For the second time on Piers Morgan's CNN show, Breitbart's Ben Shapiro got the better of his host as on Thursday he goaded Morgan into calling for a British-style handgun ban in the U.S.
"You're from the UK, why don't we go with a full gun ban?" Shapiro challenged Morgan, who, audibly flustered, admitted, "Listen, we've discussed this. The UK has 40, 50 gun murders a year, America has 12,000. Why don't we try our way?" He then promptly switched the topic. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Friday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah noted start of the National Rifle Association's convention in Houston, Texas by declaring that it "gets under way as the country engages in a heated gun control debate." In the report that followed, correspondent Gabe Gutierrez described the event as "a nine-acre gun show in the middle of a national gun fight."
Gutierrez acknowledged the recent "major congressional victory" of the gun rights group and lamented failure to pass gun restrictions: "After mass shootings in Aurora and Newtown, the NRA's opponents seemed to have momentum....But two weeks ago, a bipartisan compromise on expanded background checks for commercial gun sales was shot down in the Senate."
If you read local newspapers on the ground in the Granite State, it becomes pretty clear that the national media's drive-by attack on Kelly Ayotte is rooted in the liberal media's desire to push gun control, not the actual facts on the ground. The faux fury over Ayotte's vote against the Manchin-Toomey gun background check bill is rather underwhelming, in fact.
To make one thing absolutely clear, there were more Ayotte supporters than detractors at the town hall where Erica Lafferty attacked Ayotte for her vote. Lafferty, you may recall, is the daughter of the slain Sandy Hook Elementary School principal. Shawn Millerick of the New Hampshire Journal reported today that anti-Ayotte protests outside a town hall appearance were staged by Organizing for Action -- which is basically an undead form of the Obama for America presidential campaign:
Leading off Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams eagerly touted gun control supporters going after Republican New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte at a recent town hall meeting: "Pushing back. A tense moment as a U.S. senator gets an earful about her no vote on gun control." Williams hopefully added: "And with lawmakers home from Washington on a break, is this about to start happening more often?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
While Williams promoted the incident as a genuine public uprising, emphasizing "9 of 10 Americans support expanded background checks," he failed to mention that President Obama's campaign machine, Organizing for Action, was motivating many of the anti-Ayotte protests. On FNC's Special Report on Wednesday, anchor Bret Baier reported: "OFA took to the streets of New Hampshire at the end of April for an impassioned protest against [Ayotte]...One sign spattered in what appears to be fake blood reads, quote, 'More shot in one day than marathoned.'"
You can tell the conservatives liberals fear most because they start being automatically referred to as "discredited." Ask Sen. Ted Cruz. But no one is called "discredited" by liberals more often than the inestimable economist John Lott, author of the groundbreaking book "More Guns, Less Crime."
Lott's economic analysis of the effect of concealed-carry laws on violent crime is the most thoroughly vetted study in the history of economics, perhaps in the history of the world.
Chris Matthews won't let facts get in the way of his attacks on Republicans. On Wednesday's Hardball, he recapped the GOP Senate primary in Massachusetts to fill John Kerry's seat. Matthews inaccurately described Gabriel Gomez, a former Navy SEAL as "pro-gun, pro-assault rifle and pro-life."
In reality, Gomez's own website notes: "The President and the Congress must act now to forge consensus and compromise to close the gun show loophole, and to keep weapons out of the hands of those with mental health issues." The Boston Globe in March reported that Gomez sent a letter to the state's Democratic governor. On guns, he insisted, "I support the positions President Obama has taken on these issues and you can be assured I will keep my word and work on these issues as I have promised." Looks like Matthews should check his facts before launching into a rant.
The latest target for gun-control activists appears to be freshman Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.). In strikingly similar articles appearing on May 1, the Washington Post hyped the “contentious political fight” over gun control, and Politico describing the “lingering controversy that continues to hover over the New Hampshire senator.”
The two articles try to portray Ayotte as at odds with the majority of Americans over the issue of expanding background checks, pushing flawed polling that show 88 percent of New Hampshire citizens supporting background checks. Neither the Post nor Politico mention that background checks already exist for the vast majority of gun purchases.
