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The MRC's Gun Defenders, 2023 Edition

The Media Research Center will rush to defend guns -- never mind the carnage they play a key role in creating.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 10/24/2023

The Media Research Center is all about kneejerk defense of guns despite the carnage they play a key role in creating. Unsurprisingly, MRC kept up that stance as it entered 2023. Let's examine the record:
  • Alex Christy complained in a Jan. 3 post that "MSNBC’s Ali Velshi kicked off the new year by guest hosting All In on Monday and looking back at 2022 with a segment that called for more gun control by comparing it to simple traffic laws and falsely suggesting that the typical American gun owner is better armed than those who fight in war," going on to huff: "We do have a lot of traffic laws and despite them, people still speed, run red lights, and conduct unsafe lane changes resulting in nasty collisions."
  • Jay Maxson ranted on Jan. 18: "The president, vice-president and members of the Golden State “woke” Warriors met Tuesday at the White House under the guise of making America safer. Which is balderdash; they were taking aim at weakening the constitutional rights of Americans to defend themselves from violent attacks. The administration used popular athletes to help gain attention for its dog and pony show for the Democrat [sic] base."
  • Brad Wilmouth groused in a Jan. 21 post about how a PBS show "devoted a segment to allowing a gun control activist to promote federal laws to control how gun owners store firearms in their own homes, picking up on recent cases of small children gaining access to the guns of their parents."
  • Christy went into comedy-cop mode in a Jan. 24 post: "The Monday edition of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show included a video package of correspondent Roy Wood Jr. in Britain asking foreigners to condemn America, trash the Second Amendment, and wonder, “How do you show people that you've got a big dick, but you don’t have a gun?” He disdainfully added: "Of course, the idea of female gun owners was lost in this idea of genital compensation."
  • In a Jan. 25 post, Mark Finkelstein grumbled that California Gov. Gavin Newsom displayed "megawatt smiles while discussing the recent mass shootings in his state that have claimed 18 lives" during a CNN interview and that "CNN anchors heartily endorsed his view that repeated mass shootings in his state should be blamed on Congress for not passing enough gun-control legislation, not on politicians in California."
  • For his Jan. 27 podcast, Tim Graham huffed: "After two mass shootings in California, ABC's The View crew is back in gun-hating mode, and Joy Behar said America needs to 'grow up' about guns."
  • Wilmouth returned on Jan. 29 to complain that PBS "returned to the energetic use of mass shootings in California to push for more gun control" but "put on gun-banning leftists and facilitate their talking points" and didn't include "conservative voices." Wilmouth didn't explain why he didn't use "right-wing" instead of "conservative" to match his "leftist" labeling.
  • Wilmouth was at it again two days later, grousing that PBS is "promoting the Democrat party's [sic] agenda on gun control" by airing a "special on survivors of gun-related violence which also squeezed in a liberal agenda." He went on to declare that "The PBS special did not find anything positive to say about guns, like finding examples of the many times guns are used to prevent or fight off violent criminals."
  • In a Feb. 11 post, Clay Waters claimed that a PBS segment "sounded unpleasantly surprised ... by a federal appeals court ruling allowing people under domestic violence restraining orders to have guns, based on the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision in June 2022," going on to complain that neither commentator " had much sympathy for the “originalist” philosophy of the Constitution."
  • Finkelstein complained in a Feb. 15 post that "Tuesday's Morning Joe predictably jumped on the mass shooting at Michigan State to denounce Republicans. Among many such condemnations during the segment, Joe Scarborough said, 'there's no other way to put it. It's the Republican party that's allowing this to continue to happen.'" The MRC tried to distract from the shooting by blaming it on a prosecutor who had dismissed a prior gun charge against the suspect -- even though the charge involved carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, something the MRC supports.

This kneejerk defense merged with the MRC's weird hatred of Democratic Florida Rep. Maxwell Frost in a Feb. 15 post by Christy:

Twenty-six-year-old Rep. Maxwell Frost travelled over to Comedy Central’s The Daily Show on Tuesday for an interview temp host Sarah Silverman to discuss an assortment of left-wing goals, one of which was gun control with Frost urging people to vote for “morally just leaders who actually give a damn about children’s lives.”

