On Sunday’s “This Week” George Stephanopoulos hosted a contentious roundtable including Jim Messina from the Obama Campaign White House, Fox News contributor Karl Rove and ABC News’ Terry Moran. Rove was the closest thing to a conservative on the panel and he did a passable job of articulating some of the opposition to the universal background check for gun purchases being considered by the Senate this week:
“Let — let’s be clear about this, this was prompted by the Sandy Hook murders. Those guns were legally purchased with a background check. This would not have solved something like that. Let’s be very careful about quickly trampling on the rights of people who — and look, you want to get something done? Then stop scaring people. Don’t say we’re going to keep a registry of all of these guns, and…”
Moran, ABC News’ objective reporter and news host on the panel, interrupted Rove, ignored the irrefutable fact that the 2nd amendment infringing measure being considered was rammed through as a result of the the Newton shooting and would have absolutely zero affect on stopping another school shooting in the future, and instead painted any resistance to gun control measures as paranoid fear-mongering:
“You’re scaring people with this Orwellian sense that black helicopters and the government, if we register guns, they’re going to confiscate Americans guns. That kind of paranoia fuels…”
In one fell swoop Moran injected himself into the argument from a highly partisan and provocative posture that abandons all pretense of objectivity. If his presence on the panel was to provide facts and reportage on the politics of the gun control debate, he probably shouldn’t have stated as fact a highly controversial accusation that was made by the increasingly erratic Vice President Joe Biden earlier this week:
“When you go to registration, it raises all the black-helicopter-crowd notion that what this is all about is identifying who has a gun so that one day the government can get up and go to the house and arrest everyone who has a gun, and they’ll cite Nazi Germany and all that.”
What exactly is at play here? Now that Moran has single-handedly destroyed the Nightline franchise that was once the crown jewel of ABC News’ line up is he now intent on killing what’s left of David Brinkley’s Sunday morning creation? Or is ABC News contemplating a new, MSABC venture with Moran filling the role of Ed Schultz or Al Sharpton?
Either way, ABC News has lost Jake Tapper and replaced him with invisible man Jonathan Karl whose last tough question for Jay Carney may have been to ask why he wasn’t invited to the weekly slumber party with Chuck Todd. Now they stack their Sunday panel slanted in such a way that sometimes Donna Brazile looks like the moderate.
Terry Moran performed admirably, as a political operative. But as a reporter or analyst, he revealed the fatal flaw in the “This Week” model: It’s an echo chamber of progressive talking points and any idea that challenges Obamadoxy gets pounded down in the most mean-spirited way possible, this time, with a direct assist from the White House.
Ben Sherwood, are you watching this?