CBS This Morning's slant towards gun control emerged again on
Tuesday as they reported on the upcoming meetings of Vice President Joe
Biden's task force on new firearms regulations. Despite a graphic
spotlighting how "activists on both sides" were ready for a "fight" on
the issue, the morning show only featured pictures of pro-gun control
demonstrations, including one of a far left Code Pink protester
disrupting a recent NRA press conference.
Anchor Charlie Rose also asked CBS News political director John Dickerson an eyebrow-raising question regarding the passage of federal gun control legislation in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut [audio available here; video below]:
CHARLIE ROSE: How much pressure comes from the gun control lobby?...do they believe that there's something different, though, because this was about those 20 young kids, rather than normal kinds of awful tragic shootings?
How is it "normal" for anyone to die at the hands of deranged individuals? The question didn't even faze Dickerson, who replied, "That's exactly right, Charlie. They think that something has changed here - that there's a boiling point."
Moments earlier, the political director had referenced the Tucson and
Aurora shootings in 2012. In both instances, school-aged children died –
a 9-year-old in Arizona and a 6-year-old in Connecticut. Perhaps, Rose
forgot about these details when he used his beyond bizarre wording.
During the last month or so of 2012, the CBS morning show promoted gun control efforts. On November 30, they boosted Stephen Colbert making fun of a proposed dormitory for University of Colorado undergraduates with concealed carry permits. Four days later, correspondent Jim Axelrod filed a completely one-sided report that tried to tie the Jovan Belcher murder-suicide to a supposed "gun culture" in the NFL and the U.S. at large.
After the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, the program lined up pro-gun control liberals on December 17 and hounded Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel from the left on the issue the following morning.
The full transcript of the John Dickerson segment from Tuesday's CBS This Morning:
NORAH O'DONNELL: Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is launching a new effort to reduce gun violence. She was wounded two years ago today in a mass shooting that killed six people.
CHARLIE ROSE: Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden's task force is holding meetings this week to discuss new gun regulations.
CBS News political director John Dickerson is following that story. John, good morning.
[CBS News Graphic: "Bloomberg And Biden: NYC Mayor Advising VP On New Gun Laws"]
JOHN DICKERSON: Good morning, Charlie.
ROSE: How much pressure comes from the gun control lobby?
DICKERSON: Well, they're trying to increase their pressure. If you think of this debate – one way to think of it is, sort of, organization that the NRA has – long-standing organization in Washington, versus emotion. And what the gun control lobby is trying to do, is keep people – remind people of situations like in Tucson two years ago, or Aurora [Colorado] or Newtown [Connecticut], and – and when you talk to people who have been working with the Biden task force and who've been trying to rally new support here, they say they have about 30 days after one of these massacres before public opinion starts to go back to other kinds of issues. And so, they're trying to grab that window to make something different this time.
[CBS News Graphic: "Politics Of Gun Control: Giffords, Kelly Launch Effort To Reduce Violence"]
ROSE: And do they believe that there's something different, though, because this was about those 20 young kids, rather than normal kinds of awful tragic shootings?
[CBS News Graphic: "Politics Of Gun Control: Activists On Both Sides Gear Up For Fight"]
DICKERSON: That's exactly right, Charlie. They think that something has changed here - that there's a boiling point - and the strategy is to take the – the awful nature of this most recent mass shooting and to try to do two things: one, break the NRA's membership apart - to argue, basically, that the NRA membership is different than the leadership of the NRA. And then, also, to go to gun dealers, like Walmart, and to say – look, responsible gun dealers, join us in trying to deal with some of these issues we're trying to get passed, in terms of background checks, or in terms of high-capacity magazine clips; and to try to break apart the coalition that's been so hard to break apart over these last years.
[CBS News Graphic: "Gun Laws Should Be...: More strict, 58%; Remain the same, 34%; Margin of Error: +/- 4& Pts.; Source: USA Today/Gallup Poll, Dec. 19-22, 2012"]
O'DONNELL: And John, what do we see now? [New York City] Mayor Michael Bloomberg has sent some of his staffers down to the White House to work with Vice President Joe Biden. Do you expect, at the end of the day, there's going to be more executive action than legislative action on gun control?
DICKERSON: That's – that's the big question. When you talk to people who've been in these meetings, they say that it's a broad series of things they're discussion – discussing. The key question: what's the President – Obama going to do? He can keep something on the agenda, and that's really the big question all these folks are – are waiting to see answered.
O'DONNELL: All right. John Dickerson, thank you.