Politico reports this morning that according to a newly-released Gallup poll, "support for gun control is at its lowest level in 50 years." Likewise, CNN's Jack Cafferty is using the poll to claim that "more Americans are against gun control than ever before." In fact, the Gallup poll points to robust public support for either maintaining or strengthening current gun violence prevention laws.
Cafferty and Politico are focusing on the results Gallup received by asking respondents whether they support a ban on civilian possession of handguns. While a national ban on handguns may have been a topic of political debate when Gallup first asked the question in 1959, there has been no large-scale push in favor of such a ban in recent decades. Indeed, the Supreme Court has found that local bans on handgun ownership are unconstitutional.
Indeed, another question included in Gallup's poll demonstrates robust support for gun violence prevention legislation. 77 percent of respondents feel that the laws covering the sales of firearms should either be stricter or kept as they are now, with only 11 percent calling for them to be weakened.
In other words, the vast majority of Americans support reasonable gun control measures; only a small fraction is actually opposed to gun control.
This finding is confirmed by other recent polling that shows that Americans support measures to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals. According to one poll, 89 percent of respondents support requiring all gun buyers to pass a background check at gun shows, 94 percent support requiring gun owners to alert police if their guns are lost or stolen, and 69 percent support requiring those buying ammunition to pass a criminal background check. Another poll showed 86 percent of respondents supported background checks for every gun buyer
President Obama has long advocated allowing the Bush income tax cuts that only benefit the wealthiest 2 percent to expire, while maintaining those that help everyone. And conservative media figures routinely respond to the prospect of higher taxes on the wealthy by arguing that the rich aren't actually rich, the latest being CNN's resident crotchety old man, Jack Cafferty.
Asking viewers of The Situation Room, "is it a mistake to raise taxes on the so-called wealthy?," Cafferty explained that "by [Obama's] definition, wealthy translates to couples making more than $250,000 a year, individuals making more than $200,000." He added:
Those numbers are very arbitrary, Wolf, depending where you live in this country. Two hundred thousand dollars, if you live in Manhattan, ain't all that much money. A couple hundred thousand dollars in Fargo would probably buy you half the town.
Cafferty claims two hundred thousand dollars "ain't all that much money" in Manhattan. According to a September 2009 NY Daily News article, census data show that "the median household income in NYC was $51,116 last year, slightly lower than the national average of $52,029. In Manhattan, it was $69,017." So half the households living in Manhattan make less than $69K, yet Cafferty thinks you can earn more than three times that amount and still not have "that much money"?
There's just no city you can go to in this country where an income of $250,000 isn't a lot higher than the vast majority of families, regardless of whether you know someone who makes even more.
FYI, here's what our national income distribution looks like (from Census Bureau data):
The ones in red are those who will see a less-large income tax cut next year, under Obama's plan. Cafferty can argue against that change, but he can't deny that those affected represent just 2 percent of taxpayers.
From the September 8 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:
From the August 4 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:
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Media conservatives have seized on the financial crisis in Greece to recycle attacks on progressive initiatives in the United States. For example, Stephen Hayes and Charles Gasparino referenced the crisis in order to criticize health care reform.
After responding to concerns about racial profiling in an Arizona immigration law with a "so what," CNN's Jack Cafferty asked viewers to weigh in on a question: "[W]hat should be done about border security if almost 20 percent of illegal immigrants entering Arizona from Mexico have criminal records?" He then chose to highlight five responses out of "several thousand" he received, including the sentiments that only "far left Latino whiners" opposed the policy -- which he permissively characterized as "racial profiling" -- and that "illegals" had turned "beautiful" and "prosperous" neighborhoods into "horrendous" "bordertown slums." He then proceded to defend and justify the emails he read.
From the April 20 broadcast of CNN's The Situation Room:
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From the January 12 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:
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Several media figures falsely claimed an opinion piece on the Russian website PRAVDA On-line, which attacked President Obama for instigating an "American decent [sic] into Marxism," was published by the Russian newspaper Pravda, which is not related to PRAVDA On-line.
...or home. Good grief, I'm not going to be able to sleep for weeks.
CNN's Jack Cafferty asserted that Sen. John McCain "has been at odds with his own party for years on issues like immigration, campaign finance reform, and global warming," without noting that McCain said on January 30 that he would no longer support his own comprehensive immigration reform bill if it came up for a vote in the Senate and now says that "we've got to secure the borders first."
A week after echoing the myth invoked by the Bush administration that there was a link between the September 11 attacks and Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Republican media consultant and CNN political contributor Alex Castellanos stated that if Sen. Hillary Clinton were Sen. Barack Obama's vice president, "I think Barack Obama would have to hire a food tester."
In recent days, members of the media asserted that Sen. Hillary Clinton displayed "mood swings," "could be depressed," "[r]esembl[ed] someone with multiple personality disorder," and "has turned into Sybil."
A Wall Street Journal article by Jonathan Kaufman stated that Sen. John McCain's "war record and straight-talking approach could make him appealing to many working-class men," an assertion repeated by Jack Cafferty on The Situation Room. Kaufman and Cafferty join a long list of media outlets that have adopted McCain's self-characterization as a "straight-talker," despite repeated falsehoods by McCain, as well as his stark inconsistencies on numerous issues, including the Iraq war, immigration, and tax cuts.
CNN's John King, Wolf Blitzer, and Jack Cafferty all mischaracterized Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign strategy in the early states, repeating the media myth that he chose not to compete in Iowa and New Hampshire. In fact, Giuliani himself has denied that his strategy was to skip the early states, telling NBC's Matt Lauer, "We've actually spent the most time in New Hampshire and then Florida is right behind that."