CBS Enables NYC Mayor Bloomberg to Push for Gun Control
CBS This Morning on Thursday gave New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
a platform to boost his pro-gun control agenda. Anchors Erica Hill and
Charlie Rose tossed softball questions at the billionaire politician,
enabling him spout his liberal talking points in favor of stricter gun
regulations. Rose and Hill even let Bloomberg lecture the press about
their supposed responsibility to push for gun control.
The mayor forwarded a beyond irrational argument against armed self defense: "Somebody's banging on your door and says, I'm going to come in and kill you...And this guy's got the gun out...You're better off not having a gun." Bloomberg also bizarrely claimed that "America is the only place where there is a murder rate with guns. Other places have criminal problems; other places have murders. But here, it's a unique thing." [audio available here]
Hill raised the Trayvon Martin controversy towards the end of the segment and singled out the issue over a specific gun law in Florida: "You've been a outspoken proponent, obviously, of gun control for some time. As you watch what's happening in Florida with Trayvon Martin...what do you think of this 'stand your ground' law in Florida?"
The New York City mayor replied by denouncing the law, and included his "you're better off not having a gun" point:
BLOOMBERG: Well, it doesn't make any sense because you don't want people being vigilantes. They don't have the training; they don't have the expertise; there is no oversight. That's the police department's job. And all the statistics show if you, for example, have a gun at home, you're something like 22 times more likely to be killed by a gun. You picture this: somebody's banging on your door and says, I'm going to come in and kill you, and you say, wait a second: let me find the gun. Where did I put the ammunition? Where did I put the key? And this guy's got the gun out and you're (unintelligible) You're better off not having a gun.
The CBS anchor followed up with undemanding question: "Do you think this will lead to a national conversation?" Bloomberg answered, in part, with a oft-used liberal interpretation of the Second Amendment, that the component of the Bill of Right protects hunting, but otherwise, gun ownership should be severely restricted. After making his outlandish claim about America being singular in having to deal with gun violence, the mayor even hinted that some gun manufacturers should be imprisoned:
right to own arms- that's protected by the Second Amendment- but not
have carry on campus, not have minors carrying guns, not have people
with psychiatric problems or criminal records carrying guns. But we saw a disaster in Arizona where a congressperson was shot in the head and...All they [Congess] said is, let's make it worse; let's give more people guns....America
is the only country in the world, I think, that has more guns than
people. America is the only place where there is a murder rate with
guns. Other places have criminal problems; other places have murders.
But here, it's a unique thing, and what Congress did is they protected
the gun industry as a separate industry and said, if the manufacturers
know that guns are going to kill people, you still can't sue them....
If an automobile company makes a car that they know is going to run off the road every once in a while and kill people, we would stop them from selling the car and we'd probably put the management in jail. And yet, Congress protected the gun manufacturers who know the only reason people are buying armor-piercing bullets is to kill somebody- probably cops- because I've never seen a deer or an elk....wearing a bulletproof vest. So, we've got to do something about this, and so far, Congress has not had any courage to do it whatsoever.
The politician has obviously heard of all the gun violence south of the border in Mexico. His own "Mayors Against Illegal Guns" group claimed that the U.S. is mostly to blame for the gun trafficking to the drug cartels in the country. Yet, the Mexican government has a strict gun control policy that disarms law-abiding citizens, and helps the vicious drug criminals run rampant and victimize countless individuals.
Rose closed out the interview by setting up Bloomberg to give a call to action for gun control, including his call for the media to get more involved in pushing for this left-wing cause:
ROSE: And are politicians prepared to go to the public and make the argument you're making?
BLOOMBERG: If you work them over enough, they probably will. I mean, it's really the Fourth Estate's job to explain to the public what's going on here and how the public gets Congress to do the right thing- and the President, the same thing.
In the end, Charlie, I've always believed elected officials generally- not all, but most- care about only three things: one, getting re-elected, because that's the way they make a living; two, keeping their party in power, because that makes it easier to get re-elected; and number three, see number one. That's- so, you know, they just- you have to explain to them, as the NRA does, that if they vote one way, they're going to pay a penalty at the ballot box. The NRA says vote for guns in the hands of everybody, or we'll take- we will keep you from getting re-elected. The public has to say, you vote for guns, and they're going to kill my kids; we're going to keep you from getting re-elected.
Earlier the segment, Bloomberg furthered another liberal pet project in
calling for an end to the Bush tax cuts: "If you want to raise $4
trillion over the next ten years, which gets you...only halfway to a
balanced budget, everybody's taxes have to go up. And the nice thing is, the President has the ability to do this, Charlie. He...can't say, Congress won't go along. All
the President has to do is say, I am going to veto any bill that tries
to stop the automatic ending of the Bush-era tax cuts for everybody.
He's got enough votes to sustain a veto."
The relatively new morning show has a record of going tougher on conservatives than liberals. Just over a month earlier, on the February 28, 2012 edition of CBS This Morning, Rose lobbed a series of questions from the left at Rep. Paul Ryan. The journalist wondered if the trend at the time towards social issues in the Republican presidential race was "troubling." By contrast, the anchor tossed softballs at Obama campaign senior advisor Robert Gibbs on February 23.
— Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.