During the first half of 2013, liberals hoped they could leverage the tragedy of last year’s horrible shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, to push through their long-sought wish list of new federal gun restrictions, and the media cheered them on. Here are the quotes our judges designated as the worst of the worst, as catalogued in the MRC’s “Gunning for the Second Amendment Award.” (Winning quotes and video below the jump.)
Winning the category was CNN primetime host Piers Morgan, who dropped all pretense of objectivity and became an outspoken advocate for gun restrictions. On December 18 of last year, he used his CNN soapbox to hurl personal insults at a supporter of the Second Amendment:
Gun Owners of America executive director Larry Pratt: “I honestly don’t understand why you would rather have people be victims of a crime than be able to defend themselves. It’s incomprehensible.”
CNN host Piers Morgan: “You’re an unbelievably stupid man, aren’t you?...You have absolutely no coherent argument whatsoever....You don’t give a damn, do you, about the gun murder rate in America?...I know why sales of these weapons have been soaring in the last few days. It’s down to idiots like you. Mr. Pratt.... You are a dangerous man espousing dangerous nonsense. And you shame your country.”
Top runner-up was longtime NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw who, during a January 17 appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, equated the push for more gun restrictions with those championing civil rights 50 years ago:
“It reminds me a lot of what happened in the South in the 1960s during the civil rights movement. Good people stayed in their houses and didn’t speak up when there was carnage in the streets and the total violation of the fundamental rights of African- Americans as they marched in Selma, and they let Bull Connor and the redneck elements of the South and the Klan take over their culture in effect and become the face of it. And now a lot of people who I know who grew up during that time have deep regrets about not speaking out.”
Next up: then-MSNBC daytime host Martin Bashir, who on January 14 argued that the NRA “deserved to be equated” with the genocidal German dictator, Adolf Hitler:
“As the gun lobby has armed its barricades since that horrific shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, one of the arguments that they continue to use against any kind of regulation is to unashamedly invoke the name of Adolf Hitler. Supporters of the NRA say that history proves tyrannical leaders begin by robbing law-abiding citizens of their firearms....Of course, for a nation hell bent on genocide, Hitler did not allow the Jews to possess firearms, but virtually everyone else was free to do so. Which I guess turns this story on its head. Because if anyone deserves to be equated with Hitler on the issue of firearms, then it’s not the President, it’s the NRA.”
And back on January 16, onetime CBS Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer suggested “taking on the gun lobby” was a like “defeating the Nazis” back in World War II:
“Surely, finding Osama bin Laden; surely passing civil rights legislation, as Lyndon Johnson was able to do; and before that, surely, defeating the Nazis, was a much more formidable task than taking on the gun lobby. This is a turning point in this country.... Unless we figure out a way to make sure that something like Newtown never happens again, we’re not the country that we once were.”
Tomorrow: The nastiest media quotes aimed at conservatives in 2013. The full report, with 15 categories plus the judges' selection of Quote of the Year, is available at: www.MRC.org.
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