"A grand jury indicted Floyd Lee Corkins II, 28, of Herndon, Va., on a federal charge of interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition, and two District of Columbia offenses: assault with intent to kill while armed and possession of a handgun during a crime of violence," reported CBS News and the Associated Press yesterday shortly after 5 p.m. Eastern. CBSNews.com carried the story in the "daily blotter" section of its Crimesider feature. "Corkins' parents told investigators that he was a supporter of gay rights, and he said he didn't agree with the FRC's politics before the shooting, according to the documents," the article added.
Yet last night's CBS Evening News completely ignored the story, as did ABC's World News and NBC's Nightly News. The August 23 editions of those networks' morning shows also ignored the story. A search of our DVR recordings also found no mention of the indictment on the ultra-liberal, fervently pro-gay rights MSNBC network. John Berman of CNN's Starting Point did briefly touch on the story in the 7:00 a.m. news brief:
CNN already understands why the Family Research Council (FRC) was labeled a "hate group" by the liberal Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). On Saturday, CNN gave more credibility to the SPLC as anchor Randi Kaye cited the group as a credible source on "hate groups" in the U.S. right after quoting their explanation for the FRC's "hate group" label.
"Statistics show hate groups are on the rise in this country. The Southern Poverty Law Center counted more than 1,000 known hate groups operating in the U.S. last year, and the FBI reported nearly 7,000 hate crimes," reported Kaye during the 10 a.m. hour of CNN Newsroom. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Floyd Corkins, a volunteer for the last six months at the D.C. Center for the LGBT Community, marched into the Family Research Center with a gun and serious ammunition, denounced FRC’s policy positions, and shot a security guard in the arm before being subdued. Another hate crime, but this time against perhaps the pre-eminent pro-family organization in America. CBS gave the story 20 seconds. NBC spent 17 seconds.
Imagine a volunteer for the Family Research Council marching into some gay group’s headquarters with a gun, and after shouting his opposition to the homosexual agenda, opened fire and wounded a guard before being subdued. Never mind evening news. This would be Breaking News! and for days there would be seemingly endless coverage of continued conservative hatred.
CNN's Brooke Baldwin couldn't find a motive behind the Family Research Council shooting, on Thursday afternoon – despite CNN having earlier reported that "politics" was involved in the shooting at the conservative organization.
"You know, who knows what really was the motive behind this particular individual Floyd Lee Corkins?" Baldwin wondered at 3:10 p.m. EDT, even though anchor Suzanne Malveaux stated at 1:31 p.m. EDT, "Witnesses say that Floyd Lee Corkins walked into the conservative group's headquarters, told the security guard 'I don't like your politics,' and then shot him in the arm." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Imagine if, God forbid, this exact same thing had happened at a Planned Parenthood or the Southern Law Poverty Center, which labeled both Chick-fil-A and FRC hate groups. We’d be hearing an endless loop of stories about the danger of militant, hate-filled right wing wackos.
ABC was the only broadcast network that offered a full story on the FRC office shooting on Wednesday night. They led with the story and gave it two and a half minutes. None of the network newscasts reported the breaking detail that shooter Floyd Corkins volunteered for six months at the D.C. Center for the LGBT Community, adding depth to his political motivation.
On NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams gave the story just 17 seconds: “In Washington today, police say a man with a gun walked into the offices of the conservative lobbying group the Family Research Council, and opened fire. He never made it past the lobby. He shot a security guard in the arm before the guard was able to subdue him.”
Shortly before 11 a.m. this morning, 28-year-old Floyd Corkins opened fire on a security guard at the conservative Family Research Center, located in downtown Washington, D.C. Local news stations, including NBC's Washington station, devoted resources to cover the developing story, as did CNN and Fox News, which regularly updated viewers with progress in the investigation.
But MSNBC devoted a scant 17 seconds to the story, in a news brief at 2:51 p.m. Eastern by News Nation substitute anchor Jose Diaz-Balart, and ignored noting that it may well be classified as an incident of domestic terrorism [MP3 audio here; video contrasting coverage follows page break]:
Even after the shooting of a security guard at the Family Research Council, the Huffington Post can’t stop slamming the pro-family organization as a “hate group.” The Huffington Post waited less than three hours before publishing an article which complained about “the Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center deems a hate group.”
Contributor Waymon Hudson, in an August 15 article titled “Paul Ryan: Poster Boy of Today’s Extreme GOP,” posted an attack on Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan which slammed the Family Research Council on 1:36 PM – less than three hours after the shooting, which took place around 10:45 AM. Attacking Ryan as an extremist, Hudson complained that Ryan “has agreed to address the Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center deems a hate group, at the organizations annual Voters Value Summit in September.”
(UPDATED: The Washington Post reports "A law enforcement official said at one point in the scuffle, the shooter expressed views that differed from those of the Family Research Council. The official also said the shooter was carrying a bag that had a Chick-Fil-A bag inside." NBC Washington identified the suspect as Floyd Corkins, 28.)
There was a shooting Wednesday morning at the Family Research Council in Washington. The suspect "made statements regarding their policies, and then opened fire with a gun striking a security guard," a source told Fox News.None of the other breaking reports seem to refer to a political motive, but AP's early coverage includes the information that FRC president Tony Perkins recently came to the defense of Chick-fil-A and their president Dan Cathy: