The National Rifle Association’s news program for “the Second Amendment and other freedom-related issues” barely mentioned GOP nominee Donald Trump’s claim that “Second Amendment people” could do something about Hillary Clinton’s judicial nominations.
The August 10 broadcast of Cam & Company offered no substantive discussion of Trump’s comment, only turning to the remark near the end of the broadcast to immediately dismiss it as a “manufactured controversy” and then using it to pivot to attack Clinton.
During a August 9 rally in North Carolina, Trump said, “Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is.”
The comment was widely interpreted -- including by members of conservative media -- as a reference to a violent overthrow of a potential Clinton administration or as a threat of violence against Clinton or her judicial nominees.
In the face of these condemnations, the NRA -- which largely invented, and often promotes, the idea that the Second Amendment’s purpose is to allow the violent overthrow of a “tyrannical” government -- defended Trump by twisting what he had said to make it seem less extreme. (The NRA endorsed Trump in May during the group’s annual meeting.)
The next day, August 10, Trump’s “Second Amendment people” comment continued to dominate the news cycle, making it one of the most widely discussed Second Amendment stories in 2016.
The most notable news show devoted to Second Amendment issues, the NRA’s Cam & Company, failed to offer significant coverage or discussion of Trump's “Second Amendment people” claim.
Cam & Company addressed the firestorm surrounding Trump only toward the end of its three-hour Wednesday broadcast. Returning from commercial break, host Cam Edwards said, “Your first source for Second Amendment news and information, it is NRA News Cam & Company.”
After introducing his guest Stephen Kruiser of PJ Media, Edwards said, “So listen, I got to tell you, I have not spent a lot of time talking about the manufactured controversy du jour today,” and then, adopting a mock-incredulous tone, he continued, “But did you hear what Donald Trump said yesterday? What does it mean?”
Edwards never shared what Trump actually said, quickly pivoting to attacking the media for allegedly devoting insufficient coverage to supposed controversies surrounding the Clinton campaign before turning to general complaints about media coverage of the 2016 election. Then Edwards changed the subject, joking with Kruiser at length about a news report concerning the escape of a service monkey.
Cam & Company could have taken the time to discuss the Trump's “Second Amendment people” comment if Edwards had wanted to: The August 10 broadcast also devoted nearly seven minutes to criticizing the new Ghostbusters reboot.