NPR rarely misses the opportunity of a mass shooting to beat the drums for more gun control. The news magazine show Here and Now, which recently became a joint venture of NPR along with NPR’s Boston affiliate WBUR, didn’t disappoint dispirited gun control advocates. Its September 19 show featured a lengthy segment of strategy for pushing through gun control legislation.
The sole guest in the segment was gun control advocate Paul Barrett, a journalist with Bloomberg Businessweek (owned by gun control activist Michael Bloomberg). Just the day before, they interviewed their only other guest about gun control since the Navy Yard shooting, gun control advocate Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democratic U.S. Senator.
On Monday morning, Carol Costello -- anchor of the weekday CNN Newsroom program -- referred to the NRA representative's remarks by asserting: “We’ve seen this sad movie before, with Mr. LaPierre;” and grumbled: “At the end of the day, nothing will change.”
Prominently displayed on the BuzzFeed front page as I write this (3:00 p.m. Eastern) is a headline blaring "How The NRA Twitter Handles A Mass Shooting: Silence." The accompanying thumbnail shows the NRA's initials overlaid on an American flag, with the word "fail" in a yellow dot on the upper left-hand corner. "The model is to go silent for at least a day, depending on the scope of the tragedy," notes the subheadline.
The article itself, written by Andrew Kaczynski, is from December 16, 2012, two days after the Newtown shooting. It was updated this morning to note the following, "Sept. 16, 2013, Washington D.C. Navy Yard Shooting: One Day (And Counting) Without Tweeting." Kaczynski followed that with an embed featuring the last tweet from the NRA's account, from September 15.
In his 19-paragraph page A4 story headlined "NRA-backed study urges armed staff at schools," staff writer Peter Finn waited until the 12th paragraph to mention that a father of a slain student at Sandy Hook was at the NRA's April 2 news conference in which former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.) unveiled a "National School Shield Program" that detailed how school districts might arm security guards and/or teachers to thwart potential attacks by shooters.
Of course Finn made sure to quote the scathing attack of a liberal critic a few paragraphs earlier. "Today's report is nothing more than a continuation of the NRA's attempts to prey on America's fears, saturate our schools with more guns and turn them into armed fortresses," Finn quoted Marian Wright Edelman of the Children's Defense Fund, who added that the NRA's plan "must be soundly rejected."
Luo's usual beat is campaign finance, where he has a hobby of trying to get the IRS interested in GOP fundraising tactics he doesn't approve of. On Monday Luo displayed a very trusting nature in government regulation, assuming that the men lawless enough to murder women would have been stopped by gun restrictions.
During a rousing speech that led to six standing ovations, Wayne LaPierre -- chief executive officer of the National Rifle Association -- told the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., on Friday that the “liberal media can keep on hating me, but I'm still standing.”
The speaker then turned his attention to a remark made on March 1 by Vice President Joe Biden that if anyone is in danger, he or she should take “that double barreled shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house.” LaPierre told the Democratic official: “You keep your advice, we'll keep or guns.”
During Thursday night's edition of CNN's “Piers Morgan Tonight,” the musician previously known as Snoop Dogg told the leftist British host that guns have become a part of everyday life, a fact he laments in a new reggae song entitled “No Guns Allowed.”
“We are guilty as Americans of promoting the gun as one of the most highly touted things that you can have in your life,” Calvin Broadus, aka Snoop Lion, told Morgan. “And I felt like I got to the point of my career and my life when I didn't need guns in my life because I didn't project that energy, and I was positive and peaceful.”
In a report for Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Andrea Mitchell smeared the National Rifle Association as a group benefitting from tragedy: "Even as America was shaken by the horror of Newtown, the NRA escalated its rhetoric, claiming to add more than 100,000 new members, and taking a no-compromise stand....the NRA is raising money, e-mailing supporters to upgrade their membership for what it calls, 'the fight of the century.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the middle of the segment, a brief exchange was shown between Mitchell and NRA president David Keene. Mitchell quoted a fundraising email from the gun rights organization warning of President Obama's pursuit of gun restrictions and wondered: "Are they trying to scare gun owners?" Keene replied: "We're not scaring them. We're not saying that your rights are at risk. The President of the United States is saying that."
As MediaBistro's TVNewser blog noticed on Wednesday, an image of NBC Meet the Press moderator David Gregory was featured in the newly released ad by the National Rifle Association, labeling him to be one of several "elitist hypocrites" on the gun control issue. [Watch video of the ad after the jump]
At the top of Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer hyperventilated over a newly released ad from the National Rifle Association pointing out the hypocrisy of President Obama on gun control: "Getting personal. The National Rifle Association out with a powerful new ad this morning, bringing the President's family into the gun debate." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The ad in question simply noted that Obama's daughters were protected in school by armed guards while the President was pushing for gun restrictions. Introducing a report on the ad, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed that it "gets very personal." Chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd followed: "...the NRA is signaling it intends to fight the President, and it's using this new web video that hits close to home, targeting his daughters."
In an interview with National Rifle Association president David Keene on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer wondered: "Do you have the support in Congress to block any federal ban on assault weapons in the coming year?...How close do you think Congress can get on that?" He then speculated: "People talk about the power of the NRA. They look at it almost, you know, in monumental terms. Do you think in the wake of these shootings that power has been eroded at all, Mr. Keene?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Keene rejected the framing of Lauer's question and explained: "Americans who believe strongly in the Second Amendment, and their right to own privately and use firearms for legitimate purposes, is a huge number of people who really care about these issues....it's not the power of the NRA, Matt. What it is, is the strength of belief among millions of Americans in their right under the Constitution to privately own firearms."