The Daily Show called out Fox News' hypocrisy in determining who is and isn't allowed to talk about gun violence.
Fox heavily criticized NBC's Bob Costas after he quoted at length from Fox Sports' Jason Whitlock's column on the recent murder-suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher. Costas' endorsement of part of the column that expressed concern about "our current gun culture" came under attack immediately from Fox News as cowardly and inappropriate.
Watch the full segment in the videos below:
From the December 10 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
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Washington Times senior opinion editor Emily Miller falsely claimed that guns are used to prevent crimes about 2 million times a year, a defensive gun use statistic that has been repeatedly debunked.
Miller's claim comes in response to a statement by NBC sportscaster Bob Costas, who noted that "bad things happen" as a result of firearm use. Miller compared the defensive gun use statistic, which comes from the discredited research of criminologist Gary Kleck, to the 30,000 gun deaths that occur on average annually in the United States to conclude that firearm use is actually a net social benefit.
Mr. Costas expanded on his theme by saying, "Far more often, bad things happen -- including unintentional things -- than things where the presence of a gun diminishes or averts danger." He's only telling half the story. About 30,000 people are killed by firearms, but guns are are [sic] also used to prevent crimes approximately 2 million times a year.
Fox News is reporting that gun owners are rushing to buy firearms in light of President Obama's reelection at the same time it promotes the very conspiracies about the president's gun policies triggering those sales.
A December 6 FoxNews.com article on the firearms "buying spree" reports that to gun owners, "Obama's re-election, and the apocalypse -- amount to the same thing" while also credulously quoting the unfounded claim of NRA president David Keene that, "Obama is coming right at us" and his second term will be "an all-out assault on the Second Amendment."
The simultaneous reporting of an uptick in gun sales and promotion of wild-eyed conspiracy theories about Obama's gun policies is commonplace at Fox News, despite the fact that President Obama expanded, rather than restricted, where a gun can be carried during his first term.
On the December 3 edition of Hannity on Fox News, WorldNetDaily columnist Erik Rush discussed the murder-suicide involving NFL player Jovan Belcher, alleging, "Whenever there is a high-profile gun crime the fearmongering begins, the histrionics begin, and all of this stuff really has its genesis in the political left, and particularly the big government political leftists, who want to disarm the public."
Since NBC sportscaster Bob Costas commented on the murder-suicide involving NFL player Jovan Belcher during Sunday Night Football, he has received a torrent of criticism from conservatives in media and the National Rifle Association. On the December 5 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Costas called for all gun sales to be conducted with a background check, a proposal that host Bill O'Reilly, the American public, and even NRA members largely support.
Costas drew the ire of right-wing media after favorably quoting a FoxSports.com column that noted, "If Jovan Belcher didn't possess a gun, he and [his victim] Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today." The National Rifle Association accused Costas of being involved in a "media conglomerate" conspiracy to ban all firearms. Although Costas did not mention any specific gun violence prevention proposals in his commentary, Fox News accused Costas of "lecturing America on gun control." Fox Nation and the Drudge Report claimed that Costas went on a "gun control rant."
Now Costas has gotten specific, and his proposal - to conduct background checks on all gun sales - is wildly popular.
Fox News co-host Greg Gutfeld echoed statistics used by a Republican congressman to suggest right-to-carry laws decrease violent crime -- but studies have shown no such correlation. Gutfeld also hyped the debunked claim that there are "2.5 million instances each year" in which a gun is used in self-defense.
Pundits and commentators have been discussing gun-related violence following NFL player Jovan Belcher's murder-suicide. NBC Sports' Bob Costas has been ridiculed by right-wing media for comments he made on the subject during a Sunday night football broadcast.
During a segment on The Five about Belcher's murder-suicide and Costas' comments, Gutfeld said:
GUTFELD: If you want to look at the FBI uniform crime report -- right-to-carry states, 30 percent have lowered their homicide rates. Forty-six percent -- lower assault and robbery. Overall, 22 percent violent [sic] rates gone down in right-to-carry. Basically, when you're not arming people, you're actually creating a health hazard. A gun is a vitamin of safety.
Gutfeld's statistics mirror those used by a Republican congressman in a House Judiciary Committee press release issued following the House's 2011 passage of a national right-to-carry bill. The press release quoted Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX):
[House Judiciary Committee] Chairman Smith: "The Second Amendment is a fundamental right to bear arms that should not be constrained by state boundary lines. This legislation enhances public safety and protects the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment.
"Studies show that carrying concealed weapons reduces violent crime rates by deterring would-be assailants and by allowing law-abiding citizens to defend themselves. Data from the FBI's Annual Uniform Crime Report shows that 'right-to-carry' states, or those that widely allow concealed carry, have 22% lower total violent crime rates, 30% lower murder rates, 46% lower robbery rates, and 12% lower aggravated assault rates, as compared to the rest of the country.
