The media are in love – with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. From his soda ban, to his global warming views, to his opinions on gay marriage, journalists and pundits have repeatedly given him a platform to promote whatever he wants … and praised him repeatedly.
On the March 26 episode of Morning Joe, guest host Nicolle Wallace dusted off the issue of mental health reform, which has long been ignored by liberals in the media as regards the national debate over gun control. Wallace cited NY Times columnist David Brooks’ March 25 piece on gun violence. The piece focused on how Americans like to focus on the gun, instead of human nature – and how the “acquisition” of the weapon is subject to the least influence from policymakers in Washington.
It seemed that for a short while, the panel was in agreement that we don’t talk enough about the evil inherent in Adam Lanza's deadly mass shooting in Newtown Then again, Lanza was mentally ill, which brought things back to Wallace’s point (emphasis mine):
The liberal media's push for gun control has long included the tactic of attempting to shame the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other gun rights activists into silence. That tactic was once again deployed by MSNBC's Thomas Roberts this morning in his interview with liberal Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), who is calling on the nation's oldest civil rights organization to cease and desist robocalls to phone numbers in the Newtown, Connecticut, area.
Don't tell us that Al Sharpton and MSNBC are hypocrites? Noooo!! The Reverend Al opened his show by praising President Obama's efforts to promote tougher gun control laws. But 28 minutes into the show, a commercial appeared for, of all things . . . Henry Repeating Rifles.
Go to Henry Rifle's website and you'll find one rifle described as "big, brutal and beautiful" and noting that it fires ammunition "said to have killed more game, big and small, and more men, good and bad, than any other in existence." Another model offered for sale, the AR-7, is based on a military rifle, Henry emphasizing that given its lightweight design "you can carry a large quantity of ammunition." Oh the horror! View the video after the jump.
While the liberal news media have been trumpeting Mayor Michael Bloomberg's new $12-million ad buy as an attempt to push federal gun control legislation, a glaring irony of one such ad is being ignored by the media: an actor in a Mayors Against Illegal Guns ad entitled "Responsible" is handling a shotgun in an irresponsible manner, violating three cardinal rules of gun safety.
Washington Times senior opinion editor and gun aficionada Emily Miller explains (emphases mine):
In an interview with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory invited the anti-gun advocate to issue a political threat to gun rights supporters in Congress: "Will you target people, Republicans and Democrats, who do not support a weapons ban, an assault weapons ban, who do not vote for background checks? Will you spend money, lots of money, to target them in 2014, in the midterm race?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Bloomberg responded by enlisting Gregory in the gun control crusade: "I think I have a responsibility, and I think you and all of your viewers have responsibilities, to try to make this country safer....And if I can do that by spending some money and taking the NRA from being the only voice to being one of the voices...then I think my money would be well spent..."
Letting down her guard on the Lean Forward network, Politico's Lois Romano, ostensibly an objective journalist, descended into biased -- and racially conscious -- commentary. Appearing on MSNBC’s NewsNation on March 25, Romano made disparaging comments of the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre.
Speaking with host Tamron Hall -- who happens to be African-American -- Romano suggested that Wayne LaPierre is, “looking like a tired old white guy that is clinging on to something of the past.” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Good Morning America on Monday hyped Michael Bloomberg using his "personal fortune" to promote gun control with new ads. Reporter Jim Avila used three clips of either Bloomberg or the commercials he's now running in 13 states. Just one pro-Second Amendment voice was featured in the segment. In contrast, when the Koch brothers supported the Tea Party with commercials, GMA's journalists warned of the "billionaire boosters."
On Monday, Avila approvingly explained, "Mayor Michael Bloomberg has something many other big city mayors don't, a personal fortune he is willing to spend." Avila then played a clip of Bloomberg's new commercial featuring a man sitting on a pickup truck, holding a shotgun. He insisted, "I believe in the Second Amendment and I'll fight to protect it. But with rights come responsibilities. That's why I support comprehensive background checks."
NewsBusters reported Sunday that actor Jim Carrey had previewed a new video he was releasing on the comedy website Funny or Die by attacking gun rights advocates on Twitter as "heartless motherf**kers."
Turns out after all the fuss, Carrey's juvenile song in the video was something you'd expect from a kindergartner.
On Morning Joe today, the Reverend Al Sharpton agreed with Mike Barnicle that anti-Semitism explains the opposition to Mike Bloomberg in his gun control campaign. H/t NB reader cobokat.
