Repugnant: CNN Pushes Gun Control Despite Knowing Little About Attack on Philly Police

Despite not having an official count of those injured, the number of gunmen, the types of weapons used, or how the incident started in Philadelphia, CNN’s The Situation Room engaged Wednesday in dubious behavior, using the attack on police officers to promote the need for gun control. They added that such incidents felt like the “new normal” and thus operating on emotion, not facts.

 

 

Host Wolf Blitzer signaled the pivot in a tease at 5:19 p.m. Eastern by hyping how the shooting “comes as Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris is rolling out her plan to end gun violence” prior to an in-studio interview with the Senator.

After a break, Blitzer connected the attack on police to Harris’s gun control platform, which Harris replied without any pushback by implying that her gun control plan would have prevented this incident from happening (click “expand”):

Well, it’s just when will it stop, right? Part of my focus on what we need to do around smart gun safety laws is recognize that we have to have more enforcement around gun dealers. Wolf, 90 percent of the guns that are associated with crime are sold by just five percent of the gun dealers in the United States and so among the many plans that I have, both in the form of executive action and also in the form of legislation, one of them is to put more resources into the ATF to take the licenses of gun dealers who violate the law and that includes a number of things, including when they are responsible for doing background checks, not doing them. 

The rest of the interview went on despite running chyrons and live images of the standoff and didn’t involve linking the two together.

In the next segment, chief political correspondent Dana Bash sought to gaslight CNN’s tiny audience with more fear-mongering, correctly stating that “this is an active situation” and “[w]e don't know how this is going to end and more importantly we don't know what it is all about” before pivoting towards reckless political speculation. 

Again, as of this post, there was absolutely nothing known about what types of guns were being fired at police, but that didn’t stop Bash from ignoring the city’s strict gun laws and ensuring she got her liberal points across (click “expand”):

But it’s an active situation and unfortunately I don't want to say it’s the new normal, but it is this kind of situation where you have an active shooter is coming across our phones and coming across the phones and, you know, bulletin alerts of people all across the country very, very frequently, which is why here in Washington there has been a renewed discussion about whether or not finally the Republican and Democratic Party can come together and figure out ways to stop this, whether it is gun control, any form of gun control or other means...Unfortunately, these stories are continuing and it’s happening as we speak.

Blitzer, Washington Post writer Jackie Alemany, and The Daily Beast’s Jackie Kucinich then went on and on about the current state of play when it comes to negotiations with Congress and the White House over gun control as if this event were part and parcel with wanting to see some sort of legislation passed.

Legal analyst Joey Jackson chimed in next and he was more overt in tying the attack to the lack of gun control (click “expand”):

Look, my perspective is that something has to change and reasonable minds have to come together to take action. Yes, there is a Bill of Rights. Yes, I do agree and do believe strongly in the second amendment, but we need on protect responsible gun ownership. Why is it that only 17 states, we have 50, have red flag laws. What are they? They’re laws which would allow family members, right? Or police to go and petition the court in order to take your gun away in the event that you're a danger to yourself or others. We need more states. We need the federal government to provide incentives or grant other states to have these laws. We need at the federal level, as Kamala Harris, you just had her on the show, has a proposal to get the federal courts involved. These are laws which are very important. These are important in as much as yes, we'll protect your right to bear an arm. But if you're not rational and you're not reasonable, we're going to take it away. Dana graciously said, you know, listen, is this the new normal? Or I don't want to call it the new normal. It almost appears it is, Wolf. How often are we talking about the same things? Why do we have a loophole where you go to a private gun show and you can get all the guns you want. No background check. But commercially? Ha! Background check. Does that make any sense at all? So, my perspective is Democrat, Republican, independent, there's too much shooting. It's happening all the time. Could we get something together and do something so people stop dying? 

As the country’s premier reporter on the Second Amendment (Free Beacon’s Stephen Gutowski) has repeatedly stated, the gun show loophole is — to borrow Politifact’s one rating — pants on fire. Nonetheless, Jackson was allowed to push his punditry without pushback from Blitzer. If more would read things like this from Gutowski, this reckless behavior might not happen. But alas, there's agenda-setting to be done!