The craziness keeps gushing from Chris Matthews’ mouth like a waterfall. On Tuesday morning, Matthews was anchoring MSNBC’s coverage of President Obama’s third news conference of the year. (Why they didn’t get a real journalist to anchor the coverage, I don’t know.) While waiting for the news conference to begin, Matthews and an array of panelists were discussing the gun control battle that they recently lost. The exasperated analysts seemed to agree that the background check bill failed in the Senate because gun rights advocates were more intense and single-minded than gun control advocates.
Matthews, picking up on this idea, attempted to glorify the gun control crowd: “Let's keep reminding ourselves that a lot of people who are for gun safety also are for world peace, also for jobs, also for the environment. People who are for guns are for guns.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
In the debate that just recently ended over a gun restriction proposal favored by Democrats, supporters of the Manchin-Toomey bill frequently cited polling statistics which allegedly showed 90 percent support for more background checks for gun buyers. What was usually left out of these questions, however, were the details, information that would likely have resulted in fewer people supporting the bill.
Of course, there are certainly many people out there who support banning any number of things deemed to be dangerous by anyone. “If it only saves one life” goes the common refrain. To test that proposition out, fake left-wing activist “Liberal Chick” took to the Florida International University campus to see if she could get students to sign a petition to ban pressure cookers, the devices used in the Boston Marathon bombing but normally used for cooking tasty food.
The email announcing the supposedly momentous occasion of another column by the Politico's Glenn Thrush arrived in my mailbox with the following headline and subhead: "Obama: Hey guys, I'm still here -- The president's press conference brimmed with frustration and was filled with tantalizing promise."
On clickthrough, I learned that the online website's massagers-in-chief changed those items (but not the underlying URL, which reflects the email) to the following in the published article: "President Obama: I’m still relevant -- Obama finds himself hemmed in by the familiar constraints of partisanship and world events." Thrush's text identifed another problem supposedly hemming Obama in, complete with a slavery analogy: "the shackles of his own commitments." Poor guy; he has to deal with the world as it is, not how he'd like it to be, and those darned things he promised to do to get elected and reelected. Gosh, life is just so unfair, isn't it? Excerpts following Thrush's theme follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
If there’s one senator that Joe Scarborough and the rest of the folks on MSNBC’s Morning Joe have contempt for it’s Ted Cruz. The freshman Texas senator and Tea Party favorite has been attacked by the morning schmoes on a regular basis, and on April 30 Scarborough -- a formerly conservative U.S. congressman -- went after Cruz once again.
On Tuesday morning, Scarborough chastised Cruz for, “mocking members of his own party” surrounding the gun control debate in Congress. Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski, who are no strangers to verbally attacking Cruz, described his actions as inappropriate:
The Texas freshman broke tradition on Friday by publicly discussing what went on behind closed doors when fellow Republicans criticized him for giving Democrats ammunition to portray the GOP as obstructionists. [See video after jump.]
President Barack Obama will take to the podium in the White House press briefing room at 10:30 a.m. Eastern for a press conference. The occasion: today is the 100th day of his second term in office. We at NewsBusters will be watching and I'll be live-blogging the questions from reporters. Pardon my inaccuracies as I'll be transcribing on the fly.
In the comments section, leave some question that YOU would ask if you were in the room. Which questions should be asked but likely won't?
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, CNN's Howard Kurtz doubled down on his December column that the media needed "to be leading the conversation" on guns in the wake of Newtown. He even compared the gun debate to the conversations on civil rights and, recently, same-sex marriage. Is gun control the new civil rights movement?
Of course, Kurtz claimed objectivity although since Newtown the media have been anything but fair to gun rights advocates in the "conversation" on guns: "I would say that it's important for journalists, whether you like the phrase 'leading the conversation' or not, to push controversial issues that the politicians otherwise might prefer not to talk about."
Yet New York Times columnist Ross Douthat countered that the media is overwhelmingly one-sided when it tries to push issues into the spotlight, and pointed to the selective outrage behind the Newtown shooting versus the horror stories coming from the Gosnell trial. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
In a new low for David Letterman – on both a professional and comedic level – each night this past week he devoted a Late Show “Stooge of the Night” segment to a Senator who dared to oppose the gun control bill, a law which would have done nothing to have prevented the Newtown tragedy.
Nonetheless, Letterman got very political in putting a picture of each Senator on the screen, yet the audience at his Manhattan theater remained befuddled, nearly silent after each announcement with, at best, scattered nervous laughter before Letterman followed up with a lame crack at their personal appearance. Those shots (Jeff Flake: “Reminds me a little of Gomer Pyle”; Ted Cruz: “How about a background check on his barber?”) generated a little laughter.