If ever there were an expert on anti-Semitism in America, it could be Al Sharpton, he of Freddie's Fashion Mart and Crown Heights riot infamy. The spectacle of Sharpton lamenting the supposed anti-Semitism of others was ironic, if not repulsive. Note that Dan Senor, who might also know something about anti-Semitism, being Jewish and having attended university in Israel, rejected the notion. View the video after the jump.
Actor Jim Carrey attracted a lot of attention last month when he said, “[Anyone] who would run out to buy an assault rifle after the Newtown massacre has very little left in their body or soul worth protecting."
He was back at it Sunday when he promoted a new satirical song to appear at the website Funny or Die with a tweet that read, "'Cold Dead Hand' is abt u heartless motherf%ckers unwilling 2 bend 4 the safety of our kids.Sorry if you're offended":
National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre asked a marvelous question on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday.
"Why doesn't the national press corps, when they're sitting down there with Jay Carney and the president and the vice president, why don't they say, 'Why is Chicago dead last in enforcement of the gun laws against gangs with guns, felons with guns, drug dealers with guns?'" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Former President Bush adviser Karl Rove had a heated exchange about gun control with ABC's Terry Moran on This Week Sunday.
At one point Moran told Rove, "You're scaring people with this Orwellian sense that black helicopters and the government if we register guns are going to confiscate Americans’ guns" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In a brief item Friday at Politico, Donovan Slack reported that President Obama has withdrawn his nomination of Caitlin Halligan for the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.
Concerning Republican senators' opposition to her nomination, Slack said it was "because they said she had a record of advocacy and an activist view of the judiciary" without citing specifics. It's almost as if Slack knew he had to write something, but wished to keep a rare Republican success at stopping an objectionable court nominee as vague and quiet as possible. In early March, the folks at Eagle Forum compiled a useful list of how awful Halligan would have been had her appointment made it through the Senate (bolds are mine throughout this post):
NewsBusters readers know that one of my guilty pleasures is demonstrating virtually every Saturday how intellectually challenged the high and mighty Bill Maher is.
On HBO's Real Time Friday, the host perfectly demonstrated this himself by blaming gerrymandering for the Senate's failure to implement an assault weapons ban moments after he called Americans "morons" and "complete idiots" that "don't know anything" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Call it Michael Moore's Jesse Jackson moment . . . Jackson once famously said that when he walked down the street and heard footsteps behind him, he was relieved to turn around and find a white person behind him.
This evening, on Ed Schultz's soon-to-be-extinct weeknight MSNBC show, a histrionic Michael Moore accused white gun owners of racism . . . then proceeded to say it was reasonable for them not to be afraid of their white neighbors . . . and admitted he felt more comfortable walking down the streets of Toronto than Detroit. View the video after the jump.
Today, the Washington Post's Ann Marimow and Aaron Davis published a rather celebratory piece on the Metro section front page claiming that a federal court panel's upholding of Maryland’s restrictive "may issue" concealed carry law is a “decision seen as [a] victory for public safety.” "'This is huge' for advocates of gun control," gushed the headline on the jump page, B8. Ever since Newtown, the Washington Post's editorial board has reinvigorated its push for fresh gun control, and ostensibly objective reporters at the paper have also done their part to stack the deck in how they color news related to gun rights issues.
A three-judge panel of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit -- comprised of jurists appointed by Democratic presidents -- ruled on March 21 that the law passed constitutional muster. Clinton appointee Judge Robert B. King wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel:
Chris Matthews’ liberal activism reached new heights on March 21 surrounding his push for greater gun control legislation. Speaking during the opening segment for Hardball, Matthews provided his audience with email addresses and phone numbers to members of Congress, telling them that:
For all those who care about gun safety, let me repeat what I said last night, get a hold of your Senator and Member of Congress and say you want a real background check on people who buy guns. [See video after jump.]
While much of the media reaction about Majority Leader Harry Reid's decision to scrap the assault weapons ban has been predictably shrill and overwrought, to its credit the Daily Beast ran an interesting analysis from a liberal law professor that argued that a) the Feinstein gun ban was easy to get around with all its loopholes b) might not pass muster in federal court given Supreme Court precedent and c) that the focus on a weapons ban had poisoned the well for liberal gun control advocates who might have had more success had they not pursued a gun ban that energized gun rights advocates to rally against it.
CNN devoted over a half hour of coverage on Thursday to touting Mayor Bloomberg's "Demand Action to End Gun Violence" conference, where Bloomberg, Vice President Biden, and families of gun violence victims pushed for stricter gun control. Over 22 minutes was given to live coverage of the conference.
