Doubling as a weekly liberal media pep talk, CNN’s Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter featured ludicrous spin from liberal Comedy Central host Jordan Klepper on gun control, complaining that the gun control viewpoint has been insufficiently covered in the media, and the NRA falsely has created a “narrative” that their opponents want to take people’s guns away.
In reality, Klepper’s claims and Stelter’s nods of agreement represent something else, which is their view that the NRA has an outsized voice in the gun debate. Instead of having a balance, it’s about having conniptions over the NRA having a right to speak.
Stelter failed on the most basic level throughout the interview, refusing to label Klepper a liberal pushing a predominantly leftist view while lampooning the NRA and joining in the refusal to criticize the Parkland survivors on policy.
Klepper mentioned early in his appearance that he has “a lot of gun folks in my family and my surroundings” back in Michigan, so that presumably gives him cover to express his “hope” that there will be (in Stelter’s words) “action” on gun control.
“I felt like I was so frustrated because I got to talk to people who — who had guns and people who didn't have guns, and saw that there was a different narrative here that wasn't being covered and so I'm a comedian,” Klepper explained as to why he’s covered guns on his show The Opposition and previously at The Daily Show.
He then iterated that “the common ground” he sees:
I think the common ground, whether — whether you are — whether — if you have a gun, you don't want somebody to have a gun who can do some harm with that gun and I think that's a very basic, basic thing and I think the NRA takes this narrative and they make it all about grabbing guns. They make it about all these hyperbolic elements, where you see the discussion that is happening this week and the majority of people agree on the same thing with the gun issue and I think, like, there's not enough attention paid to what the majority wants. It's just, with this very small minority that feels like a majority, that this gun lobby has a much louder voice than it needs to.
First, there’s a reason the NRA warns of a push to end the Second Amendment and confiscate guns. A ban on semi-automatic weapons that would ban most firearms is what a number of Parkland students have pushed for.
Secondly, Australia has been repeatedly mentioned as an example for the U.S. to follow (see here, here, and here), so it’s worth exposing this as a codeword for a massive gun grab because that’s exactly what happened down under.
Lastly, are Klepper and Stelter crazy? The anti-gun viewpoint has been the dominant view in the liberal media after almost every mass shooting. And what was that CNN town hall/show trial on gun control?
Alas, Stelter offered zero pushback, wondering if Klepper has used guns in the same way that “Jimmy Kimmel has with health care.”
Klepper also swooned that they’re “so well versed” in social media and it’s “really remarkable to watch” them as such “uncynical” figures “who are really starting to hold these folks in positions of power, hold their feet to the fire.”
Well, it’s difficult to say they’re not cynical when they’ve equated Republican Senator Marco Rubio (Fl.) to the gunman, questioned Dana Loesch’s motherhood, accused NRA members of being child murderers, and mocked the right to the Second Amendment as a “very, very good piece of rhetoric defense” that people aren’t born with.
To see the relevant transcript from CNN’s Reliable Sources on March 4, click “expand.”
CNN’s Reliable Sources
March 4, 2018
11:28 a.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: @ReliableSources; Kleeper: Students Took Control of Media ‘Narrative’]
BRIAN STELTER: We are now two and a half weeks after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida and the student survivors have somewhat successfully, maybe very successfully, kept the media spotlight on the school and on the issue of gun violence. My next guest says the reason they've been so successful is because the students took control of the media narrative and “took it away from Donald Trump....They were able to beat Trump at his own game.” Joining me now is Jordan Klepper. He's the host of The Opposition on Comedy Central. Normally, you're a guy that, look, plays like an Alex Jones-style conspiracy theory character.
JORDAN KLEPPER,: Yes, a real likable guy.
STELTER: That's your shtick. I had to go on with you. It was pretty intimidating —
KLEPPER: Yes. I think —
STELTER: — having to face-off with you.
KLEPPER: — I’m sorry. I can be a very intimidating guy.
STELTER: But here you are being serious about gun violence. Why is it this issue that you've tried to bring to the forefront and not just joke about?
KLEPPER: Yeah, well I covered a lot of the gun debate at The Daily Show. I went through the process of what it would take for a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun. I talked to people on both sides of the Dickey Amendment and the argument with funding the CDC, and quickly realized that in America, there is so much more common ground. I think it was really frustrating because that wasn't the narrative that was getting out into the public and so, I did a special that was focusing on that, as somebody who comes from Michigan, I have a lot of gun folks in my family and my surroundings.
STELTER: Gun folks, meaning people that own guns and want to ensure there isn't gun control — more gun control.
KLEPPER: Well, yeah, I think, like, where guns mean something different than what they mean in New York.
STELTER: I see.
KLEPPER: I would say where hunting is an issue.
KLEPPER: And so I — for me, I felt like I was so frustrated because I got to talk to people who — who had guns and people who didn't have guns, and saw that there was a different narrative here that wasn't being covered and so I'm a comedian.
STELTER: What is the common ground that you find?
KLEPPER: I think the common ground, whether — whether you are — whether — if you have a gun, you don't want somebody to have a gun who can do some harm with that gun and I think that's a very basic, basic thing and I think the NRA takes this narrative and they make it all about grabbing guns. They make it about all these hyperbolic elements, where you see the discussion that is happening this week and the majority of people agree on the same thing with the gun issue and I think, like, there's not enough attention paid to what the majority wants. It's just, with this very small minority that feels like a majority, that this gun lobby has a much louder voice than it needs to.
STELTER: So, is this for you kind of like Jimmy Kimmel has with health care? He's talked about health care on his show in a very serious way. Do you view gun violence that way for you as a comedian, that maybe you can get through to people in a way that others can't?
KLEPPER: For me, it is something that I have been involved with covering with The Daily Show, with my special, and with this and it keeps happening and so, as somebody with a platform, we want to follow the conversation and right now, I think it's a really interesting, powerful conversation with these students from Parkland, that —
STELTER: You had a couple of them on your show too.
KLEPPER: — we did, yes. Again, like, finding comedy in this is difficult, but I think a spotlight on some of these heroes, we — we had a couple students who came on and they talked about what they wanted to do with this movement. And I think, like, they were able to beat Trump at his own game. As we talked about earlier, like, they're not cynical. They're passionate. They're able to reach out to other students who feel this way as well and they're able to own the media narrative in a way that I haven't seen since Donald Trump's become President and for me, that was really exciting to see people look at this debate through new glasses.
STELTER: There's also something about the word survivor, meaning that every student in that school was a survivor. But I'm not sure the Columbine survivors were talked about that way almost 20 years ago. I'm not sure, even at Virginia Tech, the students were talked about that way. Being a survivor means that you have something that you’ve lived through that hopefully no one else ever will that gives you an opportunity to talk. I just think there's something about the language that's been used in this coverage that's different. It's also different that the students have been so available for interviews.
KLEPPER: Yeah. Well, and they also now have the social media platform that they're so well versed in, that they can get their voice out. They can see themselves as a survivor, but they also see themselves now as activists and they're not going to sit on the sidelines anymore and that's really remarkable to watch.
STELTER: Which brings up this question we have started to see in the television coverage this week. Is this time really different? Is there actually going to be action as a result of another massacre? What's your guess?
KLEPPER: I — I really hope that it is. I mean, we have seen — we have gone through this before, but we haven't gone through it with these — these — these voices that are uncynical and who are really starting to hold these folks in positions of power, hold their feet to the fire and it felt like, in the past, sadly, these narratives have gone by, and four, five days later, they have passed away and I feel like what we have now with these Parkland students is, they're keeping the narratives there. It's something we're rallying around and I do have optimism that this has a new face and a new energy.