CBS Highlights '55 of the 62 Elected Sheriffs' Opposing Colorado Gun Law; ABC, NBC Ignore
CBS This Morning stood out on Monday as the only mention so far on the Big Three's morning and evening newscasts of the New York Times' Sunday item about sheriffs in Colorado who are "refusing to enforce" gun control laws passed earlier in 2013, "saying that they are too vague and violate Second Amendment rights. Many more say that enforcement will be 'a very low priority,' as several sheriffs put it."
Anchor Charlie Rose devoted a 14-second news brief to writer Erica Goode's story about the law enforcement officials' stance against the new laws in the Centennial State: [audio available here; video below the jump]
CHARLIE ROSE: The New York Times says sheriffs are refusing to enforce tough new gun laws. They argue the rules are too vague, and violate the Second Amendment. In Colorado, 55 of the 62 elected sheriffs joined a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality.
Goode outlined that "Colorado's package of gun laws, enacted this year after mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., has been hailed as a victory by advocates of gun control. But if...a majority of the other county sheriffs in Colorado offer any indication, the new laws — which mandate background checks for private gun transfers and outlaw magazines over 15 rounds — may prove nearly irrelevant across much of the state's rural regions."
The journalist later noted that "the resistance of sheriffs in Colorado is playing out in other states, raising questions about whether tougher rules passed since Newtown will have a muted effect in parts of the American heartland, where gun ownership is common and grass-roots opposition to tighter restrictions is high." She also pointed out that "even Sheriff W. Pete Palmer of Chaffee County, one of the seven sheriffs who declined to join the federal lawsuit...said he was unlikely to aggressively enforce them. He said enforcement poses 'huge practical difficulties,' and...has neither the resources nor the pressure from his constituents to make active enforcement a high priority."
This isn't the first time in recent months CBS This Morning has devoted air time to a gun control story that its competitors at ABC and NBC have ignored. Nearly two weeks earlier, CBS correspondent Nancy Cordes underlined the "fierce opposition" in Congress to a proposed amendment to an extension of an existing federal ban on so-called "plastic guns." Despite reporting on a story that Good Morning America and Today both omitted, Cordes slanted towards the proponents of the amendment by featuring soundbites from them, while playing none from opponents.
Back in September 2013, the show was the only Big Three morning newscast to devote a full report to Colorado voters recalling two pro-gun control state senators. NBC's Today ignored the recall election, as they devoted 36 seconds of air time to Hillary Clinton receiving the Liberty Medal. ABC's GMA merely devoted a 16-second news brief of the story.
— Matthew Balan is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matthew Balan on Twitter.