On Friday, ABC and CNN's morning newscasts hyped a Connecticut Superior Court judge's decision to let the families of nine Sandy Hook victims continue their lawsuit against gunmakers and sellers. On New Day, CNN's Chris Cuomo echoed the language of the pro-gun control Brady Campaign: "A big development — a major win this morning for families of the Sandy Hook shooting victims: a lawsuit holding gunmakers and sellers responsible for the shooting rampage will not be dismissed." On GMA, ABC's Amy Robach touted the "legal victory for families of the children killed in the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting." [video below]
Cuomo trumpeted the judge's ruling during a 27-second news brief just after the bottom of the 6 am Eastern hour:
CHRIS CUOMO: A big development — a major win this morning for families of the Sandy Hook shooting victims: a lawsuit holding gunmakers and sellers responsible for the shooting rampage will not be dismissed. A Connecticut Superior Court judge ruled that the court will hear the claim, despite federal laws that protect gun companies from some liability. Six teachers and 20 students were killed in the shooting in December 2012.
Forty-four minutes later, Robach set aside 22 seconds to the development on Good Morning America:
AMY ROBACH: Well, a legal victory for families of the children killed in the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting. A judge has ruled their lawsuit against the company that made the rifle used in the attack can proceed. The judge said a law protecting gun makers from lawsuits does not prevent the families from arguing that the semiautomatic rifle is a military weapon and should not have been sold to civilians.
NBC's Today didn't cover the Sandy Hook families' lawsuit. Friday's CBS This Morning did air a 20-second news brief on the story, but didn't include slanted language:
NORAH O'DONNELL: The Hartford Courant reports on a Connecticut judge ruling that a lawsuit can proceed against the maker of the rifle used in the Sandy Hook shooting. The suit was brought by families of victims in the 2012 shooting. It claimed the gunmaker should not have sold the military-style rifle. Lawyers for the gunmaker wanted the suit dismissed because of a federal law that can protect firearms companies.