Silverman began by telling Frost just how much she is in awe of him, “You have been, and I find this so impressive and inspiring, especially to people out here, you’ve been a gun reform advocate since you were 15 years-old. Spurred on by Sandy Hook, which was in Connecticut. You’re from Florida and you organized the March For Our Lives.”

Finally, getting around to a question, she then asked, “It’s the five-year anniversary of the Parkland shooting. There was a school shooting just last night at Michigan State. Now that you are in Congress, what do you think can be done? How can we break the cycle?”

For all the talk about Frost’s youth, he continued the old tradition of claiming that the only reason why major gun control legislation fails in Congress is because of the National Rifle Association:

Christy didn't disprove anything Frost said about the NRA, instead grousing that he was "clinging to the idea that it is the NRA’s money and not its membership that would simply find another organization should the NRA cease to exist." He concluded by sneering: "The bad news for Frost and Silverman is that ordinary Second Amendment defenders are not about to entrust their rights to somebody who says they don’t give a damn about children’s lives." However, he didn't dispute the accuracy of that statement.

An April 1 column by Jeffrey Lord accused Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman, an advocate of gun regulation, of being a hypocrite because he benefits as a congressman from having a security detail:

There is Rep. Bowman shrieking all this - as he and every other Member of Congress work daily in the Capitol and surrounding House and Senate office buildings that are swarming with - yes indeed - gun-carrying Capitol Police officers. Bowman has specifically called his Republican colleagues cowards for not supporting gun control. Which raises the obvious question: Is Congressman Bowman a coward for refusing to give up the gun-carrying Capitol Police that protect him?


And as Rep. Bowman himself just illustrated, the Congressman adamantly opposes providing teachers in schools with guns to protect school children - but makes no move to demand the Capitol Police surrounding him give up theirs.

In other words, the message from all these supposedly anti-gun media types and Democrats in Congress like Congressman Bowman is simple.

“Guns for me but not for thee.”

Clay Waters complained in an April 3 post that someone on PBS was critical of guns after the Nashville shooting (about which the MRC wanted you to focus on the allegedly transgender shooter, not the guns):

Tax-funded PBS features the Amanpour & Co interview show, and the Tuesday edition featured a self-righteous gun-control rant by host Christiane Amanpour keyed to the murders at a Christian school in Nashville. Left unanswered: How would many of the proposed gun-control measures (like background checks) would have stopped this attack? Amanpour can't blame the shooter. She has to blame the gun-rights lobby. Notice there's not the slightest attempt to avoid editorializing.


Amanpour interviewed Dr. Joseph Sakran of Johns Hopkins Hospital, who called for guns to be considered a “public health problem.” Amanpour once again called for her own bizarre version of “sensible gun control,” which looks a lot like the gun confiscation that occurred in Australia after a mass shooting there.

We don't recall Waters or anyone else at the MRC complaining that someone on Fox News failed to make "the slightest attempt to avoid editorializing."

Kevin Tober used an April 5 post to dismiss protests in favor of gun regulation by high school students as nothing more than "tantrums":

On Wednesday, petulant leftist high school students in select cities across the United States walked out of school to demand lawmakers infringe on their fellow Americans' Second Amendment rights in the juvenile belief that this infringement would somehow keep schools safe from deranged people wanting to commit mass murder. Naturally, CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News were more than happy to champion their cause and hype their truancy for at the behest of the left's anti-American gun-grabbing agenda.


Meanwhile, on NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt acted as a stenographer for the gun control activists by breathlessly reporting how "across the country, today students walked out of their classrooms by the thousands demanding that officials and politicians do more to stop gun violence."

Holt added that some of the students were apparently "saying they didn’t want to live in fear in their schools."

Maybe if members of the media like Holt would report on these shootings responsibly and add context, like the fact that high school students have a better chance of dying in the car on the way to school than dying in their classroom, these students wouldn't be living in fear.

Tober didn't explain exactly what level of high school students being massacred in their classroom he finds acceptable.

