Have a look at the screengrab: it shows Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, she holding chin in hand, he hanging head. Their melodramatic reactions come in response to an NRA ad decrying the hypocrisy of political and media elites who want "gun free zones" in the schools where most Americans send their children, while sending their own children to schools with armed guards.
The panel's reaction was one of collective hyperventilation. Mike Barnicle called the ad "political pornography." Donny Deutsch said it's "one of the grossest things I've ever seen in my life." Scarborough asked Mika "what's wrong with these people?" Brzezinski replied that some of the people running the NRA are "sick in the head" and that she is "embarrassed for our country." But what of the substantive point made by the ad? View the video, including the ad, after the jump.
Scarborough argued that presidential family members have "targets on their backs." That is surely true. But how does that undermine the NRA argument? Sidwell Friends, attended by not only the Obama children but by those of such media celebrities as David Gregory, has a standing 11-person security contingent in addition to the Secret Service detail. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has an armed guard accompany his daughter to a school that is in turn protected by armed guards. Armed security is the order of the day for many politicians and celebrities. So if armed protection is the right answer for them, why are illusory "gun free zones" prescribed for the schools where the rest of America sends its children? Please watch and ponder.
"Kenyon is in charge of guarding a high school, yes, but this is a school whose boundaries extend far beyond McLean. Many Madeira students, past and present, come from powerful families ranging from D.C. power players to national and international CEO's, figureheads, and moguls. Many Madeira girls go on to become women of distinction in their chosen fields; actress Stockard Channing is an alumna; so is the late publisher of The Washington Post Katharine Graham."
MIKE BARNICLE: Mika, Joe mentioned, in trying to link things, the issue of pornography. Pornographic videos. Let's get to the ad.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Okay.
BARNICLE: Because this is pornography.
BRZEZINSKI: The NRA has released a new ad that brings the president's daughters into the debate over guns in America. [Rolls ad].
DONNY DEUTSCH: That's a real ad.
BARNICLE: That, my friends, is political pornography.
DEUTSCH:That's one of the grossest things I've ever seen in my life.
BRZEZINSKI: I don't know what to say. Joe?
JOE SCARBOROUGH: What's wrong with these people, Mika? What's wrong with these people? You have children that had no say in the decision on whether their father was going to step forward to be President of the United States, to run for president, one of the most bone-crushing, sacrificing things any husband or wife can do to their family. And the second they make that decision, their children and their entire family have targets on their backs. And the NRA is putting something out like-- what's wrong with these people, putting out apps that 4-year-olds can play on the anniversary of the Newtown murders, and now putting out an ad talking about the president's daughters?
BRZEZINSKI: They are out of step, out of the mainstream, totally out of sync with what's going on in our society. And quite frankly after seeing that, I think some of the people who run that thing are sick. I really do. I think they are sick in the head. And I'm serious. I am embarrassed right now. I'm embarrassed for our country.