When the White House initiated the “We The People” website for persons to use in getting the attention of the Obama administration by accumulating at least 25,000 electronic signatures, I don't think they expected it to be used as much and as often as it is.
One of the complaints that has surpassed the halfway point is a petition to have NBC News reporter David Gregory arrested for using a 30-round AR-15 gun magazine as a prop during his interview with National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre on last Sunday's edition of “Meet the Press.”
Of all the gushing, fawning, sycophantic things uttered by Obama-loving media members in 2012, David Gregory's fiscal cliff question posed to the President on Sunday's Meet the Press has to be on the list of the year's top ten.
"Is this your Lincoln moment?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Howard Kurtz of The Daily Beast has some tough talk for the D.C. Police investigating NBC's David Gregory. In an interview with the NRA's Wayne LaPierre on Sunday's Meet the Press, Gregory had produced an high capacity magazine on-air in violation of D.C. gun laws, thus attracting a police investigation.
Kurtz lamely implied that although Gregory broke the law, he shouldn't be prosecuted for it. "But the D.C. Police Department apparently has nothing better to do than examine whether he violated the city’s gun laws," Kurtz scoffed in his column at the Daily Download.
William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has relayed the latest turns of events in the David Gregory Meet the Press magazine brandishing incident (previous posts here, here, and here). The press is finally paying attention: "Now that the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department is on record that it told NBC News not to use the high capacity magazine in its segment with Wayne LaPierre, the big media is paying attention and taking this seriously."
Except that some in the press are, with anonymous sources, trying to excuse Gregory's and NBC's situation by saying that they somehow got permission to display the magazine. Uh, except that the New York Times says that any permission obtained doesn't matter. The permission supposedly came from the federal government's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF):
It's pretty close to a tie, but based on time stamps, Legal Insurrection's William Jacobson, at 11:23 a.m., was 22 minutes ahead of local DC TV station WJLA in breaking an important update to the David Gregory magazine clip saga going back to Sunday's Meet the Press program. (The classless credit hogs at Politico published a related story, didn't credit Jacobson, and while citing WJLA, failed to link to its report; thus I'm not linking to Politico.) Previous related posts on Sunday (NewsBusters; BizzyBlog) and Tuesday evening (NB; BB) only relayed the possibility that NBC might have asked DC Metro Police whether they could show a high-capacity magazine on the air.
The fresh news via Jacobson is that "NBC requested and was denied permission to use (i.e., show a) high capacity magazine in news segment" -- but went ahead and did it anyway (bolds are mine):
Warner Todd Huston at Breitbart, Katie Glueck at the Politico, and William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection all reported today that NBC's David Gregory is under investigation by the Washington, DC Metro Police in connection with his apparent brandishing of "a 30-round magazine purportedly for an AR-15 or similar 'assault rifle'" on Sunday morning's "Meet the Press" program.
Jacobson further noted another potentially serious complication for NBC:
Two blog posts today should shred the credibility of Meet the Press's David Gregory in making arguments for gun control and against appropriate armed staff or security personnel at schools -- or they would, if journalists had the least bit of interest in exposing lawbreaking and hyprocritical behavior by their professional colleagues.
During the show, as reported at the Patriot Perspective, relaying a point first brought out by a member of the AR15.com forum site, Gregory "decided to wave around a 30-round AR-15 magazine" in direct violation of the District of Columbia "DC High Capacity Ammunition Magazines" statute. Given the Supreme Court's Heller ruling affirming that the right to keep and bear arms (and ammo) is an individual right, that law may not be enforceable, but it would also be interesting to know if Gregory's possession of an AR-15 magazine or his showing it on the air violated any of NBC's corporate policies. Additionally, the Weekly Standard's Daniel Halper pointed to Gregory's hypocrisy in mocking the NRA's Wayne LaPierre over his organization's advocacy of having armed guards in schools (internal link is in original; bolds are mine):
In his Sunday appearance on "Meet the Press" (HT The Blaze), New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg answered host David Gregory's first question relating to the Sandy Hook massacre by saying that "It's so unbelievable, and it only happens in America." That statement is so obviously false that I would have expected even a Bloomberg- and gun control-sympathetic press, including Gregory himself, to point out how wrong that statement is. Nope: A search on Bloomberg's name at the Associated Press at 1:45 p.m. returned four relevant articles containing Bloomberg's name; none reports that statement, let alone its erroneous nature.