CNN hyped the "raw emotion" of the speakers pressing Congress to take action on gun control. Although gun control was the focus, anchor Carol Costello framed it as an innocuous "battle over reforming our gun laws." Correspondent Susan Candiotti wondered if the presence of grieving family members of victims would "make a difference" in getting gun laws passed.
ABC continued ignoring Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's move on Tuesday to drop a proposed federal ban on so-called assault weapons. Neither Wednesday's World News nor Thursday's Good Morning America covered the congressional development. This lack of coverage stands out in light of the network's hype of President Obama's supposedly "dramatic and emotional" lobbying effort for the ban during his State of the Union address.
NBC and CBS's Wednesday evening newscasts also ignored Senator Reid's deep-sixing of the gun control legislation. Their morning shows on Thursday devoted news briefs to Vice President Joe Biden and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's "renewed call" for the assault weapons ban, but failed to explicitly mention the Nevada Democrat's role in dropping the bill.
Wealthy filmmaker Michael Moore and Rainn Wilson, an actor best known for his role in the American version of “The Office,” referenced a parody article at The Onion in tweets on Wednesday, duping a number of their followers, Twitchy reported.
“NRA Sets 1,000 Killed In School Shooting As Amount It Would Take For Them To Reconsider Much Of Anything,” Wilson tweeted, without mentioning the source of the article. He did provide a link to it, however.
A funny thing happened on the way to banning assault weapons in the deep blue state of Maryland. Some Democrats in the overwhelmingly-Democratic House of Delegates are considering amendments to reform the bill to carve out some exemptions. Given the composition of the state government, it may be the best bet that gun rights advocates in Maryland can realistically hope for in the short term, but to the Washington Post, it's a "gut[ting]" of Gov. O'Malley's proposal, even as House Democrats pushing changes say they are seeking to avoid banning guns merely on the basis of cosmetic features.
In his page B1 March 20 story, "Proposals would allow some semiautomatic rifles in Md.," staff writer Aaron C. Davis opened by lumping in "veterans and sportsmen" unfavorably with the Aurora, Colorado, theater shooter and the Beltway snipers by noting that "[s]ome semiautomatic rifles" that were "popular" with the former were used by the latter and could be legal under a revised gun ban in the Old Line State.
In his March 20 piece, "Cowardly Congress, Ruthless NRA, and an Impotent Obama Conspire Against Assault-Weapons Ban" National Journal’s Ron Fournier attempts to shame 2nd Amendment-supporting Americans over Democrats killing an assault weapons ban before it had the chance to hit the Senate floor.
Fournier groused that “the gun lobby deserves most of the blame for creating a political climate in which any regulation of firearms is viewed as an attack on the constitutional right to bear arms. This as much a financial issue to the NRA and its industry allies as it is a constitutional one.” What climate is he talking about? The liberal media have been behind Obama’s gun control agenda since December, using every opportunity possible to use the tragedy to press a gun control agenda.
What's more, while it's supposedly "ruthless" for the NRA, the nation's oldest civil rights organization, to defend the 2nd Amendment from encroachment, Fournier has no qualms about today's edition of the New York Daily News, which featured the victims of Sandy Hook in a ghoulish display of political exploitation. It’s advocacy journalism at its most craven.
Like a concerned parent on a business trip checking in on her unsupervised children, an exasperated Andrea Mitchell whined to fellow Washington reporters Susan Page and Chris Cillizza, that they had "let the assault weapons ban...die!"
Mitchell, who is currently traveling with the President in Israel, delivered a long range lecture from Jerusalem, on Wednesday's Andrea Mitchell Reports, to Page and Cillizza: "Well, while I'm away you guys let the assault weapons ban, you know, die." (video after the jump)
Over the winter, the three networks eagerly compared Barack Obama's push for more gun control to "defeating the Nazis," hyping his "dramatic," "emotional" effort. Yet, when the President suffered a serious setback, Tuesday, ABC, CBS and NBC failed to portray it as a defeat for the Commander in Chief. Harry Reid announced on March 19 that Senate Democrats were dropping an effort to ban so-called assault weapons.
Tuesday's World News and Nightline and Wednesday's Good Morning America totally skipped the development. Yet, in the minutes following the State of the Union, George Stephanopoulos praised the President's "dramatic and emotional" plea for an assault weapons ban. On January 16, CBS's Bob Schieffer compared, "Surely, finding Osama bin Laden; surely, passing civil rights legislation...defeating the Nazis, was a much more formidable task than taking on the gun lobby." However, on Tuesday's Evening News, in the wake of the defeat in the Senate, the long-time journalist offered no similar hyperbolic lament.