On Thursday, both CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today eagerly promoted the New York Daily News attacking Republicans for sending “thoughts and prayers” to victims of the San Bernardino shooting but not signing on to liberal gun control measures. This Morning co-host Gayle King declared: “I think this headline’s very powerful.”
She then touted Democratic Senator Chris Murphy blasting his pro-gun colleagues: “Chris Murphy from Connecticut says, ‘Your thoughts should be about steps to take to stop this carnage. Your prayers should be about forgiveness if you do nothing again.’”
Offering commentary at the end of the morning show, fellow co-host Charlie Rose again cited the Daily News cover: “Everybody is, I think, frustrated. Everybody’s asking why, and everybody’s asking, what can we do? But we have to do something. As the New York Daily News said, ‘God is not going to fix it. We have to fix it.’”
On Today, correspondent Andrea Mitchell discussed the “politics of mass shootings,” and noted: “Republicans opposed to new gun laws offered prayers and praise for police.” She was aghast that, “Only hours after the shooting, Ted Cruz even invited supporters to a Second Amendment event at an Iowa shooting range, tomorrow.”
Turning to the Daily News headline, Mitchell proclaimed: “All the talk of prayer prompted an angry tabloid headline in today’s New York Daily News, ‘God Isn't Fixing This.’” She then used it to boost Democrats: “Frustration echoed by Hillary Clinton, who has made gun control a central campaign issue. Tweeting, ‘I refuse to accept this as normal. We must take action to stop gun violence now.’ Now even voiced by a gun supporter, Bernie Sanders.”
In the 9 a.m. ET hour, weatherman Al Roker cited President Obama calling for gun control and added:
The President went on to say, you know, thoughts and prayers aren't enough. And here's the headline of the Daily News. A lot of people talking about this. The #Thoughts&Prayers. People saying, “God Isn't Fixing This.” A lot of politicians tweeted out last night, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the folks in San Bernardino.” And while that’s good intentions, thoughts and prayers aren’t getting – this isn't fixing this problem. And we need to do more to do that. That's the intent of that editorial in the Daily News. And other people are echoing that now.
Only ABC’s Good Morning America did not promote the New York Daily News cover. In fact, co-host Robin Roberts actually pointedly defended the practice of sending thoughts and prayers to victims after a tragedy:
I talked to some family members that we'll share in the next hour and they – when we say we're thinking of them, the thoughts and prayers, it really helps them. They really feel the nation, the country, the world sympathizing with them and that we haven't and we can't become desensitized. We can't become and say this is a new normal.
However, minutes later, after citing calls for gun control, Roberts did join in some of the criticism: “I know some people were getting a little put off because you tweet and you say, ‘You're in my thoughts. You're in my prayers.’ And they’re like, ‘What? Action.’ So many people are saying, we say those things but when is it going to change? When is it actually going to change?”
Here is a full transcript of Mitchell’s December 3 report on Today:
8:04 AM ET
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Let's do the policy angle of this. In the wake of this latest mass shooting, the President is once again reiterating his call for more gun control reforms. And many of the candidates running for president are adding their voices to the issue as well. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell is on that part of the story this morning. Andrea, good morning to you.
ANDREA MITCHELL: Good morning, Savannah. Once again, President Obama reacting to a mass shooting and the failure of Congress to pass his gun controls.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Politics of Mass Shootings; President, Candidates Respond to California Tragedy]
MITCHELL: As the shooting was still unfolding, the President, visibly frustrated.
BARACK OBAMA: We should come together in a bipartisan basis at every level of government to make these rare, as opposed to normal.
MITCHELL: Coming less than a week after the attack on Planned Parenthood.
OBAMA: This just doesn't happen in other countries.
MITCHELL: Time after time, the world's most powerful leader, feeling powerless to stop the killing.
OBAMA: Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine.
MITCHELL: All presidential candidates, except Marco Rubio, responded with comments or tweets. Republicans opposed to new gun laws offered prayers and praise for police.
DONALD TRUMP: They do one hell of a job and when you see these shootouts.
BEN CARSON: Hatred and evil. And we need to be able to combat these things.
MITCHELL: Only hours after the shooting, Ted Cruz even invited supporters to a Second Amendment event at an Iowa shooting range, tomorrow.
All the talk of prayer prompted an angry tabloid headline in today’s New York Daily News, “God Isn't Fixing This.” Frustration echoed by Hillary Clinton, who has made gun control a central campaign issue. Tweeting, “I refuse to accept this as normal. We must take action to stop gun violence now.” Now even voiced by a gun supporter, Bernie Sanders.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS [I-VT]: We have got to move aggressively in terms of gun legislation.
MITCHELL: The President said on October 1st, “Somehow we've become numb to all of this.” And he's also said that his failure to enact what he calls common sense gun laws is the biggest frustration of his presidency. Savannah?
MITCHELL: Alright, Andrea Mitchell in Washington, thank you.