Projection Much? CNN Frets GOP Double Standard on Shootings Vs Muslim Terrorism

On Thursday’s New Day, CNN hosts and commentators devoted a substantial portion of the show to fretting over President Donald Trump and Republicans having a double standard in not wanting to pass new gun laws after shootings, but being eager to pass new immigration restrictions after terrorism by Muslim radicals who trace back to other countries.

CNN political analyst and former NBC host David Gregory in particular repeatedly hit on the issue of double standard as he bemoaned that Republicans are willing to take “extreme action” in response to Muslim terrorism, but not against the constitutional “rights of our citizens” after shootings.

And for his part, Cuomo spent much of the show, in his words, “devil’s-advocating,” by debating from a conservative point of view but at times comporting himself like a conservative caricature, as in when he implicated the supposedly “brown” skin of terrorist Sayfullo Saipov in Trump railing against him so forcefully.

There were no actual conservative commentators involved in any of the panel discussions.

At about 6:29 a.m. ET, Gregory jumped into the discussion to make his first of several complaints of a double standard in how Republicans deal with mass attacks:

It’s also interesting that when you talk about the issue of guns versus terrorism, those who support gun rights say, “Don’t make these kinds of changes — don’t be rash about this because they don’t work — these steps won’t work and we can show that.” When it comes to tightening immigration, they ignore arguments about whether it will work or not. They say, “We have to tighten controls, whether it’s relevant or not, whether it works or not, let’s do anything we can to cut if off.”

Cuomo then jumped in to laud his fellow liberal commentator’s analysis:

Strong point, one of them. It’s all emotional, right? “Lock down the borders, we have no borders.” Of course none of that’s true, but it feels good. It feels as if you do it, it emotionally seems like it will be satisfying. And David’s right. Boy, I never even thought of it that way. They never make the same type of logical extension when it comes to gun control. Very interesting politics playing out there, gentlemen. Thank you.

But, if Saipov was not an immigrant with a high level of skill when he entered the country, a different immigration policy over the past 20 years would have barred him unless he were determined enough to travel to Mexico and sneak in from there. And limiting immigration from Uzbekistan might prevent some such future terrorists from entering the country from now forward. So Gregory’s claim that changing immigration law, like changing gun laws, would have no impact is questionable.

None of the liberal journalists acknowledged any self-awareness that they are, in fact, trying to undermine an immigration policy response to a terrorist attack because they disagree with it from the left, but they push for a debate over new gun laws in the aftermath of every high-profile mass shooting.

In another discussion from the next hour, liberal CNN commentator and Daily Beast editor in chief John Avlon fretted over the “demonization” of the New York City truck terrorist by Trump. At 7:11 a.m. ET, after substitute co-host Poppy Harlow read a tweet from Trump attacking Saipov, Avlon responded:

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After 9/11, there was pearl clutching in some quarters when George W. Bush said we wanted Osama bin Laden “dead or alive.” People said that was cowboy. That was not calling someone an animal. Despite the fact they are evil, that wasn’t that kind of demonization, saying we needed to rush an execution, saying that the process of due process in this country, the justice system is a laughing stock, is too slow.

He added:

His is the language of folks in other countries that have authoritarian impulses. And that’s what’s coming out in Twitter. It is against our best traditions and another best tradition. After 9/11, George W. Bush called the Senators from New York, governor and mayor to the White House, national unity. This is Donald Trump’s home town where this occurred. And it took him a full day to reach out to our elected leaders. That also is a massive disconnect.

Cuomo jumped in to lament: “And his first impulse wasn’t to comfort the victims and to speak to people directly. He played politics right out of the box.”

Minutes later, Gregory made his second complaint about a double standard by Republicans in that they wished to protect the constitutional rights of citizens generally after the Las Vegas shooting massacre:

I’ll go back to amplifying on this gun control debate, which is, look at the Las Vegas rampage. The immediate response of our elected officials — particularly Republicans — is “We have to protect the rights of our citizens, those constitutional guarantees.” When it comes to immigrants who perpetrate these crimes who are here legally, we throw all of that out and say, “Let’s do whatever we can — whether it works or not — in order to prevent something like this from happening again.” When it comes to gun control, nobody wants to do that because they say, “Oh, it doesn’t work, and you shouldn’t do something that doesn’t work.”

A few minutes later, after Avlon had further argued against how Trump has handled the aftermath of the New York truck attack, Cuomo suggested racism on the part of the President as he made what he described as an argument of “devil’s-advocating.” Cuomo:

I hear you, but here’s a fact also, guys. And I get it. And, yes, I’m devil’s-advocating here, but we need to because it’s what’s going on all around us in our society. Here’s his fact: “I’ve got a brown” (makes air quotes with hands) — because he really isn’t — “but I’ve got a brown guy with a beard who’s a Muslim who said he wanted to kill us and he’s proud of it,” Phil Mudd, and that’s the only fact I need if I want to advance President Trump’s position to “treat this guy like what he is. He’s a savage.” That’s his position. How do you deal with that?

