The Comcast Corporation, sole owner of NBCUniversal now, recently made the decision to refuse advertising from gun stores and ammunition manufacturers. Operating in 39 states and the District of Columbia, it is by far the largest cable company in the country. What's more, it holds a regional monopoly on cable TV in a multitude of markets, meaning it's the only affordable televised commercial access that many gun stores have.
The blanket directive was issued just as soon as its purchase of NBCUniversal was finalized, which has had a long-standing policy against gun-related ads on its networks.
As our readers are well aware of by now, their so-called cable 'news' outlet MSNBC has consistently expressed strong opinions on the subject of gun control, without much of an opportunity to present counter-arguments. Hosts like Al Sharpton, Chris Matthews, Martin Bashir, etc. have gone out of their way to demonize the NRA and gun owners in general.
Of course, NBCUniversal has made millions off of movies and TV shows where gun play is prominent, so the move to ban ads by gun stores catering to law abiding citizens is highly hypocritical.
Comcast isn't alone among corporate cable outlets to ban such ads. The nation's second biggest cable provider, Time Warner announced in mid-January that it would no longer air ads with semiautomatic weapons in them. Cox Communications had already imposed restrictions before the Newtown massacre occurred. The irony of this approach certainly appears to be lost on all of them.
As big as they are - Comcast, Time Warner and Cox won't lose much (if any) revenue, but gun control advocates still call Comcast's decision a "brave move." With few other options available to them and none as pervasive, local gun store owners and ammo dealers are sure to feel the economic sting though.
"Frankly, I'm a little confused," Indiana gun store owner Rick Oliver told reporter Jessica Contrera of the Journal and Courier. The co-owner of Haley's Lodge, a gun and ammunition dealer in Lafayette, Indiana had no idea why his money wasn't good anymore. "I've been running TV ads for 30 years, but if they don't want my money, I'll take it elsewhere."
Another gun store manager in Indiana, Greg Hasek, sees a different double standard at play. One that is unfairly singling out an industry, while inexplicably giving others a pass. Marketers of alcoholic beverages and junk food are allowed to do as they please, despite the death toll and high health care costs attributable to drunk driving and obesity.
Then again, who knows, maybe they are next on the target list, although one imagines their advertising comprises too large of a market share to write them off in a fit of political pique.