All three networks on Tuesday and Wednesday ignored a blockbuster Second Amendment ruling to come out of the usually liberal Ninth Circuit. The pro-gun rights decision found that Americans DO have a constitutional right to openly carry outside of the home.
Despite a combined eight hours of air time on Wednesday, ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today avoided the big win for gun rights advocates. (So did Tuesday’s evening newscasts.) Fox News, unlike the networks, did cover the story. Fox and Friends host Brian Kilmeade alerted: “The Ninth Circuit court is backing the Second Amendment. The ruling comes after a Hawaiian man’s attempt to openly carry a handgun was shot down twice in 2011. A lower court argued the Constitution only carries to open carry inside your home.”
Generally speaking, the networks downplay Second Amendment victories. The day after the historic June 26, 2008 Supreme Court ruling finding an individual right to the Second Amendment, the networks could only bother with a combined 3 minutes and 33 seconds.
So it may not be surprising to some that ABC, CBS and NBC ignored an appeals court ruling on guns. However, the same networks covered Donald Trump’s travel ban every step of the way, including through the appeals courts.
Instead of discussing a big case that could potentially go to the Supreme Court, the networks devoted air time to frivolous topics. GMA allotted 3 minutes and 35 seconds to “how to beat the heat with cool clothes.” Today spent 4 minutes and 39 seconds to “interviewing” a pregnant giraffe, lauding the “internet star.”
CBS This Morning focused on Ivanka Trump’s fashion line shutting down, offering 2 minutes and 28 seconds. So it’s not as though there wasn’t time for an important story like a big win for gun rights.
The Washington Times explained the decision this way:
Americans have a constitutional right to openly carry firearms, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday, delivering a major victory to gun rights supporters.
While courts previously have recognized the right to own firearms to protect the home, the decision by the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit extends that into the public sphere, calling it a “core Second Amendment right.”
Ruling in the majority was Ronald Reagan appointee Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain and Gorge W. Bush appointee Sandra S. Ikuta. George W. Bush appointee Richard R. Clifton dissented. The case may end up in the Supreme Court after the notoriously liberal full Ninth Circuit hears it.
Given that journalists repeatedly make ugly attacks on the Second Amendment, it’s not surprising they would flinch at covering a big win for gun owners.