 

 

Prior to going to commercial near the top of the hour, Kucinich did the same thing that Bash did by admitting that “we don’t know what's going on in Philadelphia” while at the same time promoting gun control, falsely claiming that police are uniformly outgunned:

There are a lot of law enforcement groups that are for more restrictions with guns. I mean, look what happened in Dayton. How many people were shot, how many people were killed in — what — in 32 seconds. Every time one of these happens and I hate to say it. You do hear police speaking out, saying we're outmatched by some of — by some of these weapon that's these people are using. 

Huh. It seems like just yesterday that, amidst the events in Baltimore and Ferguson, the liberal media brutally panned law enforcement nationwide as being too militarized. My how times have changed.

To see the relevant transcript from CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer on August 14, click “expand.”

CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer
August 14, 2019
5:19 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]

WOLF BLITZER: We'll have much more on the shooting in Philadelphia in just a moment. It comes as Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris is rolling out her plan to end gun violence. Senator Harris is standing by live. She'll join us here in The Situation Room. I'll ask her about the ongoing situation in Philadelphia and a lot more. That’s coming up next. 

(....)

5:26 p.m. Eastern

BLITZER: The situation in Philadelphia is hours after Democratic presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris released a details plan to expand background checks, fight white supremacy, and domestic terrorism. Senator Harris, who serves on both the judiciary and intelligence Committees, is joining us here in The Situation Room. A very disturbing development indeed. You’re former attorney general of California, what is your reaction to the initial reports and I stress the word initial reports. 

SENATOR KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA): Well, it’s just when will it stop, right? Part of my focus on what we need to do around smart gun safety laws is recognize that we have to have more enforcement around gun dealers. Wolf, 90 percent of the guns that are associated with crime are sold by just five percent of the gun dealers in the United States and so among the many plans that I have, both in the form of executive action and also in the form of legislation, one of them is to put more resources into the ATF to take the licenses of gun dealers who violate the law and that includes a number of things, including when they are responsible for doing background checks, not doing them. 

(....)

5:47 p.m. Eastern

BLITZER: And Dana, you know, it’s very scary when you see a tweet from temple university right there in Philadelphia, lockdown is in effect for Health Sciences Center Campus, “seek shelter, secure doors, be silent, be still. Police are responding.” It is frightening. 

DANA BASH: It is. And as you said several times and it bears repeating, I think, this is an active situation. We don't know how this is going to end and more importantly we don't know what it is all about. But it’s an active situation and unfortunately I don't want to say it’s the new normal, but it is this kind of situation where you have an active shooter is coming across our phones and coming across the phones and, you know, bulletin alerts of people all across the country very, very frequently, which is why here in Washington there has been a renewed discussion about whether or not finally the Republican and Democratic Party can come together and figure out ways to stop this. Whether it is gun control, any form of gun control or other means and with — you and I talked about this earlier in the week, Wolf, what tends to happen with these things is that there’s a rush to figure it out and then it subsides when the story is — people move on from the story. Unfortunately, these stories are continuing and it’s happening as we speak.

BLITZER: Several police officers in Philadelphia have been shot. Jackie Alemany, is there really some significant hope that the House and the Senate Democrats and Republicans will now work together with the President and come up with some new gun control regulations. 

JACKIE ALEMANY: I mean, obviously you have the senators — Senators Toomey and Manchin being publicly optimistic but I spent my day calling a bunch of the aides who have been working through the issues with their bosses and who have previously worked on these issues through all of the other mass shootings and as one of them told me, you know, potentially rather cynically, said that I saw 20 babies murdered, referring to Newtown and nothing happened there. It’s unclear what changes the President actually wants in the Toomey/Manchin legislation. A few of the aides questioned whether or not the President really understands how much he understands — he understands exactly what background checks are. We do know that there is going to be the white house legislative team that is going to Bedminster and brief the president on what they could potentially do here and we also know that Ivanka Trump has now gotten involved. Some of the Democratic senate aides said of course that this— Ivanka's involvement can't hurt because she is a liaison. She has the President's ear but some speculates this is the typical Jared and Ivanka move and at the end of the day, the momentum is going to potentially run out and Jared and Ivanka will go to their, you know, trusted reporters and the story will get out there saying, you know, Jared and Ivanka tried but they weren't able to make anything happen. 