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough likes to call himself a “true conservative” on his daily MSNBC show Morning Joe, yet his recent flip-flop on Second Amendment rights makes him anything but a conservative. He’s a typical MSNBC “demagogue,” NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell declared on April 25 as he and Fox News anchor Sean Hannity chastised the MSNBC host.
In their weekly “Media Mash” segment, the Media Research Center president and the Fox News host went through numerous examples of Scarborough’s bombastic and hostile language towards conservatives, from guns to the recent CPAC conference. After Scarborough smeared that the NRA has made millions of dollars on the Newtown shooting, Bozell called Scarborough’s commentary “radical kook stuff” akin to what you hear from “Occupy Wall Street.”
Hannity and Bozell proceeded to hammer Scarborough for flip-flopping over gun control, going from a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, to a gun-control proponent. Bozell called Scarborough’s harsh language, “bomb throwing of the worst rhetorical kind and personal insults. Now, he's aiming them against people who supported exactly what he supported.” The two concluded by counseling Scarborough to, “never call yourself a conservative again.” [Watch the full “Media Mash” segment below the page break.]
As per his 1994 NRA questionnaire, Joe Scarborough: Opposed an assault weapons ban. Opposed expansion of background checks. Opposed limitations on magazine sizes. Today, he supports all such measures.
So how would you describe his two very different sets of opinions? Why, as being "very consistent," of course--if you're Joe Scarborough. On today's Morning Joe, responding to the NRA's promulgation of the NRA questionnaire he submitted in 1994 as an aspiring Republican congressman, Scarborough did indeed claim that his positions today, despite the multiple flip-flops, are "very consistent." View the video after the jump.
CNN's Piers Morgan had a fiery debate with controversial State Senator Stacey Campfield (R-Tenn.) on Wednesday.
At one point, Campfield said, "Now that gun control has failed, Piers, I'm wondering when are you going to move back to England. Because everyone in Tennessee is dying to know" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Despite CNN pushing Congress to enact new gun laws, a new poll shows less than half of Americans are "angry" or "disappointed" that last week's gun bill failed in the Senate. In its advocacy, CNN had touted 90 percent of Americans supporting universal background checks.
CNN wanted action taken on guns. Host Piers Morgan led a one-man crusade for gun control since the Newtown shooting, and that the rest of the network had been so friendly to the cause that the gun bill's co-author Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) actually thanked them for their "support."
Last week, before the Senate voted on the Manchin-Toomey gun control bill, Tavis Smiley declared that the idea that expanded background checks might not pass made him want to throw up. Well, the Senate has voted down the measure, and Smiley didn’t throw up on-camera. But he did hack up an angry rant on his PBS talk show Monday night.
The host focused on the idea that the overwhelming majority of Americans favor expanded background checks: "If there are polls and studies and surveys that show – and I’ve seen them, so I know this is true. If there are polls and studies and surveys that show that 90 percent of the American people want – or would have wanted, still want – some sort of background check, it raises the question how the president lost on this issue." [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Monday's NBC Nightly News, during a round-up of news stories that were eclipsed by coverage of the Boston bombing, anchor Brian Williams highlighted the failure of gun control legislation, noting that it "broke through last week but otherwise would have dominated our coverage..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the brief item, Williams recalled how President Obama labeled the political defeat "a shameful day in Washington" and lamented: "Upwards of 90% of the American people support it, but not enough members of the U.S. Senate." Williams then declared: "The President showed a rare flash of anger. The Newtown families went home still grieving."
On Monday's Charlie Rose show David Remnick exploited the Boston Marathon bombing to push for more gun control as he told the PBS host: "We see yet another act which might have been a Hell of a lot more difficult to pull off with effective gun control."
In a discussion about the Tsarnaevs terrorist plot the editor of The New Yorker and former Washington Post reporter pondered where they got their "pistols from?" and said that while he didn't "want to politicize" the tragedy proceeded to do just that, as he complained: "Within a week's time a very, very, very weak gun control bill gets defeated." (video after the jump)
**UPDATE** MSNBC’s Chris Jansing and Thomas Roberts did mention the new USA Today poll on their MSNBC shows at 10:10 a.m. and 11:18 a.m respectively. However, NBC's Today, ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning did not mention the new poll.
