Matthews and Ifill, rolling for Warner!

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2012

The lunacy of our press culture: Do you live in a lunatic culture—in a press corps banana republic? Consider:

Senator Warner was explaining why he has now flipped on guns. On Hardball, Chris Matthews played tape of the great man’s moving words.

Then he began to emote:
MATTHEWS (12/18/12): Here’s a smart senator talking now. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, a moderate Democrat most people would count him as, joined the chorus of pro-gun Democrats—he’s one—who are willing to look at changes in gun safety.

Let’s listen to the senator from Virginia.

WARNER (videotape): I believe every American has 2nd Amendment rights and that the ability to hunt is part of our culture. I had an NRA rating of an A, but you know, enough is enough. I’ve got— I’m father of three daughters, and this weekend, they all said, “Dad, you know, how can this go on?”

And I, like I think most of us, realize that there are ways to get to rational gun control. There are ways to grapple with the obvious challenges of mental illness.

MATTHEWS: Those wonderful words in the Bible about you must become like a child. The interesting—to approach the Lord. And I was thinking that, in so many cases in recent history, you’ve seen the young in this country, the people under 30, for example, who have led the way on issues like same-sex marriage, on issues like even Obama’s election to the presidency, in so many cases.

Do you think this is an area where young kids are going to say to their parents, “Get over this NRA fixation, be loyal to us kids, not to them?”

MILBANK: I think that’s exactly what we’re hearing now...
Playing for The One True Liberal Team, Chris emitted a big pile of feel-good.

Let’s understand what Warner said, hiding behind his daughters as he did:

For him, it wasn’t enough when someone shot up a college campus right there in his own state. That didn’t make him "realize that there are ways to get to rational gun control."

It wasn’t enough when someone shot up a political meeting featuring one of his congressional colleagues. That didn’t make him realize either.

It wasn’t enough when someone shot up a movie theater in Colorado. It wasn’t enough when people got killed in all these previous events.

But now that someone has shot up a first grade classroom, Warner has finally had enough! Hiding behind his daughters (it’s humanizing), he says he has changed his stance on guns.

He says he now realize that there are ways to get to rational gun control. And Matthews, playing for the liberal team, emotes about what Warner said.

What Warner said is pretty transparently garbage. If Warner is sincere, it means that he’s a lunatic or a simpleton. What kind of person has to wait for a bunch of six-year-olds to get killed before he can see that there are ways to get to rational gun control?

Please. Warner didn’t change his stance because his daughters spoke to him Friday. Presumably, Warner changed his stance because the politics has changed—because the public has gotten very angry, has finally said enough.

We don’t fault the public for that; the public is otherwise occupied as these events unfold. We do fault Senator Warner for this. And most ofall, we fault the compliant Matthews, who pretends that this makes perfect sense.

Then too, we fault Gwen Ifill. Last night, she sat on her overpaid keister as Warner directly sold her the con:
IFILL (12/1/8/12): What would you like to hear the NRA—you’re a member of the NRA. You’re supported by the NRA. What would you like to hear them say as, TO contribute as a meaningful contribution?

WARNER: What are the instruments here that are being used? Are there guns that were developed by the military as technology has advanced and has allowed our soldiers to become better, more effective in Iraq and Afghanistan? Should all of those weapons be able to be slightly modified and then sold on a commercial market?

What kind of—how much restraint does it put on a lawful target shooter if they want to have to change out a clip after every 10 shells or—10 or 15 shells? I’m not sure what the right number should be here.

But I think the NRA ought to have a voice in this conversation as well. I think they can go ahead again, reassure that nobody is going to be out trying to say we need to take away your shotgun or take away the kind of components that are part of American culture in terms of the right to hunt, the right to enjoy the outdoors with firearms.

But I do think that simply saying that the status quo is acceptable and bemoaning another tragedy six or nine months from now, without any real close examination of seeing what laws and rules and regulations need to be changed, would be a real mistake and wouldn’t do—wouldn’t be the appropriate honoring the legacy of those poor kids whose lives were taken.

And quite honestly, I have to give my three daughters a better answer than I gave them on Friday night. I have got to be able to say, you know, “I was part of trying to at least get some level of solution, so this kind of tragedy doesn't happen again.”

IFILL: Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, thank you so much for joining us.
Was Warner speaking “quite honestly?” Sorry, we don’t believe that!

Senator Warner is very bright. He didn’t change his view on guns because his daughters spoke to him Friday.

That said, Ifill is smart too. She knows you don’t rock the boat by asking the obvious questions—the obvious questions which don’t involve you in swallowing obvious bullroar:

Why was it OK to shoot up that campus? Why was it OK to shoot Gabby Giffords? Why did it take an attack on six-year-olds before you decided to flip?

Why didn’t those earlier events helps you to see the obvious fact that there are ways to get to rational gun control?

Did Warner flip because the politics changed? Because you live in a press corps banana republic, Ifill knows she mustn’t ask.

Matthews knew he should emote about what the great man had said.

20 comments:

  1. It's all politics, because there's no gun control measure that could pass and be constitutional and yet be effective.

    E.g., limiting the number of bullets in a clip isn't much of burden on hunters or target shooters, because they can quickly and easily replace a used-up clip with a new clip. By the same token, this limitation does almost nothing to prevent mass murders, because the murderer can quickly and easily replace a used-up clip with a new clip.

