After Hailing Gun Restrictions at Dick’s Sporting Goods, ABC Ignores Sales Slump

Like much of the media, ABC News celebrated the announcement from Dick’s Sporting Goods that it would be restricting gun sales following the Parkland school shooting in February. However, when it was reported on Wednesday that the retail chain was suffering a financial backlash for the decision, ABC was the only broadcast network to ignore the story.

“Paying the price? Dick’s Sporting Goods facing a sales slump in the wake of it’s tougher stance on guns,” proclaimed co-host Hoda Kotb at the top of NBC’s Today show. Introducing a full report on Wall Street Journal scoop minutes later, fellow co-host Savannah Guthrie declared: “With the holiday shopping season in full swing, the popular sporting goods chain, Dick’s Sporting Goods, is reportedly taking a big hit to its bottom line following its decision to curb gun sales.”

 

 

Correspondent Kristen Dahlgren explained:

This morning, a sports retail giant feeling the effects of its strong gun policy. The Wall Street Journal reporting that sales at Dick’s Sporting Goods are down, nine months after the chain rolled out tougher restrictions on firearm purchases. The report highlighting weak earnings from the company’s hunting and electronics departments, citing a conference call between executives and analysts. Sales online and in stores reportedly fell 3.9% during a recent quarter.

The reporter portrayed the company as courageous for implementing the controversial restrictions to firearm sales:

In February, Dick’s announced they would no longer sell guns to buyers under 21 and that they’d end the sale of assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines....Those actions coming in the wake of one of the country’s darkest days. On February 14, a horrific mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida took 17 lives and served as the catalyst for the change.

A soundbite followed of left-wing anti-gun activist and Parkland student Emma Gonzalez ranting: “If all our government and president can do is send ‘thoughts and prayers,’ then it’s time for victims to be the change that we need to see.” A clip then ran of Dick’s CEO Edward Stack defending the new corporate policy in March: “When we looked at those kids and we saw the grief that they were going through and how these kids organized to really have their voices heard, we talked amongst ourselves and said if these kids can be brave enough to do this, then we should be brave enough to make a stand ourselves.”

Dahlgren concluded: “A company deeply impacted by a devastating tragedy paying a price for taking a stand.”

Unlike the NBC broadcast, Thursday’s CBS This Morning only managed 24 seconds of coverage on the topic, with co-host Bianna Golodryga informing viewers:

The Wall Street Journal says sales at Dick’s Sporting Goods fell nearly 4% in the latest quarter, the latest decline since it took a tough stance against guns. The company announce in February, after the Parkland school shooting, that it would stop selling assault-style guns and would no longer sell guns and ammo to people under 21. Weakness in the company’s hunting and electronics departments accounted for more than half of the decline in sales.

ABC’s Good Morning America remained silent on the development Thursday, but back in February, World News Tonight anchor David Muir eagerly touted “a major announcement today from the CEO of Dick's Sporting Goods on Good Morning America” about the gun restrictions. That morning, Stack exclusively appeared on GMA to promote the new policy.

Dick’s Sporting Goods is a private business that is certainly allowed to implement whatever sales policy it wants. However, consumers also have the right to respond by spending their money elsewhere. The liberal media love it when companies “take a stand” that they agree with, but when there’s a backlash, they’re less interested.

Here is a full transcript of the November 29 report on the Today show:

7:00 AM ET TEASE:

HODA KOTB: Paying the price? Dick’s Sporting Goods facing a sales slump in the wake of it’s tougher stance on guns. Why the retail giant is standing by it’s decision this morning.

7:10 AM ET SEGMENT:

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: With the holiday shopping season in full swing, the popular sporting goods chain, Dick’s Sporting Goods, is reportedly taking a big hit to its bottom line following its decision to curb gun sales. NBC’s Kristen Dahlgren has the story this morning. Kristen, good morning to you.

KRISTEN DAHLGREN: Good morning, Savannah. Yeah, this time of year so important to retailers and many wondering if it will be a happy holiday here at Dick’s as we get word that sales are down.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Gun Stance Hurting Retail Giant?; Dick’s Sporting Goods Reports Dip in Sales]

This morning, a sports retail giant feeling the effects of its strong gun policy. The Wall Street Journal reporting that sales at Dick’s Sporting Goods are down, nine months after the chain rolled out tougher restrictions on firearm purchases. The report highlighting weak earnings from the company’s hunting and electronics departments, citing a conference call between executives and analysts. Sales online and in stores reportedly fell 3.9% during a recent quarter.

In February, Dick’s announced they would no longer sell guns to buyers under 21 and that they’d end the sale of assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines. They weren’t alone. Walmart and Fred Meyer stores followed suit, also halting gun and ammo sales to customers younger than 21.

Those actions coming in the wake of one of the country’s darkest days. On February 14, a horrific mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida took 17 lives and served as the catalyst for the change.

EMMA GONZALEZ [PARKLAND SHOOTING SURVIVOR, FEBRUARY 17, 2018]: If all our government and president can do is send “thoughts and prayers,” then it’s time for victims to be the change that we need to see.

EDWARD STACK [DICK’S SPORTING GOODS CEO, MARCH 2018]: When we looked at those kids and we saw the grief that they were going through and how these kids organized to really have their voices heard, we talked amongst ourselves and said if these kids can be brave enough to do this, then we should be brave enough to make a stand ourselves.

DAHLGREN: And for Dick’s, the Parkland attack hit even closer to home, the company revealing they had sold a firearm to the shooter, though not one used in the massacre.

STACK: We followed all the rules. We did exactly what we were supposed to do and this – he was able to buy a gun from us.

DAHLGREN: A company deeply impacted by a devastating tragedy paying a price for taking a stand.

Now, we did reach out to Dick’s for comment and didn’t hear back. On that call, the company pointed out that gun sales are down industry wide. That does usually happen in Republican administrations, when people aren’t as worried about gun reform. The company also said that it is focusing on other sectors of the sporting goods market and that it’s confident about the future, guys.

GUTHRIE: Interesting story. Kristen, thank you.

NBDaily Business Coverage Guns ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Video Kristen Dahlgren Hoda Kotb Savannah Guthrie

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