For conservatives out there, this probably will come as no surprise; support for additional federal gun control legislation has fallen below 50 percent. In a new USA Today poll released on April 23, only 49 percent of Americans support Congress passing a new gun-control law, with 45 percent opposing.
This new poll marks a six percentage point drop from an early April NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showing 55 percent support for stricter gun laws. That number was even lower than the 61 percent of Americans who favored stricter gun-control laws in February. Keep in mind as well that in early April in a Gallup poll, only 4 percent thought gun control was the "most important problem" on the country's plate.
Until we fully understand what turned two brothers who allegedly perpetrated the Boston Marathon bombings into murderers, it is hard to make any policy recommendation other than this: We need to redouble our efforts to make America stronger and healthier so it remains a vibrant counterexample to whatever bigoted ideology may have gripped these young men. With all our warts, we have built a unique society -- a country where a black man, whose middle name is Hussein, whose grandfather was a Muslim, can run for president and first defeat a woman in his own party and then four years later a Mormon from the opposition, and no one thinks twice about it. With so many societies around the world being torn apart, especially in the Middle East, it is vital that America survives and flourishes as a beacon of pluralism.
Sunday's NBC Meet the Press panel decried gun background check legislation being voted down in the Senate, with liberal historian Doris Kearns Goodwin lamenting: "Maybe the problem is also the structure of the Senate....given the 60 votes that are needed, given who they listen to, given the power of special interests, public sentiment cannot penetrate." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan pleaded: "Something's not working there....we got a thing like Newtown, 90 percent, move it. Small, discrete parts of a bill, push it through, call it a victory, keep going." Special correspondent Tom Brokaw replied: "Well, kill the filibuster bill. I mean – or change it." Goodwin eagerly agreed: "Kill it. Definitely. Definitely. They've got to do that."
I wonder why President Obama feels he has the right to be outraged when legislators don't automatically roll over to his policy demands. I suspect that his moral indignation is more about personally losing than it is about policy issues themselves.
For indeed, President Obama was obviously furious when his gun control bill failed to muster sufficient votes to pass the Senate. Politico reported, "More than anything, it was an emotional blow to Obama, who was as irritated at the four members of his own party as he was at the 90 percent of Republicans who defeated the bill."
Leave it to Thomas Roberts to not let a tragedy go to waste. Appearing on his daily MSNBC show on April 22, Roberts felt it appropriate to use last Monday's deadly terrorist bombing in Boston to push for federal gun control legislation.
Speaking with Patricia Maisch, survivor of the Tucson shooting which critically wounded former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), Roberts noted that the brothers Tsarnaev, residents of Massachusetts, did NOT legally own the firearms they used in a shootout with police last Thursday.
Four out of five liberal journalists, on Sunday's edition of The Chris Matthews Show, dourly predicted that gun control was "doomed" for the "foreseeable future." When Matthews asked his panel if the NRA would "block wider background checks forever" and if it was a "permanent victory for these guys?" most of the liberal panel begrudgingly agreed.
The lone holdout was CNN's Gloria Borger who predicted the defeated bill is "framing the 2014 midterm elections," and that the Democrats would "eventually" win on the gun issue.
The other panelists were gloomy in their forecasts. (video after jump)
On April 18, a new Washington Post/ABC News poll that showed 51% of Americans feel that guns in the home make it safer, compared to 29% who think otherwise. More telling is that fact that 51% of white middle class women agree with the sentiment about firearms making homes safer. Additionally, a Nexis search detailed that ABC News has yet to report this poll, and, with the exception of the Fix blog online, thePost's print edition avoided the “guns make a home safer” findings.
So, will there a correction to Jill Filipovic, Amanda Marcotte, and Co. for trying to smear the NRA as the “domestic abuse lobby? The article by New York Times’ Michael Luo that set off this meretricious commentary on guns looks like to have been a smear too far. After all, it wasn’t “intense pressure” the gun lobby that killed Obama’s anti-gun agenda. It was white middle-class women, who liked their Second Amendment rights to be left untouched by big government.
Normally, the people who cover the media industry try studiously to avoid mentioning the very obvious fact that America's elite journalists are overwhelmingly liberal and that one can discern this by reviewing their output. This is a logical response considering that said reporters probably do not wish to antagonize potential sources. It's hard to report on the media if no one in the media will speak to you.
In the case of the recent journalist meltdown over gun control, the bias was so overwhelming, even Politico's cautious media reporter Dylan Byers had to admit the obvious: