12.23.12

Best of Sunday Talk: NRA in the Crosshairs, Ben Affleck & More

On the Sunday talk shows, the gun group took heat for its post-Newtown posturing—including a particularly feisty conversation on ‘Meet the Press.’ Plus, Ben Affleck plays coy on his Senate ambitions and more.

Lieberman: NRA Comments ‘Really Disheartening’

On State of the Union, Sen. Joe Lieberman expressed severe displeasure with the NRA’s recent comments about guns and school violence, saying they “seem to not reflect any understanding of the slaughter of children.” Lieberman acknowledged the importance of discussing mental illness and other potential reasons for mass shootings, but he rebuked the NRA for being “willing to deal with every possible cause of gun violence except guns.”

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Guns on Airplanes Don’t Create ‘Armed Camp’

The leader of the NRA’s new School Shield program was in defense mode as he made the Sunday talk show rounds. On This Week, Asa Hutchinson, also a former congressman, compared NRA-proposed armed security in schools to armed security on planes, extolling the Federal Air Marshal Service which he “helped to oversee.” He then posed a rhetorical question that has become a rallying cry of the NRA. “Are our children less important to protect than our air transportation? I don’t think so.”

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Wayne LaPierre and David Gregory Get Heated

David Gregory, host of Meet the Press, did not want to let NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre off the hook. Gregory asked whether it’s “just possible” that reducing the size of legal ammunition might “reduce the carnage.” LaPierre wouldn’t concede the point, saying, “I don’t believe that’s going to make one difference.” The conversation turned contentious, with Gregory challenging the logic of LaPierre’s argument. The NRA chief then said that Columbine occurred while there was a federal assault weapons ban.

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Cory Booker Frustrated About ‘False Debate’ On Guns

“I don’t know if anybody here has seen somebody shot? I have,” said Newark mayor Cory Booker during This Week’s roundtable discussion. Booker stressed that America’s primary gun violence problem was the “secondary gun market,” where a “terrorist person who was on the no fly list” could easily buy firearms. Booker’s solution? Legislation that requires mandatory and better background checks.

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Affleck Plays Coy With Political Future

Sen. Ben Affleck? Bob Schieffer went fishing, but the actor wouldn’t bite. When the Face the Nation host brought up speculation of a Senate run for Affleck, the Argo star/director smiled and said, “I’m not one to get into conjecture”—without denying anything. Outspoken on issues ranging from the crisis in the Congo to the U.S.’s relationship with Iran, Affleck said he enjoyed “being involved from the outside” right now.

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‘Blame’ Is To Blame for Political Divide

“You spell blame ‘b-lame,’” said Pastor Rick Warren on Fox News Sunday. “Every time you blame you’re being lame.” In discussing the current political divide in America, Warren told Chris Wallace that our politicians need to focus on fixing problems instead of pointing fingers. “Leaders accept the blame and give away the credit,” Warren said. “I see a lot of politicians doing the exact opposite today.”

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How Should The Media Handle The Gun Debate?

On Reliable Sources, Howard Kurtz asked whether the media would be accused of liberal bias in their coverage of gun debate. Steve Roberts, former New York Times bureau chief in Los Angeles and Athens, said that the media’s power lies in “who we give our microphones to and whose voices we amplify.” Since the NRA has “dominated the debate,” said Roberts, the media should provide a platform for gun-control advocates. Still, he admitted the danger of “seeming to be leading the charge for gun control.”

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