CBS's Bill Plante Minimizes Pro-Gun Rights Voices; Slants 3 to 1 In Favor of Gun Control

December 19th, 2012 6:32 PM

Bill Plante apparently couldn't be bothered to find more than one conservative/Republican for his report on Wednesday's CBS This Morning. Plante aired one soundbite from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, but followed it with three straight clips from liberals/gun control supporters - White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, the Brady Campaign's Dan Gross, and Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth, who attacked the NRA's leadership as "bullies".

The correspondent hyped supposed "public outrage over the massacre [that] has also emboldened members of Congress to challenge the power of the gun lobby." Plante also spotlighted the NRA's multi-million dollar lobbying campaign in 2012:

Bill Plante, CBS News Correspondent; Screen Cap From 19 December 2012 Edition of CBS This Morning | NewsBusters.orgPLANTE: You know, the NRA is one of Washington's most powerful lobbying groups....[It] spent $17 million this year to influence legislation and public opinion. It will be looking out for its interests long after the outrage subsides.

The CBS morning show aired a promo on the gun control issue just after the top of the 7 am Eastern hour, which featured a clip CNN's Piers Morgan Tuesday night outburst at Larry Pratt of the Gun Owners of America. Morgan slammed Pratt as an "unbelievably stupid man" for his support of the Second Amendment and the right to self defense.

Just over ten minutes later, Plante filed his report from right outside the NRA's headquarters in Virginia. He led with his "most powerful" label of the organization, and soon added that "in a statement, the NRA said it is 'prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again', and that it will offer more details at a news conference on Friday."

Moments later, the CBS veteran played his sole clip from Senator McConnell, but only after noting that "the leader of Senate Republicans joined the chorus of politicians who are suggesting that something needs to be done." So Plante couldn't even find an outspoken supporter of gun rights for the segment.

The correspondent spent the rest of his report on the efforts of gun control advocates. Near its conclusion, he bemoaned how "change doesn't happen quickly in Washington. There have been about a dozen attempts to bring back the assault weapons ban. They've all failed in congressional committee."

Plante's three-to-one slant in soundbites is a slight improvement from his report on Monday's CBS This Morning, which had a four-to-one bias in favor of new firearms regulations. Overall, the morning newscast has displayed a pro-gun control bias over the past two-plus weeks, even before the Friday slaughter in Connecticut.

The full transcript of Bill Plante's report from Wednesday's CBS This Morning can be read at