Liberal TV news networks have given a pass to New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), who last week attempted to roll back gun rights in her state. CBS and NBC have hidden the story from their audiences, while the coverage on ABC, CNN, and MSNBC has been mixed at best.
On September 7, Grisham signed an executive order declaring gun crime a “public health emergency,” which enacted to a temporary suspension of all open and concealed carry permits in New Mexico. This unprecedented move received harsh criticism from not only gun rights advocates, but even outspoken gun control supporters like Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) and gun control activist David Hogg.
While CBS and NBC ignored the order completely, none of the networks that did discuss it deserve too much credit, given the tone of their coverage. As of 5 p.m. Eastern on Monday, none of these other networks (ABC, CNN, and MSNBC) have yet shown their viewers the most alarming portion of last Thursday’s televised signing of the order: the moment when Grisham claimed that her oath to the Constitution was not absolute: “No Constitutional right, in my view, including my oath, is intended to be absolute.”
Additionally, only CNN bothered to mention that the concerns raised were bipartisan, and not just from the right.
Here is a sample of the slant on the three networks that bothered to cover the order:
ABC’s coverage amounted to a little over four minutes (257 seconds) across two full-length segments: one during World News Tonight on September 10, and one the following day on Good Morning America. During that first report, weekend anchor Linsey Davis misleadingly claimed that only “some gun rights advocates” had raised concerns about Grisham’s order.
Later on in the broadcast, correspondent Zohreen Shah subtly tried to bolster the Governor’s case by presenting viewers with a ridiculous false dichotomy:
Tonight, two gun groups joined by local residents, filing lawsuits calling the order unconstitutional…But Governor Grisham says parents who’ve lost their children have rights, too.
MSNBC, of course, was even more sanguine about the order. “New Mexico’s Governor could be setting a precedent which just may stem the rising tide of gun violence,” chirped an excited Alex Witt on Sunday during the 1 p.m. Eastern hour. Witt brought in Congressman Jason Crow (D-CO) to field such leading questions as: “Will this kind of action help reduce gun violence, and should more Democratic Governors try to move in that direction?”
Crow remarked multiple times that he supported the Governor’s legally tenuous maneuver.
CNN was marginally more even-handed. On Monday, contributor Jennifer Mascia became the first liberal journalist to point out on-air that prominent figures on the left had also raised concerns about Grisham’s order. However, CNN News Central co-host Brianna Keilar appeared dismayed by the left’s response: “It’s just so interesting. There are so many who, I think, very much in their heart [sic] agree with, ultimately, what she would want to see. They agree with what she sees as the problem.”
She added: “We should note that when you talk to the majority of Americans, including gun owners, they actually are in favor of stricter gun control laws.”
CNN national correspondent Nick Watt joined Keilar in lamely defending the Governor’s power grab:
The Governor says that, listen, when it gets to a point where New Mexicans are afraid to be out in crowds, afraid to take their kids to school, afraid to leave a baseball game, then, quote, “Something is very wrong.”
Why do these networks always wheel out a smarmy British person to lecture us like this? Are they doing it on purpose?
However, during the following hour, weekday Inside Politics host Dana Bash joined Mascia in pointing out that the criticism of Grisham was coming from both sides of the political aisle: “Did New Mexico’s Democratic Governor go too far with a new emergency order on guns? Perhaps surprisingly, some prominent gun control advocates are saying she did.”
But while a handful of CNN journalists have been more thorough than their peers, none of these networks deserve any credit until they show their viewers Grisham’s alarming comments about her oath to the Constitution.