Further, a Google News search on [Bloomberg "only happens in America"] (typed exactly as indicated between brackets; sorted by date) returned 42 items, most of which were versions of a short, unbylined AP Sunday report containing the incorrect Bloomberg assertion. The AP clearly made it disappear in subsequent national site dispatches without identifying the statement's falsehood. To its credit, AP did issue a correction to an earlier "worst in U.S. history" statement in a different report:
Most of the anti-Second Amendment media have been predictably thrilled with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's call for stricter gun regulations in the wake of Friday's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Apparently not New York Times columnist David Brooks who said on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday, "It’s counterproductive to have him as the spokesperson for the gun law movement" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Roughly 48 hours after the tragic shootings at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, a powerful Democrat claimed that on the first day of the new Congress in January, she will be introducing a bill to both chambers of Congress that bans assault weapons.
So said Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif), the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday.
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory eagerly touted the approval rating of outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and gushed over the prospect of her running for president in 2016: "...her popularity has soared to an all-time high. According to a new Washington Post/ABC poll out this week, 66 percent view the country's top diplomat favorably..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Gregory then teed up a fawning promotional video about Clinton: "A recent campaign-style tribute video that was played at the Saban Forum here in DC left the political world abuzz..." A clip of the Hillary propaganda film followed, with sound bites from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair predicting a Clinton political comeback.
Reporting on the Supreme Court taking up the issue of gay marriage for the first time, on Friday's NBC Nightly News, justice correspondent Pete Williams proclaimed: "The fact that the Court has agreed to take up both cases could mean that the Justices are prepared to get to the heart of the same-sex marriage issue, and that could result in what would essentially be the Roe v. Wade of gay rights." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At the top of the broadcast, anchor Brian Williams billed the upcoming report as "big news...that could change everything." Introducing a repeat of the story on Saturday's Today, co-host Lester Holt announced: "Game changer? The U.S. Supreme Court plans to tackle two cases involving same-sex marriage. So will this become the law of the land?"
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich on Sunday gave Lawrence O'Donnell a much-needed education on the economic impact of the Bill Clinton tax hikes in the '90s.
As O'Donnell precipitated the exchange, he perfectly demonstrated why MSNBC commentators are far too liberally biased to be invited on NBC's Meet the Press (video follows with transcript and commentary):
During the panel discussion on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer launched an assault against Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist for holding Republicans to a pledge not to raise taxes: "What this is about is avoiding a recession which is going to happen....You're going to sacrifice that on the cross of two percent. Is that what you want?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Norquist, a fellow panelist, shot back: "I'm supportive of the Republican position, which is we need to have economic growth, not higher taxes. If we grew at four percent a year instead of two percent a year, Reagan levels instead of Obama levels, for one decade we'd net five trillion in additional revenue. That would pay down the debt that Obama has run up with the Solyndra stimulus stuff."
Reviewing several dispatches from the past couple of days, the latest news out of Egypt is that Egyptian "President" Mohammed Morsi "is not backing down in the showdown over decrees granting him near-absolute powers," that "clashes between the two camps (Morsi's Islamist supporters and secular opponents) ... left two dead and hundreds injured," and that the country's Muslim Brotherhood-dominated assembly "pushed through the 234-article draft (constitution) in just 21 hours from Thursday into Friday ... (after) Coptic Christians and liberals earlier had walked out."
The draft constitution includes several articles "that rights activists, liberals and Christians fear will lead to restrictions on the rights of women and minorities," and omits "bans on slavery or promises to adhere to international rights treaties." Oh, and I almost forgot: "The Obama administration is declining to criticize Egypt's draft constitution." It's worth identifying at this point several (but by no means all; what follows is surely a small sample) of those who in 2011 reassured the world that Egyptians had nothing to fear if the Brotherhood and Islamists became dominant.
During a discussion of the new film Lincoln on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, documentary film maker Ken Burns ranted about one of the supposed lessons he took away from the movie: "Race is always there in America....Do you think we'd have a secession movement in Texas and the other places, faddish secession movement, if this president wasn't African-American? Do you think the vitriol that came out of some elements of the Tea Party would have been at the same level had this President not been Africa-American?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh responded on Monday to comments from Republican strategists Mike Murphy and Steve Schmidt, who have called on the party to “stray away from a vision” that is right out of the conservative commentator's “dream journal.”
