MEDIA OUTRAGED OVER PROBE OF MEET THE PRESS HOST
The brouhaha over host David Gregory’s display of a high-capacity ammunition magazine on last Sunday’s Meet the Press escalated on Wednesday after the tabloid website TMZ reported that the program did receive police permission to display it. According to TMZ, which cited well-placed law-enforcement sources, an MTP staffer phoned the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to inquire about the legality of showing the magazine. The bureau then contacted DC police who reportedly said that Gregory could show the magazine, provided that it was empty. An ATF official then relayed that word to the MTP staffer, TMZ said. D.C. police, however, maintain that it never granted such permission, and it is persuing an investigation of the matter, a position that has triggered outrage from many in the media. Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic tweeted facetiously, “Excellent use of DC police resources investigating Meet the Press for committing an act of journalism.” On TheDailyBeast.com, media writer Howard Kurtz commented, “A police probe over what I assume was an empty ammo clip is a total waste of time. … What all this demonstrates above all is that journalists are getting ensnared in the political war over gun control.” On her blog, Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren asked, “How much time and money is going to be spent (wasted) investigating him? Can you think of a sillier use of investigative resources?” The Wall Street Journal suggested that it was all “perfect” irony: “Mr. Gregory interrogates [National Rifle Association CEO Wayne] LaPierre on the subject of whether to ban a magazine that it is illegal for Mr. Gregory to display but apparently easy enough to acquire in time for a Sunday morning broadcast.” The Journal observed that as of this morning (Thursday) a petition calling for Gregory’s arrest has garnered some 10,000 signatures.