When a commentator pointed out how little Republicans care about keeping guns away from dangerous people, Tober ranted later that day:

On Wednesday night's edition of MSNBC's The Last Word, vile leftist Lawrence O’Donnell lashed out at Republicans and accused them of not having any sadness over children dying in mass shootings. To make matters even worse, he doubled down and outrageously claimed Republicans are dedicated to ensuring "America's mass murderers are the very best-equipped mass murderers in the world." O'Donnell is no stranger to this kind of incendiary rhetoric. In fact, he's made almost identical claims last year after the tragic Robb Elementary School shooting. Prior to that, O'Donnell sneered how "Republican politicians do not care how large the body count gets."

After mocking South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham for being outraged at the political prosecution of Donald Trump by the George Soros-backed prosecutor Alvin Bragg, O'Donnell claimed that Graham shows emotion for Trump but not for children being killed. He then took it a step further and painted the entire Republican Party as being unmoved by children dying: "Professional Republicans absolutely do not cry for dead American children when they are murdered by AR-15s," O'Donnell falsely claimed without any evidence at all.


It appears there is no low O'Donnell is willing to stoop to in order to smear half the country as being complicit in murder. When will MSNBC hold him accountable?

Despite all his ranting, Tober made no effort to disprove anything O'Donnell said.

Tober had another meltdown in an April 10 post:

MSNBC’s The ReidOut host Joy Reid had one of her most vile meltdowns since September 2021 when she claimed conservatives “love Covid so much” that they “want it everywhere” to murder as many people as possible, and drink it in a Kool-Aid cup.” As bad as that was, Monday night’s Reid meltdown was a whole nother level of evil. Reid opened her show claiming Republicans “clearly don't give a damn if they or their friends die a painful, gruesome death at the hands of an assault rifle.”

Later on in her demonic, hate-filled program, Reid brought on turncoat former Republican consultant Matthew Dowd to kvetch about how Texas Republican governor Greg Abbott was considering a pardon of a Texas police officer who was wrongly convicted of killing a Black Lives Matter terrorist who pointed a rifle in his face.

That last claim by Tober didn't age well. As ConWebWatch noted, not only did the "wrongly convicted" shooter provoke the confrontation, no witness saw the "Black Lives Matter terrorist" point a gun at him, and it was revealed a few days after his conviction that unsealed documents from the case showed that the shooter had a history of making racist and violent comments on social media, stating just a couple months before the shooting that “I might go to Dallas to shoot looters."

An April 13 post by Wilmouth dismissed gun laws as "irrelevant":

On the morning after the shooting attack on a bank in Louisville, CNN This Morning was true to form in promoting new gun laws that were not relevant to the crime, and devoted a segment to allowing anti-gun Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) to push for irrelevant gun laws.

Even though the Louisville gunman passed a background check and purchased the murder weapon legally from a gun dealer, co-host Poppy Harlow plugged Senator Murphy's push for "universal background checks" as she opened the show at 6:00 a.m. Eastern: "We'll talk to Senator Chris Murphy later in the show, who keeps reintroducing this universal background check bill -- keeps trying, keeps trying, keeps trying."

At 8:08 a.m., Harlow recalled that President Joe Biden keeps calling for more gun control in the aftermath of each high-casualty mass shooting, playing recent clips of him. She then reiterated Senator Murphy's push for "universal background checks" as she introduced the Connecticut Democrat: "Let's bring in Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut. He was a key negotiator in the previous bipartisan gun talks -- keeps reintroducing legislation for universal background checks."

It is baffling that "universal background checks" (requiring private sellers of used firearms to pay a gun dealer to conduct a background check) is so reflexively brought up when it is never relevant to any of the mass shootings that receive media attention.

Without mentioning the role that journalists and other liberals have played in stoking murder rates and shootings by portraying police officers as racists, and complaining about "mass incarceration" of criminals, Harlow blamed guns for a recent surge in gun-related deaths of children.

Wilmouth didn't explain why racist cops shouldn't be exposed or why they should be protected.

Dawn Slusher went on a tirade over the Shonda Rhimes-created show "Station 19" in an April 17 post after a character declared that "the answer to anything in this country is not more guns" (bolding in original):

Finally, “the answer to anything in this country” is absolutely more guns - more guns in the hands of the right people, to be exact. Guns in the hands of the right people have always been what’s stopped active shooter situations. Guns in the hands of the right people are what keep law and order. Guns in the hands of the right people are what people use to defend themselves and others against an attack.

