:
The Sept. 15 killing was remarkable in that it took place in the most innocent of settings - the fifth birthday of twin boys. But it was unremarkable in that one of the guns brandished was an AK-47-type rifle - a powerful, rapid-fire weapon that has long been used in Third World conflicts but is increasingly being used in American street fights.2
Associate Press based this article on firearm trace data:
Figures from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, obtained by The Associated Press through public records requests, show a marked increase in the number of AK-type weapons traced and entered into the agency's computer database because they had been seized or connected to a crime.3
None of the April 11 editions of the network morning shows: ABC's "Good Morning America," CBS's "The Early Show," and NBC's "Today," noted the April 10 unanimous ruling of the California Supreme Court striking down a San Francisco handgun ban.
I mean, what other reasons could this possibly be newsworthy besides that:
On Friday, ABC's 20/20 featured a story about a Long Island man, John White, who was put on trial for shooting a teen, Dano Cicciaro, at the end of his driveway after Cicciaro and some friends showed up at 11:00 PM during a dispute with White's son Aaron. While the story was mostly balanced in noting the strengths and weaknesses in each side's case, at one point, Elizabeth Vargas oddly asked White why he didn't remove the bullets from his gun before confronting the group of five hostile teens: "So you grabbed it hoping to scare the boys? ... So why not take the bullets out?"
More details of the case can be found here. Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday April 4 20/20 on ABC:
ELIZABETH VARGAS: It was just after 11:10 PM, August 9, 2006. Dano Cicciaro and four of his friends pulled up outside the home of John White. According to the White family, this is what it looked like to them: bright lights shining up their driveway and several angry young men shouting outside.