CBS Boosts Bloomberg Gun Control Group's Campaign Targeting Kroger

On Friday's CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford spotlighted the latest gun control push by Moms Demand Action. Crawford touted the "striking images" in the group's new ad campaign, which she labeled their "most aggressive attempt yet...to draw attention to what they say are weak gun control laws."

The correspondent did point out that the liberal organization is "backed financially by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg," but didn't identify the political ideology of either the group or the billionaire politician. Crawford slanted toward Moms Demand Action by playing two soundbites from its founder, versus one from a gun rights backer. She also zeroed in on the group's past successes: [MP3 audio available here; video below]

JAN CRAWFORD: The chain is the latest business to come under fire by the group, which also mounted pressure on Target and Starbucks. Eventually, both companies asked their customers not to bring firearms into their stores.

SHANNON WATTS, MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOUNDER: Hopefully, Kroger will respond quickly, and we can move on to other companies, and other laws and policies. But, you know, we aren't going away.

Anchor Charlie Rose led into Crawford's report by trumpeting "the mothers that are taking on one of the nation's biggest supermarket chains. Kroger allows customers to carry guns into its stores...the mothers' advocacy group is trying to use Kroger's own rules to shame the company." Crawford first underlined that "this group has targeted other businesses before, but this is the first time that they've taken out full-blown newspaper ads," and continued with her "striking images" and"aggressive attempt" phrases about the ads.

The CBS journalist then played her first clip from Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts, and after noting Bloomberg's support, added that her group "insists it is not against guns or the Second Amendment, but believes people shouldn't be allowed to walk around grocery stores with loaded weapons."

Crawford ran the sole soundbite from Dudley Brown of the pro-Second Amendment group, the National Association for Gun Rights, later in the segment. She also read an excerpt from a statement released by Kroger that acknowledged how "customers are passionate on both sides of the issue and we trust them to be responsible in our stores." However, the correspondent then played the second clip from Watts, and highlighted that "the group isn't just limiting itself to newspaper ads. It's also bought billboard space in Cincinnati, Ohio. That, of course, is the home of Kroger's headquarters."

The full transcript of Jan Crawford's report from Friday's CBS This Morning:

CHARLIE ROSE: This morning, a closer look at the mothers – the mothers that are taking on one of the nation's biggest supermarket chains. Kroger allows customers to carry guns into its stores. As we first reported yesterday, the mothers' advocacy group is trying to use Kroger's own rules to shame the company.

Jan Crawford shows us how the gun control advocates aren't stopping there. She's in Washington. Jan, good morning.

JAN CRAWFORD: Well, good morning. So this group has targeted other businesses before, but this is the first time that they've taken out full-blown newspaper ads – like this one right here. It ran in USA Today yesterday. These ads are running in a half dozen newspapers across the country.

[CBS News Graphic: "Grocery Gunfight: Group Targets Kroger's Open Carry Policy"]

CRAWFORD (voice-over): The ads feature a series of striking images – armed shoppers standing next to customers breaking Kroger's store policies. The caption reads, 'One of them isn't welcome at Kroger. Guess which one.'

It's the most aggressive attempt yet by the group called Moms Demand Action. Their goal: to draw attention to what they say are weak gun control laws.

SHANNON WATTS, MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOUNDER: The ads portray what is real –  which is, you are allowed to bring a loaded assault rifle into a Kroger, but you're not allowed to bring an ice cream cone.

CRAWFORD: More than 40 states allow people to openly carry guns – although some require special permits or licenses. Moms Demand Action, which is backed financially by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, insists it is not against guns or the Second Amendment, but believes people shouldn't be allowed to walk around grocery stores with loaded weapons.

Gun rights activists argue the campaign is not based on reality.

DUDLEY BROWN, NAT'L ASSOC. FOR GUN RIGHTS EXEC. VICE PRESIDENT: These are deceptive ads that attempt to try and paint everybody in a very odd corner. But the fact is, they're isolated incidents. In most cases, firearms are used very judiciously, privately – very quietly.

CRAWFORD: In a statement, Kroger said, 'Our long-standing policy on this issue is to follow state and local laws. We know that our customers are passionate on both sides of the issue and we trust them to be responsible in our stores.'

The chain is the latest business to come under fire by the group, which also mounted pressure on Target and Starbucks. Eventually, both companies asked their customers not to bring firearms into their stores.

WATTS: Hopefully, Kroger will respond quickly, and we can move on to other companies, and other laws and policies. But, you know, we aren't going away.

CRAWFORD (on-camera): Now, the group isn't just limiting itself to newspaper ads. It's also bought billboard space in Cincinnati, Ohio. That, of course, is the home of Kroger's headquarters. Gayle?

GAYLE KING: All right. Jan, thank you.

Culture/Society Guns Bias by Omission Labeling Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CBS CBS This Morning Video Jan Crawford
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