By Philip L. Watson
After the dust cleared from the last debate, the gun control question that wasn’t still looms large.
PBS’s Jim Lehrer, the moderator of the debate, chose to stick to the economy and put gun control questions pushed by Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) and the Brady Campaign in the deep freeze. Perhaps surprised by the debate snub, the Brady Campaign released the wrong statement on one of their social media accounts after the debate.
But as nonsensical as the gun control lobby may appear to many Americans, they’ve still got a lot of fight in them as evidenced by VP candidate Paul Ryan’s recent spat with a Michigan reporter. When the reporter in question asked Ryan about a “gun problem” Ryan countered “this country has a crime problem” and proceeded to describe how that could be remedied. Perhaps upset at Ryan’s unwillingness to take the bait, the reporter appeared to lose his composure and snapped back with “and you can do all that by cutting taxes?”
The mainstream media loves fights and controversy. And why shouldn’t they? It’s good for ratings. Clearly the mainstream press (as well as many on the left) want the gun control question center stage in the national debate. The old newsroom mantra, “if it bleeds it leads” mostly still dominates the conventional news outlets, but only when it fits their narrative. As evidenced by the Fast and Furious scandal.
To date, Univision has probably done harder hitting prime time reporting on Fast and Furious than any of the old guard TV News stations such as NBC, ABC or CBS. During his interview with Univision, reporters prodded the President with questions about the gun running operation that happened under his watch. Univision also recently released a one hour TV special on Fast and Furious that detailed the scandal and its impact.
The current administration has clearly been compromised by the unlikely scandal. Conveniently, the Fast and Furious operation started at about the same time the administration launched some other operations on the border focusing on crime and firearms. Attorney General Eric Holder was found in contempt of Congress for refusing to disclose documents related to the gun running operation. And the President has yet to adequately explain the claim of executive privilege on documents linked to Fast and Furious.
Even after being shunned at the first debate, don’t expect MAIG or Brady to take the hint and go away quietly. The national stage could be the ideal place for the President to explain this foolish arms trafficking operation to America.