Jim Gray Sides with Costas & Whitlock on Gun Control, Then Backtracks: WaPo Calls for More Editorializing

In an appearance on Monday's America's Newsroom program on Fox News, veteran sportscaster Jim Gray at first expressed what seemed like absolute agreement with NBC's Bob Costas regarding the need for more gun control in light of the horrific Jovan Belcher murder-suicide on Saturday.

In what turned into a sanctimonious lecture during halftime programming on Sunday Night Football, NBC's Costas endorsed an anti-gun screed by Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock. Asked for his thoughts by Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum, Gray wholeheartedly agreed with Costas and Whitlock, but then oddly backtracked just as the interview was concluding [ video (via MRCTV's Ian Hanchett) and transcript below ]

Using the Aurora theater shooting as a 'perfect example' like many of his colleagues in the liberal news media did over the summer, Gray curiously ignored salient questions about Belcher's or James Holmes' mental state and whether they broke any laws already on the books in procuring their guns.  "Well, If you don't have them, it doesn't happen," Gray offered.

But after MacCallum countered that, "where there is a will, unfortunately to kill, it finds a way eventually," Gray backtracked on his previous assertion, perhaps wanting to cover his bases and sound like he could see both sides of the gun control argument:

That is true, Martha. What they say if you have a gun or if you don't have a gun and want to find one and you're a criminal and a murderer you will find one. Perhaps those arguments are right.

While Costas has received a fair amount of criticism already for addressing the issue the way he did on national television, others have rushed to his defense. Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple, for instance, submitted a plea to Costas to "please keep spouting off," further exemplifying how the liberal media refuses to let a tragedy like this go to waste.

Partial Transcript Below

Fox News

America's Newsroom

Dec. 3, 2012

10:19 a.m. EST

MARTHA MACCULLUM: Jim, what do you think about that? Should he have gone there?

JIM GRAY: Well, he's allowed to have his opinion just like we are all allowed to have our opinion on this show. So yes, he is allowed to go there. And that's what he does at halftime. Bob Costas is a brilliant sportscaster and Jason Whitlock's right, if there is no gun here, nobody is dead. I mean, I don't know what the issue is to take issue with. I mean we just had a presidential campaign, Martha and not one time did gun control and gun issues come up. Now I know that they probably don't want to take on these lobbies and they're very powerful and very strong. But we just had a kid go into a theater in Aurora, Colorado with semiautomatic weapons and started blowing everybody up. Well, If you don't have them, it doesn't happen. Nobody who possessed a gun in Colorado was there to take him down at the time. So these are difficult, difficult issues that need to be addressed and as far as this football issue right here, if he doesn't have a gun they're both alive. So I don't have a problem with what he said.

MACCULLUM: Alright Jim, thank you. And I would ask everybody at home, send me a tweet on this. I know everybody has a lot of thoughts on it. Some people basically saying where there is a will, unfortunately to kill, it finds a way eventually and it is a tragedy no matter how you look at it that these two young people are no longer with us. Go ahead, Jim. One last thought.

GRAY: That is true, Martha. What they say if you have a gun or if you don't have a gun and want to find one and you're a criminal and a murderer you will find one. Perhaps those arguments are right.

MACCULLUM: Thank you, Jim. Good to talk to you this morning. Good to have you.

10:21 a.m. EST