Just consider the fact that authorities admitted that trans school shooter Audrey Hale targeted the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, because they didn’t have armed security and she bypassed another target because they did. That alone proves armed security works and gun-free zones do not. In fact, gun-free zones are basically an open invitation to bad people with guns like Hale.

But leave it to Hollywood to get it all backwards. In the Shondaland of make believe, facts don’t matter and propaganda reigns supreme.

Wilmouth returned for an April 19 post grousing that a CNN interview of Republican New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu "even went so far as to try to credit strict gun laws in neighboring blue states for New Hampshire's low homicide rate," going on to sneer that "In the same vein, the liberal news network also has a history of trying to blame pro-gun Indiana for crime in the more anti-gun Illinois." He made no effort to disprove either assertion.

Nicholas Fondacaro used an April 18 post to bash "The View" for expressing concern that an elderly white man shot and killed a black teenager who mistakenly rang the doorbell at his house:

Never letting a bad situation go to waste, the ladies of ABC’s The View spent the beginning of Tuesday’s episode exploiting the tragic and allegedly unlawful use of deadly force by an elderly white man against a black teenager in Missouri. According to them, it was “unfortunate” that people had the right to self-defense at all, and insanely proclaimed that elderly people who couldn’t physically fend off an attacker shouldn’t be allowed to own guns.

During the incident in question, 16-year-old Ralph Yarl was shot after he rang the doorbell of 85-year-old Andrew Lester thinking it was the house he was supposed to pick up his siblings from. According to reports, no words were exchanged and there was no evidence of an attempted forced entry before Lester shot Yarl twice with his revolver through the glass door. Prosecutors also allege that there was an unspecified “racial component” to the shooting.

With the details as reported, Missouri’s self-defense laws (particularly their castle doctrine) didn’t seem to apply. But nuance and attention to detail weren’t things The View excelled in.

Co-host Sara Haines repeatedly advocated for the elderly to have their Second Amendment rights stripped from them if they felt they couldn’t fend off an attacker with their bare hands:


In reality, those too weak to defend themselves physically were arguably the ones who needed guns for self-defense the most.

Haines then lashed out at the National Rifle Association, despite the fact they were not defending Lester. According to her, this incident “fuels the profit of more gun sales” and the NRA wanted to roll back “the accountability of the people shooting.”

Yes, Fondacaro is defending the man's use of his gun for "self-defense" despite admitting that's not what actually happened.

On April 20, Fondacaro lashed out at criticism of states that have permitless concealed-carry laws:

In the liberal media’s crusade to eliminate gun rights, no complaint is too absurd to be presented to their viewers as a serious point. CBS Mornings was guilty of this Thursday as co-anchor Tony Dokoupil singled out Alabama, Missouri, and Texas (the locations of recent mass shootings) for not requiring residents to obtain permits to buy rifles and shotguns. But only seven states out of 50 have that requirement.

If you'll recall, the MRC attacked a "Soros-backed" prosecutor for dropping a gun charge against a man who later committed a massacre -- but didn't mention that the charge was carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

The next day, Christy was upset that a commentator pointed out that Fox News likely played a role in feeding the elderly man with fear of crime and black people -- something the man's grandson agreed with -- to the point where he killed a black teen who merely rang his doorbell:

MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle used the Thursday edition of The 11th Hour to give credence to the idea that Fox News was responsible for shooting of Ralph Yarl by an 84-year old man after he wrong the doorbell. Former FBI assistant director counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi took it one step further and demanded Fox and “the firearms industry” feel “financial pain.”

Beginning the show by going through a list of recent shootings that were the result of either identifying the wrong car or a ball rolling into someone’s yard before coming to Yarl, Ruhle decalred “There is another deep troubling element to all of this and it relates to the shooting of young Ralph Yarl. The grandson of the 84-year-old man charged in that shooting put it this way.”

Christy then complained that the commentator said that Fox News should feel the pain of inculcating people that way, just as it had to with the $787 million settlement with Dominion for spreading election fraud lies (which the MRC tried to insist wasn't a big deal because right-wingers will believe whatever it sees on the channel regardless):

Figliuzzi then gave a chilling case for censorship, “Yeah, this is where I'm a strong advocate of financial pain for those who spew out propaganda. We just saw Fox News, you know, paying, you know, just under a billion dollars because of what they've been doing and the question is whether or not that is enough pain or not to make a difference.”

