Use Electricity: Don’t Watch GMA

ABC’s weatherman, Sam Champion, continued his crusade to get every American to adopt liberal environmental polices. While standing in front of a massive bank of televisions, he lectured viewers on their contribution to global warming: "If you think you have nothing to do with global warming, think again. From the car you drive, to the house you live in, it all contributes to the problem."

"Recycle Our Way to Victory!"

New York Times columnist Tom Friedman appeared on the "Today" show to announce that America’s best shot at winning the war on terrorism is by going green. NBC, of course, promoted the segment as "save energy, save the world."

"Catholics Need Not Apply"

Each week, "The View’s" Rosie O’Donnell seems to come up with new and more outrageous comments.

ABC's Good Morning America and World News on Friday displayed disappointment that liberals and Democrats have not pursued gun control in the wake of the mass murders at Virginia Tech. GMA's on-screen graphic for a 7am half hour story demanded, “Politicians and Gun Control: Why Aren’t They Outraged?” Co-host Robin Roberts rued: “After every major shooting in the U.S., without fail, there has been a heated debate about gun control on Capitol Hill. But not this time. In fact, most politicians have been running away from the debate on guns. So, why is this happening?” Reporter Jake Tapper echoed the theme: “It was the worst school shooting in American history, and yet what some liberals are referring to as a deafening silence from Democrats on Capitol Hill. After reciting how Democrats fear the electoral impact of the agenda, Tapper concluded by relaying how “in the rest of the world, of course, gun rights in the United States are viewed somewhat oddly.”

Just over 12 hours later, World News anchor Charles Gibson recalled how “when I spoke to President Bush at Virginia Tech, he told me he thought the killings at that college would spark new debate on gun laws. So far, it hasn't. The discussion, in fact, has been surprisingly muted.” (Naturally, Gibson had prompted that answer: “After Columbine, there was ignited a national debate on guns. Do you think this is going to rekindle the national debate?”) In Friday's story, Tapper highlighted how “for gun control activists...the Democrats' silence was deafening.” He went on to explain that “many Democratic strategists think Al Gore's liberal gun control stance cost him key states like West Virginia and Tennessee in the 2000 election” and “Democrats recaptured the Congress last November partly because of pro-gun Democrats.” Tapper showcased how “this weekend a TV ad campaign begins airing that faults the Democratic Congress for not backing a gun control measure.”

[UPDATE: PBS's Gwen Ifill: “Have the Virginia tech shootings changed the debate” about gun control? "Not so much. But why not?”]

On her "Couric & Co." blog today, the CBS "Evening News" anchor posted a 10-question interview with gun control activist Paul Helmke. Couric's questions largely lobbed softballs for the Brady Campaign's Helmke to hit out of the park. But beyond that, she let slip a suggestion a keener ear might have caught and followed up on.

Helmke suggested he'd prefer a law making law-abiding citizens have to show references for purchasing a gun.

That's right, references, as in asking friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. if they think you should have the right to own a gun. References for the government to pry into your life (well beyond any criminal record) before you, a law-abiding citizen, to purchase a gun, something you have the right to do under the Constitution.

Here's the relevant portion of the interview:

Here's one ally that most people opposed to the airing of Cho's material would surely just as soon do without.

In an MSNBC column, Siva Vaidhyanathan claims that NBC News' decision to air the material was unfair to, that's right, Cho the mass murderer.

When is something clearly newsworthy clearly not newsworthy?

Interesting question, wouldn’t you agree?

Like millions of Americans, I watched the Virginia Tech killer’s videotape yesterday with shock and horror. (Please be advised: I refuse to use his real name, or publish pictures of him, for reasons that should be obvious, and wish all members of the media would adopt the same anonymity strategy when referring to this animal.)

I was at my athletic club when clips of it were making the rounds on the various networks after originally being broadcast on the NBC “Nightly News.” Groups of half-dressed men, some with only towels around their waists, stood staring at the television sets throughout the locker room gazing mesmerized at the screens like moribund ghosts.

I imagine like many Americans, when the shock wore off, it was quickly replaced by anger.

What was NBC News possibly thinking?

ABC anchor Charles Gibson concluded Thursday's World News by showing, as viewers heard Amazing Grace, photos of all 32 of those murdered Monday at Virginia Tech. When the photo array ended, Gibson simply and powerfully observed: “Those are the faces to remember.”

John Markell, the owner of the gun shop that sold one of the guns that was used in the Virginia Tech massacre, appeared on CNN's "Larry King Live" on Wednesday evening, not only to recount the situation behind the sale, but also told host Larry King that he was receiving threatening messages through his business's website. In response, King first said, "That's kind of ironic that people opposed to guns are threatening you with bodily harm." When Markell said he had been called a murderer as well, King replied, "Now, that's totally unfair, John.

Michael Welner, an ABC News consultant and a forensic psychiatrist, appeared on Thursday’s "Good Morning America" to slam the media for gratuitously airing videos sent by deceased mass killer Seung-Hui Cho. Welner even referenced the network frenzy over fired radio host Don Imus by saying, "Just listen, if you can take Imus off the air, you can certainly keep [Cho] from having his own morning show."

(Be sure and read the updates at the bottom of this story.)

Since NBC complied with the Virginia Tech killer's desires to have himself splashed all over national television, the question arises: Did NBC act unethically by promoting Cho Seung-hui's videos?

Jack M. makes a good, if somewhat profane, case in the affirmative:

These guys are idiots.

I can't believe they aired all this crap the shooter sent.

I can't believe they are giving his "manifesto" serious air time.

Lemme make an analogy here:

Ever watched a baseball game on say, WTBS or WGN, when some asshat jumps on the field?

What happens?

The producers of the game pull their cameras off the field. They focus on the broadcast booth. They focus on the dugouts. They focus on the bullpen.

Not a media bias item, but a reflection of how the media coverage of the VA Tech massacre is evolving . . .

Good Morning America's Chris Cuomo gave VA Tech a rough going-over today regarding its failure to have removed Cho from campus before he murdered 32 people. Cuomo introduced the segment, entitled "Were Warning Signs Missed on Campus," this way:

The first half hour of this morning's "Today" offered an unusual window into NBC's decision to air some of the materials that the Virginia Tech killer, Cho Seung-Hui, had mailed to the network.

Matt Lauer introduced the topic.

If one were to contemplate all the horrible results of the actions of this murderous psychopath in Virginia, if one were to wonder how hard and emotional have become the lives of the survivors of those whom this sick individual killed, it would seem axiomatic that the Mainstream Media would be the last group such a reflection would see as a recipient of the "tough decisions" resulting from the murders . We would naturally feel pain at the loss of the families of the VT victims. Our hearts would go out to the turmoil that surviving students would face upon trying to resume their education schedules after this monumental outrage. We would even feel bad for residents of the surrounding Virginia communities as they attempt to cope with the crime. Yes, there are a lot of people to empathize with and to feel sorry for.

But the news media are not one of them.