JACKIE KUCINICH: You know, one of the things — Joe Manchin did a call with reporters last week and I asked him what had changed. What could have possibly changed since the first and second time that the Manchin/Toomey legislation failed to pass and what he said was interesting. He said that President Trump is in office. Some of his colleagues have come up to him during the course of the debate in previous iterations and said, listen, I have no problems with this bill. But the fact that Obama is in the White House, I think he's going to take it and do more with it to ban guns. Manchin explained that they couldn't do that. That wasn't within the powers of the presidency and yet they didn't trust that wasn't going to happen. So it really does depend on presidential will in a way. Now, there are senators who Republican senators who are bulking up this bill again. That’s going to be problematic, but it’s going to be — it’s going to fall on trump. It really is. 

ALEMANY: I completely agree with it. You'll hear different things from different parties, but this notion that McConnell is really leading the charge on this and he is not supportive of background checks is maybe a potentially little misplaced at the end of the day if the President wants this.

BASH: And that’s very kind.

ALEMANY: It’s his call.

BLITZER: You know, Joey Jackson, you’re looking at this from outside Whasington. The four of us — we're inside Washington. Give us your perspective. 

JOEY JACKSON: Look, my perspective is that something has to change and reasonable minds have to come together to take action. Yes, there is a Bill of Rights. Yes, I do agree and do believe strongly in the second amendment, but we need on protect responsible gun ownership. Why is it that only 17 states, we have 50, have red flag laws. What are they? They’re laws which would allow family members, right? Or police to go and petition the court in order to take your gun away in the event that you're a danger to yourself or others. We need more states. We need the federal government to provide incentives or grant other states to have these laws. We need at the federal level, as Kamala Harris, you just had her on the show, has a proposal to get the federal courts involved. These are laws which are very important. These are important in as much as yes, we'll protect your right to bear an arm. But if you're not rational and you're not reasonable, we're going to take it away. Dana graciously said, you know, listen, is this the new normal? Or I don't want to call it the new normal. It almost appears it is, Wolf. How often are we talking about the same things? Why do we have a loophole where you go to a private gun show and you can get all the guns you want. No background check. But commercially? Ha! Background check. Does that make any sense at all? So, my perspective is Democrat, Republican, independent, there's too much shooting. It's happening all the time. Could we get something together and do something so people stop dying? 

BLITZER: Is true it that the president at least in his public comments, he wants background checks to come out. But Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, is reluctant to even do that? 

BASH: Well, the second part is true, according to my report. I’m sure both of yours as well that Mitch McConnell is reluctant to do background checks. The first part, that the President want to do it, who knows? 

BLITZER: It’s what he said.

BASH: It is what he says. Today. But his White House, he has issued a veto threat for a house bill that does exactly that. Maybe he does a little bit more, but there has been no action other than proof of the opposite, proof of the fact that he doesn't want to do a background check bill. He's only talked about it and changed his mind. Now, the thing that's different this time when it comes to the President versus last time there was discussion after Las Vegas, after the massacre there, the last time, is the NRA changed the President's mind. He was in discussions and it almost happened and the NRA changed the President's and apparently the President is telling his aides that he doesn't think the NRA is as powerful right now because they have a lot of chaos at the top. Could that be an important changer for the President? You know, maybe the way he thinks, but we just don't know, which is one of the reasons McConnell is so reluctant.

BLITZER: I want to get Jackie Kucinich to weigh in. What is Ivanka Trump's role in all this?

KUCINICH: We don't know yet. It seems like she's inserting herself into all this. Jackie made that point as well. The thing I do want to mention since we’re dealing with — we don't know what's going on in Philadelphia but we know that law enforcement is involved. There are a lot of law enforcement groups that are for more restrictions with guns. I mean, look what happened in Dayton. How many people were shot, how many people were killed in — what — in 32 seconds. Every time one of these happens and I hate to say it. You do hear police speaking out, saying we're outmatched by some of — by some of these weapon that's these people are using.

NB Daily Guns Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CNN The Situation Room Dana Bash Wolf Blitzer Jackie Kucinich Kamala Harris
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