Although the the D.C. attorney general obviously believes NBC knowingly smuggled contraband into his city and then got cutesy about how they weren’t exactly sure if it was illegal or not, to no one’s surprise, David Gregory (a rich, white guy) and the Peacock Network (a large, multi-national corporation) have been given a complete pass:
NBC’s David Gregory is off the hook for showing a high-capacity gun magazine on “Meet the Press” and will not be prosecuted, D.C.’s attorney general announced on Friday.
D.C. attorney general Irvin Nathan on Friday said he would decline to prosecute in the case involving the Sunday show host and any NBC staffers. In a letter to NBC’s attorney Lee Levine, Nathan wrote that after reviewing the matter, his office “has determined to exercise its prosecutorial discretion to decline to bring criminal charges against Mr. Gregory, who has no criminal record, or any other NBC employee based on the events associated” with the broadcast.
The office made its decision “despite the clarity of the violation of this important law, because under all of the circumstances here a prosecution would not promote public safety in the District of Columbia nor serve the best interests of the people of the District to whom this office owes its trust.”
Nathan noted that his office’s decision in this case was also influenced by “our recognition that the intent of the temporary possession and short display of the magazine was to promote the First Amendment purpose of informing an ongoing public debate about firearms policy in the United States.”
Still, Nathan noted that other, legal means should have been used to demonstrate Gregory’s point.
Good to know the DC attorney general is working hard to, you know, create loopholes called “good intentions” for “some” who smuggle illegal contraband into his city.
What’s important to note again, though, is that the attorney general made this decision even though his office believes NBC News knowingly broke the law and then put on some sort of act claiming they didn’t know:
We therefore did not rely in making our judgment [not to prosecute] on the feeble and unsatisfactory efforts that NBC made to determine whether or not it was lawful to possess, display, and broadcast this large capacity magazine as a means of fostering public policy debate. Although there appears to have been some misinformation provided initially, NBC was clearly and timely advised by an MPD employee that its plan to exhibit on the broadcast a high capacity magazine would violate D.C. law, and there was no contrary advice from any federal official. While you argue some NBC employees subjectively felt uncertain as to whether its planned actions were lawful or not, we do not believe such uncertainty was justified and we note that NBC has now acknowledged that its interpretation of the information it received was incorrect.
NBC should be made aware that OAG’s decision not to press charges in this matter was a very close decision and not one to which it came lightly or easily.
Now we should all try (not really) smuggling what the media calls an “instrument of death” into DC, and then after we’re caught, let’s get cute with the DA about how we didn’t know it was illegal, and then see if all we get in return is what’s known as a “strongly worded letter.”
Remember when the media opposed rich, elite, white guys getting away with flagrant violations of the law as impoverished minorities languished in prison over unpaid parking tickets and bounced checks?
Good times. Good times.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC