There have been a few very, very good column’s on David Gregory’s hypocrisy in the last few days as commentators and columnists finally catch up on the Christmastime news story. Mark Steyn and Noah Rothman have two of the best.
Mark Steyn has an excellent piece on David Gregory’s Magazinegate. I recommend it – he hits pretty much all the points needed to illustrate the absurdity and hypocrisy of the media and the law.
…the “dumbest media story of 2012” is actually rather instructive. David Gregory intended to demonstrate what he regards as the absurdity of America’s lax gun laws. Instead, he’s demonstrating the ever greater absurdity of America’s non-lax laws. His investigation, prosecution, and a sentence of 20–30 years with eligibility for parole after ten (assuming Mothers Against High-Capacity Magazines don’t object) would teach a far more useful lesson than whatever he thought he was doing by waving that clip under LaPierre’s nose.
To Howard Kurtz & Co., it’s “obvious” that Gregory didn’t intend to commit a crime. But, in a land choked with laws, “obviousness” is one of the first casualties — and “obviously” innocent citizens have their “obviously” well-intentioned actions criminalized every minute of the day…
Anything involving guns is even less amenable to “obviousness.” A few years ago, Daniel Brown was detained at LAX while connecting to a Minneapolis flight because traces of gunpowder were found on his footwear. His footwear was combat boots. As the name suggests, the combat boots were returning from combat — eight months of it, in Iraq’s bloody and violent al-Anbar province. Above the boots he was wearing the uniform of a staff sergeant in the USMC Reserve Military Police and was accompanied by all 26 members of his unit, also in uniform. Staff Sergeant Brown doesn’t sound like an “obvious” terrorist. But the TSA put him on the no-fly list anyway. If it’s not “obvious” to the government that a serving member of the military has any legitimate reason for being around ammunition, why should it be “obvious” that a TV host has?
There are two possible resolutions: Gregory can call in a favor from some Obama consigliere who’ll lean on the cops to disappear the whole thing. If he does that, he’ll be contributing to the remorseless assault on a bedrock principle of free societies — equality before the law. Laws either apply to all of us or none of us. If they apply only to some, they’re not laws but caprices — and all tyranny is capricious.
Or he can embrace the role in which fate has cast him. Sometimes a society becomes too stupid to survive. Eleven-year-old girls fined for rescuing woodpeckers, serving Marines put on the no-fly list, and fifth-generation family cats being ordered into separate compounds with “electric wire” fencing can all testify to how near that point America is. But nothing “raises awareness” like a celebrity spokesman. Step forward, David Gregory! Dare the prosecutor to go for the death penalty — and let’s make your ammo the non-shot heard round the world!
Read the whole column here.
Noah Rothman has this column at Mediaite – Gun Control Debate Exposed the Media’s Bias; David Gregory Exposed Their Hypocrisy:
Gone are the days when it was a news anchors job to report the political position of America’s elected officials. Today, it is acceptable – even commendable – to berate them on camera for holding views with which the anchor disagrees.
While many in the nation’s establishment news media display naked contempt for lawmakers who may differ with them on the necessity of more gun laws, the loathing with which they regard the National Rifle Association is unparalleled.
Misplaced priorities are one thing – they are easily exposed and, maybe, just as easily forgiven; the necessities of making compelling television or newspaper copy supported by advertising being what they are. Hypocrisy, on the other hand, should be unforgivable. The “national conversation” has, in a way, been blessed with a glaring example of the media’s hypocrisy in a rather silly incident in which NBC’s Meet the Press anchor David Gregory ran afoul of local gun laws in Washington D.C. when he displayed a high capacity magazine on camera this past Sunday.
Members of the media, on the right and the left, rushed to his defense with a collective eye-roll. Gregory’s infraction is “[n]ow officially the dumbest media story of 2012,” wrote New York University professor Jay Rosenon Twitter. “Dumb, dumb, dumb.” Media critic Jeff Jarvis used “nonstory” twice in one sentence to describe Gregory’s predicament. “A total waste of time,” declared CNN media critic Howard Kurtz when describing the police probe into Gregory’s display of the offending magazine.
“How much time and money is going to be spent (wasted) investigating [Gregory],” asked Fox News Channel hostGreta Van Susteren. “I will bet my right arm David Gregory is not going to go out and commit some crime with that magazine…or that he intended to flaunt the law (if it was against the law.) At worst, it was a stupid TV stunt (and so what!).”
Even the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board went out of their way to attempt to exonerate Gregory’s actions. Their argument is, in essence, his intentions were pure, even if his actions violated the letter of the law. “So here we have a possible indictment that would be entirely nonsensical of a journalist who was trying to embarrass an NRA official over an ammunition ban whose impact would be entirely symbolic,” reads a Thursday WSJ editorial. “It isn’t clear that Mr. Gregory is guilty of anything other than perhaps overzealousness in pursuit of the conventional gun-control wisdom, which is not a crime unless we want to empty newsrooms and fill up jails from coast to coast.”
The media’s argument in favor of treating Gregory differently from any other citizen who does not anchor a popular Sunday news broadcast is, essentially, “come on! Really?”
Yes, really. The media’s defense of Gregory is entirely personal – he is a member of the media simply doing what the media does. Even if this law is applicable to Gregory (a fact which the media seems prepared to debate), this particular infraction should not result in any penalties. At no point has any member of the media asked if Washington D.C.’s law, which is aimed at reducing the glamour of these extended magazines, is absurd. If Gregory was an anonymous reporter producing this clip during a local news broadcast, or even in private, the media’s response to his infraction would probably have been much different. In fact, as a reader of POLITICO’s Dylan Byers points out, there is historical evidence that suggests it was different not long ago.
L’affaire de Gregory has exposed an unseemly sense of entitlement in the elite media. If the post-Newtown debate over gun control has shown that the media is somewhat out of touch with average Americans, the Gregory episode has revealed that they do not see themselves as average Americans.
Again, there’s more to read, and I suggest reading the whole column here.