But studies show there is not actually a correlation between right-to-carry laws and lower violent crime rates. A 2011 PolitiFact post reported that "using the 2009 [FBI] data, we don't see any evidence that state gun laws correlate with violent crime rates one way or the other, at least not 'across the board.' "
From the December 5 edition of Fox News' The Five:
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Townhall news editor Katie Pavlich makes a facile comparison between "two gun cultures" in America and claims that gun violence is largely limited to urban areas. However, high levels of gun death exist throughout America, and many of the states with the highest rates of gun death are rural states with weak gun laws.
In one gun culture, Pavlich claims firearms are used "to celebrate American history, for collection, personal protection, hunting and sport" while the other gun culture "can be found in the inner city of Chicago, Washington D.C., New York City, Los Angeles and others."
In publishing today's column, Pavlich joined a growing chorus of conservatives in media scrambling to deny the link between firearm availability and gun violence in the wake of the murder-suicide involving NFL player Jovan Belcher. From her column:
Historically in America we've had a deep respect for firearms. The vast majority of people have used them to celebrate American history, for collection, personal protection, hunting and sport. We see American gun culture celebrated each year when dads take their kids elk hunting for the first time. We see it when women head to the range to safely practice shooting their new pink pistols. We see it when a mother shoots an intruder while she is home alone in order to protect her children. We see it practiced when thousands of people sign up for concealed carry permit and hunters' safety classes each year. Not to mention, the multi-billion-dollar firearms industry employs millions of people and provides the government with billions in tax revenue every year.
The other gun culture in America can be found in the inner city of Chicago, Washington D.C., New York City, Los Angeles and others. Ironically, violent gun culture is found within gangs in cities with the strictest gun laws. It is the same culture promoted in Hollywood films made by liberals, glorified by rappers whose music is worshiped in violent gang plagued neighborhoods and disrespectfully joked about at NBA parties.
From the December 4 edition of Current's Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer:
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From the December 4 edition of Fox News' The Five:
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Conservative media figures have offered up several bizarre excuses in order to deflect attention from the role gun violence played in the murder of Kasandra Perkins by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher.
In order to evade the gun issue, conservatives have explained -- in detail -- alternative methods in which Belcher could have committed murder. In addition, they have attacked NBC Sports commentator Bob Costas for even broaching the topic of gun violence, suggesting that it was inappropriate to do so during an NFL broadcast, while others compared it to racially charged commentary from Rush Limbaugh and Don Imus.
National Rifle Association executive vice president and columnist Wayne LaPierre has unveiled a new conspiracy theory, alleging that NBC sportscaster Bob Costas' discussion of the murder-suicide involving NFL player Jovan Belcher was part of a plan by "media conglomerates" to ban guns.
On Sunday Night Football, Costas' quoted approvingly from a FoxSports.com column that noted, "If Jovan Belcher didn't possess a gun, he and [his victim] Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today."
Responding on the December 3 edition of NRA News, LaPierre said Costas was promoting "an anti-Second Amendment agenda by somebody in the media with access to these media conglomerates that are more than happy to amplify that all over the country and try to ram it down the throats of average American citizens."
LaPierre and NRA News host Cam Edwards went on to use Costas' comments to promote joining the NRA:
EDWARDS: [Americans] can join the NRA and join a part of the largest organization in America protecting and defending the right to keep and bear arms.
LAPIERRE: Yeah, I mean we are about to be victim of a siege against the Second Amendment in this country going into Obama's second term. I mean it's going to be ugly. It's going to come hard, fast and soon. And were going to have to survive this period of unprecedented danger. And the best way to survive is to make the NRA stronger than ever. Never has membership in NRA been more important than right now.
The NRA often trades in baseless conspiracy theories to promote gun ownership and NRA membership.
In September 2011, LaPierre announced the existence of a "massive Obama conspiracy" to end private firearm ownership in the United States. The basis for LaPierre's claim that Obama would "[e]rase the Second Amendment" in his second term was that Obama did not act on guns during his first term. The NRA also claims that a United Nations treaty with the stated goal of preventing diversion of weapons to human rights abusers will be used as a pretext for gun confiscation in the United States.
Volokh Conspiracy blogger and gun activist David Kopel denied that there is a link between firearm availability and homicide, while distorting statistics to downplay the effectiveness with which other industrialized nations prevent gun violence.
Kopel made his comments on the December 3 edition of CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, during a discussion of the murder-suicide involving NFL player Jovan Belcher. After NBC sportscaster Bob Costas favorably quoted a FoxSports.com column that noted "If Jovan Belcher didn't possess a gun, he and [his victim] Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today," on Sunday Night Football, conservatives in media responded in force with false claims denying the epidemic of gun violence in America.
This pattern continued on Piers Morgan, with Kopel claiming that "there is no relation, scientifically in social science, between the number of guns and the homicide rate." To the contrary, research conducted at the Harvard Injury ControlResearch Center found that "states with higher levels of household gun ownership had higher rates of firearm homicide and overall homicide."