In another discussion in the third hour, Gregory for the third time complained about a Republican double standard and suggested that terrorism is not as big a problem domestically as it is made out to be:

It’s sad to look at the distinction when we have these actors who commit mass shootings who are Americans — we seem to have some limits on what we’re really willing to do as a country and what our political system is willing to do to try to get to answers and to try to really prevent them from happening again. Here there’s such a focus — and that’s been true since 9/11 on taking extreme action on the part of the government from war to immigration controls to torture to try to crack down on terrorists even though their impact is comparatively smaller outside of 9/11.

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Thursday, November 2, New Day on CNN:

6:29 a.m. ET

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It’s also interesting that when you talk about the issue of guns versus terrorism, those who support gun rights say, “Don’t make these kinds of changes — don’t be rash about this because they don’t work — these steps won’t work and we can show that.” When it comes to tightening immigration, they ignore arguments about whether it will work or not. They say, “We have to tighten controls, whether it’s relevant or not, whether it works or not, let’s do anything we can to cut if off.”

CHRIS CUOMO: Strong point, one of them. It’s all emotional, right? “Lock down the borders, we have no borders.” Of course none of that’s true, but it feels good. It feels as if you do it, it emotionally seems like it will be satisfying. And David’s right. Boy, I never even thought of it that way. They never make the same type of logical extension when it comes to gun control. Very interesting politics playing out there, gentlemen. Thank you.

(…)

7:11 a.m. ET

(Co-host Poppy Harlow reads from Trump tweet calling for death penalty for NYC truck terrorist)

POPPY HARLOW: That — all legal experts say — just makes this harder for prosecutors.

JOHN AVLON: Yeah, and it’s also outside the American tradition. Let’s have a reality check — let’s do some perspective on this. After 9/11, there was pearl clutching in some quarters when George W. Bush said we wanted Osama bin Laden “dead or alive.” People said that was cowboy. That was not calling someone an animal. Despite the fact they are evil, that wasn’t that kind of demonization, saying we needed to rush an execution, saying that the process of due process in this country, the justice system is a laughing stock, is too slow.

His is the language of folks in other countries that have authoritarian impulses. And that’s what’s coming out in Twitter. It is against our best traditions and another best tradition. After 9/11, George W. Bush called the Senators from New York, governor and mayor to the White House, national unity. This is Donald Trump’s home town where this occurred. And it took him a full day to reach out to our elected leaders. That also is a massive disconnect.

CHRIS CUOMO: And his first impulse wasn’t to comfort the victims and to speak to people directly. He played politics right out of the box.

(…)

7:14 a.m. ET

GREGORY: The other thing is — I’ll go back to amplifying on this gun control debate, which is, look at the Las Vegas rampage. The immediate response of our elected officials — particularly Republicans — is “We have to protect the rights of our citizens, those constitutional guarantees.” When it comes to immigrants who perpetrate these crimes who are here legally, we throw all of that out and say, “Let’s do whatever we can — whether it works or not — in order to prevent something like this from happening again.” When it comes to gun control, nobody wants to do that because they say, “Oh, it doesn’t work, and you shouldn’t do something that doesn’t work.”

(…)

7:17 a.m. ET

AVLON: We have a system in this country rooted in law, rooted in history, rooted in tradition, and he (Trump)  may play to the base with devastating effectiveness, but it’s our job as citizens as well as journalists to point out that facts matter.

CUOMO: I hear you, but here’s a fact also, guys. And I get it. And, yes, I’m devil’s-advocating here —

AVLON: Yes, you are, Mr. Cuomo.

CUOMO: — but we need to because it’s what’s going on all around us in our society. Here’s his fact: “I’ve got a brown” (makes air quotes with hands) — because he really isn’t — “but I’ve got a brown guy with a beard who’s a Muslim who said he wanted to kill us and he’s proud of it,” Phil Mudd, and that’s the only fact I need if I want to advance President Trump’s position to “treat this guy like what he is. He’s a savage.” That’s his position. How do you deal with that?

(…)

8:12 a.m. ET

GREGORY: It’s sad to look at the distinction when we have these actors who commit mass shootings who are Americans — we seem to have some limits on what we’re really willing to do as a country and what our political system is willing to do to try to get to answers and to try to really prevent them from happening again. Here there’s such a focus — and that’s been true since 9/11 on taking extreme action on the part of the government from war to immigration controls to torture to try to crack down on terrorists even though their impact is comparatively smaller outside of 9/11.

I think the real focus now for the administration, for Congress is to look at the phenomenon here. Someone who comes here legally who gets radicalized when in the United States. That is still incredibly rare because America is a great country and people love to live here and the life is good. It’s hard to become a fanatic here, and that’s because of who we are as a country, and that’s something we have to bear in mind. But trying to do a better job monitoring someone who could be acting alone — motivated not by a state but by an ideology — that’s where the focus ought to be. And unfortunately the President really just kind of thinks out loud. And when you’re President, you should be much more reasoned.

This post originally appeared on NewsBusters

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