What is Figliuzzi’s definition of propaganda? He never says, but disagreeing with MSNBC on guns or crime is not at all the same as repeating conspiracy theories about voting machines.

When a "View" co-host criticized Fox News over the shooting, Fondacaro viciously smeared her as a "racist" for doing so in an April 21 post:

Despite her whining to the contrary, View co-host Sunny Hostin is a staunch racist and shows it often from her ABC platform. On Friday’s edition of the show, she spewed her toxic racism again when she suggested the problem with gun owners in America was that they had white skin and were “radicalized” by Fox News, thus a danger to the country.

Spurred by recent reported shootings by trigger-happy property protectors against innocent people, fill-in moderator Joy Behar wondered: “So what is going on and why are these people shooting first before they even know why somebody mistakenly went into their driveway?”

Once again, Fondacaro's alleged evidence that Hostin is a "staunch racist" involves him failing to understand how metaphors work.

Later that day, Fondacaro whined that CBS highlighted a group of moms trying to stop gun violence are "either long-time liberals or don’t have a strong political history." Fondacaro didn't explain why the moms who "don’t have a strong political history" should be attacked.

On April 24, Stephanie Hamill bashed the TV show "Gray's Anatomy" for "predictably push[ing] the anti-gun agenda while peddling the ‘weapons of war’ myth," pushing her side's pro-gun agenda in response: "And, of course, no mention about the lives that could have potentially been saved and injuries avoided had there been a good guy with a gun to immediately intervene. Also, there was no mention of the crimes committed with guns in states and cities with strict gun control laws."

After yet another mass shooting in Texas, Mark Finkelstein tried to change the subject in a May 4 post to the shooter being an "illegal immigrant":

When it comes to crime, [David] Jolly and his Democrat friends focus almost entirely on guns--rather than on the people who commit crimes. A significant portion of serious crimes in America were committed by illegal immigrants; the suspect in the mass Texas shooting among them.


If MSNBC were actually interested in reducing serious crime in America, it would be clamoring for candidates who will fight illegal immigration. Instead, the liberal media prefers to focus on "gun violence," and use it in an attempt to elect Democrats.

Christy spent a May 9 post complaining that MSNBC's Joe Scarborough pointed out that right-wing kneejerk defense of guns:

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough opened up his Monday night primetime special with a solemn, yet outrageous and profoundly unserious rant where he accused Republicans, “cowards,” “pathetic souls,” and “vacuous creatures” of being the modern equivalent of “slaveholders and segregationists.”

In Scarborough’s view of things, “Politicians idly stand by and watch as America's children and their parents are slaughtered… All because these cowards fear gun lobbyists more than they fear the next Uvalde, Parkland, or Sandy Hook.”

That accusation would be bad enough, but as is his nature, Scarborough proceeded to escalate, “Like those enablers of slaveholders and segregationists, these timid, empty, pathetic souls care more about beating back next year's right-wing primary challenge than they do saving young children's lives. But there is no doubt that these vacuous creatures willnot escape history’s thunderous verdict.”

Christy didn't rebut anything Scarborough said -- he just complained it was said.

In a May 18 post, Christy complained that some on TV discussed the idea of implementing "drastic" gun regulation measures like those in Australia:

The Wednesday couch discussion on CNN Tonight tried to tackle the question why America experiences more mass shootings than other countries and naturally settled on gun ownership as the answers. The natural solution was drastic, Australian-style gun control, but host Alisyn Camerota would lament that people keep citing the Constitution to oppose such measures, “that’s what we here all the time.”

Camerota opened up the discussion to anyone on the couch, “it is not a secret that other countries when they come here to visit, say, why do you have mass shootings here? Their people find it inconceivable in other countries because they don't have this phenomenon. It’s truly American.”


Democrats will sometimes argue that they’re not coming for your guns, saying they only want background checks and red flag laws, but then someone like Treene inevitably comes along and cities gun confiscation laws from other countries as proposed solutions, so of course people are going to cite the Constitution to defend their rights.

Christy failed to mention that gun deaths, gun suicides and mass shootings all dropped in Australia after those gun laws were implemented, suggesting that gun proliferation is at least part of the problem.

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