NBC host David Gregory's plummet from network journalist to (alleged) armed criminal has been an interesting story to follow. Whether or not the D.C. police warned the network that using an empty magazine during Gregory's Meet the Press segment could result in criminal charges, I'm actually more intrigued by the liberal media's response to the situation.
As we've reported here at TheBlaze, Gregory faces potential charges for breaking D.C.'s gun laws banning possession of a “large capacity ammunition feeding device.” It's ironic that this type of law -- which may ultimately get Gregory in trouble -- is exactly the type of restrictive gun control measure he was lobbying for during his Meet the Press segment with NRA president Wayne Lapierre. Holding the prop Gregory pressed: "So here is a magazine for ammunition that carries 30 bullets. Now isn’t it possible that, if we got rid of these, if we replaced them and said, “Well, you could only have a magazine that carries five bullets or ten bullets,” isn’t it just possible that we can reduce the carnage in a situation like Newtown?"
Possible? Perhaps. Likely? No.
What happens when we institute laws like the one Gregory is proposing? Well, let's see: Instead of preventing illegally obtained guns from falling into the hands of street thugs to prevent future violent crimes, D.C. police are now investigating... David Gregory. It seems like an extraordinary waste of law enforcement resources, but the police are charged with enforcing the laws, not writing them.
Even more absurd has been the media's response. With Gregory facing possible criminal charges, his fellow "journalists" have rushed to his defense.
"The ammo moment was a stunt, but shouldn't DC police be catching actual criminals?" tweets the Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz, echoing my point from above. But what Kurtz doesn't seem to realize is that under D.C. law, Gregory is an "actual criminal."
Kurtz went further in a column at the DailyDownload:
The late word that NBC requested, and failed to receive, permission from the police certainly complicates the matter. But I don’t think Gregory was planning to commit any crimes.
What all this demonstrates above all is that journalists are getting ensnared in the political war over gun control.
Kurtz's logic: As long as one doesn't harbor "criminal intent," it's perfectly fine to break the law.
"Excellent use of DC police resources, investigating 'Meet the Press' for committing an act of journalism," snarked The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg. An act of "journalism"? It was a stunt, pure and simple. And since we now know that NBC looked into the law before going to air with the ammo magazine, it's clear they thought their right to advocate for more gun control outweighed compliance with existing gun control laws. In legalese, this is called "willful intent."
Fox News' Greta VanSusteren -- a former criminal defense and civil trial lawyer -- has even disparaged the Gregory investigation as "silly": "I will bet my right arm David Gregory is not going to go out and commit some crime with that magazine." And I'm willing to bet my right arm that the vast majority of American gun owners aren't going to go out and commit crimes, but this never seems to convince any liberals.
Politico's Glenn Thrush piled on with his own brand of idiocy on Wednesday: "Why isn't Cathy Lanier killing this stupid @davidgregory gun law story? He was clearly acting in the public interest." Hm. I must've overlooked the law's "public interest" exemption and how "public interest" is narrowly defined as liberal ideology.
...And these people call themselves journalists. Tisk, tisk.
The blatant ignorance and typical liberal double-standard piqued Iowahawk's interest:
All of the delightful mockery aside, what's at issue here is the law and its unbiased application to all people (including "journalists") within its jurisdiction. By all accounts, this would include NBC's Washington bureau and David Gregory.
And as far as the debate over gun control goes, it's worth noting that the "silly" law Gregory broke in this case came about after the Supreme Court overturned D.C.'s ban on handgun ownership. Once the city couldn't ban all handguns, liberal anti-gun zealots promulgated some of the most restrictive firearm controls in the country. In the end, Gregory is a victim of his own ideology.
Update: A good point -- National Review's Jonathan Adler would like to kindly remind Kurtz, et al. that conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe was never granted a get-out-of-jail-free card for his efforts on behalf of journalism and the common good.