News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch's call for politicians to find the "courage" to ban automatic weapons in the aftermath of the tragic mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school is sharply at odds with the extreme rhetoric often heard on Fox News. Indeed, Fox voices routinely demonize any calls to strengthen gun laws.
Rupert Murdoch Calls On Lawmakers To Ban Automatic Weapons
Rupert Murdoch: "When Will Politicians Find Courage To Ban Automatic Weapons?" Following a mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch wrote on his Twitter feed: "Terrible news today. When will politicians find courage to ban automatic weapons? As in Oz after similar tragedy":
Politico: "How Will Rupert Murdoch's Fox News Handle Gun Control?" In his media column, Politico's Dylan Byers reported Murdoch's comments and noted that "Murdoch's stance is a stark contrast to the position most often advocated on Fox News, which Murdoch owns." Byers wrote:
In response to Friday's news, Gov. Mike Huckabee -- a host and frequent guest -- told Fox News viewers " laws don't change this kind of thing," and instead blamed the removal of "God from our schools." Conservative pundit Ann Coulter, another frequent guest, used Twitter and the popular radio show hosted by Sean Hannity, a Fox News host, to advocate concealed-carry laws: "more guns, less mass shootings," she wrote.
Fox News guests and hosts even oppose a discussion of gun control in the wake of a shooting, on the grounds that such tragedies should not be politicized. [Politico, 12/15/12]
Murdoch's Comments Are A Marked Contrast To Fox News' Extreme Pro-Gun Rhetoric
Greg Gutfeld: "What's A 17-Year-Old Who's Killed By A Gun? ... That's Called Gang Violence." Discussing the murder-suicide of NFL football player Jovan Belcher, Fox News' The Five co-host Greg Gutfeld dismissed the number of children killed by gun violence as "17-year-olds in gangs." Gutfeld stated: "What's a 17-year-old who's killed by a gun? What do you call that? ... That's called gang violence." [Fox News, The Five, 12/4/12]
Sean Hannity Refused To Disavow Ted Nugent's Violent Gun-Related Remarks. After airing a video clip of Ted Nugent holding up what appeared to be two assault rifles and saying that then-Sen. Barack Obama should "suck on my machine gun," and that then-Sen. Hillary Clinton "might want to ride one of these into the sunset," Fox News host Sean Hannity refused to disavow those comments, saying: "No, I like Ted Nugent. He's a friend of mine." [Fox News, Hannity & Colmes, 9/27/07, via Media Matters]
Keith Ablow: "I Say Check The Ammunition, Make Sure It's Live, Because These Are Dark Days, Potentially." Fox News contributor and psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow responded to a viewer who emailed that they had amassed "years of food, fuel, generators, outdoor survival gear and an enormous cache of defensive ordinance in case disaster strikes," by calling such doomsday preparation "way normal." He added: "It may be that the rest of us who aren't amassing survival gear are the crazy ones. I say check the ammunition, make sure it's live, because these are dark days, potentially." [Fox News, Fox & Friends First, 10/3/12]
Andrew Napolitano: "If The Feds Had Not Stripped Us" Of Gun Rights, "9-11 Would Never Have Happened." After arguing that the government cannot keep us safe, Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano claimed that airlines are safer today because of "individuals in the private sector" and not the government. He concluded: "I've said it before, I'll say it again: If the feds had not stripped us of our natural rights to keep ourselves safe by keeping and bearing arms, 9-11 would never have happened." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 1/8/10]
Greg Gutfeld: "When You're Not Arming People, You're Actually Creating A Health Hazard. A Gun Is A Vitamin Of Safety." During a discussion of gun-related violence following Jovan Belcher's murder-suicide, Gutfeld suggested right-to-carry laws decrease violent crime, though studies have shown no such correlation. Gutfeld then claimed: "Basically, when you're not arming people, you're actually creating a health hazard. A gun is a vitamin of safety." [Fox News, The Five, 12/5/12, via Media Matters]
Brian Kilmeade: "Grab Your Gun And Get A Drink And Go Drink In Virginia." Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade touted a Virginia law that allows people to carry concealed weapons into bars, claiming that the number of crimes involving guns in the state's drinking establishments had dropped from 5 to 2 percent. He then told viewers: "Grab your gun and get a drink and go drink in Virginia. In fact, that's exactly where I'm going." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/15/11]