    I don't know what to do about the problem of these mass shootings. I suspect the politicians don't know what to do either, but they will look good by doing something, whether it helps or not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, woe is us, we just can't do anything because, by itself, it will not solve the problem.

      Time to dust off and update the old anti-war chant from the 1960s: "Hey, hey, NRA, how many kids did you kill today?"

      Delete
    2. I hope not. The level of rationality in any public policy discussion in this country is already on the level of the most vicious and hysterical agitprop, with both sides casting themselves as the saviors of civilization and on that basis justifying rhetoric that makes rattlesnakes seem thoughtful.

      Please don't argue for more polarization and more hyperbole in our national discourse.

      Delete
    3. Shorter CeciliaMc: either agree and/or compromise, or drop dead.

      Delete
    4. Compromise with whom? Have you made assumptions about my stand on this matter simply because I criticize the anti-intellectual and flat-out tyrannical rhetoric you just engaged in?

      Delete
  2. Just because these laws won't prevent all mass shootings or this specific mass shooting doesn't mean they can't be effective. What about the 32 people who die everyday from gun violence?

    It still takes time for a shooter to replace a clip; and seconds means bullets and if even a few deaths can be prevented, it should be worth it. If you can't buy an assault weapon, it just may deter some individuals from trying to get one illegally; doesn't mean a crime won't necessarily happen, but it could be less deadly.

    All of that said, it's laughable that folks like Warner and Manchin finally reached the position they took this week.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "For him, it wasn’t enough when someone shot up a college campus right there in his own state. That didn’t make him "realize that there are ways to get to rational gun control."

    It wasn’t enough when someone shot up a political meeting featuring one of his congressional colleagues. That didn’t make him realize either.

    It wasn’t enough when someone shot up a movie theater in Colorado. It wasn’t enough when people got killed in all these previous events.

    But now that someone has shot up a first grade classroom, Warner has finally had enough! Hiding behind his daughters (it’s humanizing), he says he has changed his stance on guns."

    Exactly what I was thinking when I read that. Thanks Bob. This is the case with so many politicians today. Warner is a coward. He couldn't deal with an issue until it became popular. That's true of all the clowns who flipped on gun control this past week. Cowards, every last one of them.

    ReplyDelete
  4. By the way, the phrase "And quite honestly" is one of those tells in lie-spotting. When someone says "TO be honest" or "Quite honestly", it indicates deception.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Fascinating bit of TDH work.

    Warner didn't actually say that he changed his mind because his daughters spoke to him. And he didn't actually say any previous shootings were OK.

    Who is "mis-paraphrasing" now? But I guess this rant made TDH feel good even if it's not accurate. TDH can emote with the best of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous @3:29:
      You are a blowhard.

      Horace Feathers

      Delete
  6. "Warner didn't actually say that he changed his mind because his daughters spoke to him."

    And Bob didn't say that he did. He said that Warner was "hiding behind his daughters", a phrase that is open to interpretation, but isn't the same as saying Warner flipped because of his daughters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And Bob said:
      'Was Warner speaking “quite honestly?” Sorry, we don’t believe that!

      Senator Warner is very bright. He didn’t change his view on guns because his daughters spoke to him Friday.'

      See, the thing is, Bob doesn't actually have any idea why Warner changed his view...but he writes as if he does. The things that Warner actually said are dismissed by TDH as "transparently garbage."

      Funny, because with other government officials there was a very different standard...

      Delete
    2. Reading comprehension fail, Anonymous. What Bob said about what Warner said was Bob's opinion. Your thinly veiled Susan Rice inference is wholly inapposite since the media utterly failed to quote Rice.

      See the difference? No, I don't think you did because you wrote a foolish statement that had nought to do with the subject at hand. Thanks for playing. Try again sometime

      Delete
    3. No, the media quoted Rice quite a lot. Bob didn't like that because there was never ever enough context. The media paraphrased Rice but that was never right either. Liberals and conservatives failed to see the perfection in her now admittedly inaccurate statements. Everyone accepts that there were no demonstrations in Benghazi, the only question is when Rice knew that fact.

      But now Bob is able to read minds and decide what politicians are really thinking...despite what they are actually saying. Isn't that the opposite of what Bob did back when this blog was good? He used to look at what someone like Gore actually said...but that was then and this is now.

      Delete
  7. The point is Warner DIDN'T change his views one whit, only his public pronouncements, and our "reporters" are fools for presenting it as anything but that.

    They are ass-kissers for praising Warner's blatant political posturing.

    If there is anyone out there that believes Warner was sincere, please keep it to yourself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who is keeping the list of sincere politicians? Could you post it? (probably isn't all that long, they don't stay elected)

      But the point is that Warner said what he said, not some other things that he didn't actually say.

      Delete
  8. Bob nailed it again with this one. I think so many times he simply states the obvious but it amazes me how many people just don't see what is obvious and continue to drink the kool aid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I share your amazement.

      Delete
  9. "Senator Warner is very bright. He didn’t change his view on guns because his daughters spoke to him Friday."

    When Maddow does this kind of thing, it's brushed aside as mind reading. When Somerby does this, it's the Daily Howler.

    Somerby corrected they way he would correct the same from Maddow: "Senator Warner SEEMS bright. But DID his view on guns REALLY change because of his daughters? We don't know. Ifill didn't ask."

    ReplyDelete