The radio personality deflected the criticism, noting that the moderate GOP consultants got the candidate they wanted -- former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney -- and stated that strategists get rich regardless of who wins the elections.
In an interview with liberal historian Doris Kearns-Goodwin for NBC's Press Pass, Meet the Press moderator David Gregory invited her to draw parallels between President Obama and Abraham Lincoln: "It seems like it's so hard to put Lincoln in a modern political context...But there is a leadership lesson that you think is important now and is important for President Obama embarking on a second term, as he seeks to be what he's always wanted to be, which is not just a president, but a great president."
Kearns-Goodwin used the newly released film about Lincoln to make the point: "Absolutely. I mean I think the timing of it couldn't be better. And it's just coincidence that it really happened to be....there's this great scene, it's not just a scene, but Lincoln's actual words, 'I am clothed with immense power. You will get this vote.' So a president is clothed in immense power if they use the leadership skills to make it happen."
Appearing on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, New York Times foreign affairs columnist Tom Friedman worked to downplay the terrorist attack in Libya: "There are diplomats that go to dangerous places, and sometimes...they get killed. It is a tragedy. To me, Libya is not a scandal, it's a tragedy."
While the murder of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans was indeed a tragedy, Friedman has insisted on protecting the Obama administration from criticism over the attack. On the October 21 Meet the Press, he declared of the growing scandal: "To me, this is an utterly contrived story in the sense that 'this is the end of,' you know, 'Obama's foreign policy.'"
Last week it was Republican strategist Steve Schmidt blaming Mitt Romney's loss on conservative "loons and wackos," this week on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, fellow Republican strategist Mike Murphy joined the media chorus demanding the GOP move left: "...if we don't modernize conservatism, we can go extinct....we've got to get kind of a party view of America that's not right out of Rush Limbaugh's dream journal." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Murphy explained how to "modernize" the party: "We alienate young voters because of gay marriage, we have a policy problem. We alienate Latinos – the fastest growing voter group in the country, because of our fetish on so-called amnesty....It's a fundamental rethink that begins with policy..." Moments later, he asserted: "...the biggest problem Mitt Romney had was the Republican primary. That's what's driving the Republican brand right now to a disaster."
During an exchange on NBC's Press Pass on Sunday, Meet the Press moderator David Gregory and BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith wrung their hands over political divisiveness on social media sites like Twitter, but only managed to cite a list of Obama critics as the worst offenders.
Gregory lamented: "We talk about how polarized the country is....we see this reflected in particularly nasty ways....Donald Trump on election night tweeting....Jack Welch talking about a jobless report....Tone, tenor, and message, really polarizing on Twitter." Smith added: "We did a post on election night of people, you know, demanding Obama's assassination....We got a lot of emails from folks on that list saying, 'Hey, could you please take me off that, I certainly didn't really mean to say that in public.'"
CNBC’s Jim Cramer predicted a possible recession by Christmas if lawmakers didn’t step up and make some sort of deal in regards to the looming fiscal cliff. His prediction came during an Nov. 11 appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“We can gift wrap a recession by Christmas. We can set it right into place without some agreement,” Cramer told “Meet the Press” host David Gregory. He attributed that week’s stock market drop to that same lack of certainty.
Appearing on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, liberal historian Doris Kearns-Goodwin pleaded for the American people to excuse extramarital affairs of public figures like David Petraeus: "What would we have done if FDR had not been our leader because he had an affair with Lucy Mercer? Think of the productive years that Clinton could have had if Monica Lewinsky hadn't derailed them. We've got to figure out a way that we give a private sphere for our public leaders. We're not gonna get the best people in public life if we don't do that." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Sounding more like a Democratic strategist on Sunday's Meet the Press than NBC's political director, Chuck Todd urged President Obama to force congressional Republicans into a corner on the fiscal cliff: "...go do it with 65-70 members of the Senate, cut the deal, bring it over to the House....box Boehner in....did the President learn anything from his first term about how to deal with congressional Republicans? Which is don't do it through the leadership."
Moments later, liberal pundit and historian Doris Kearns-Goodwin described how Obama could "build his mandate": "...he has to mobilize that base. That base was energized on election nigh....It's there to bring pressure on obstructionists if they don't get a deal done from the outside in....The Tea Party pressured everybody that summer, why can't his coalition, which is bigger, pressure people from the outside in?"