Fellow journalists from the left, right, and middle are rushing to the defense of NBC's "Meet the Press" host David Gregory for what’s been dubbed by The Wall Street Journal's editorial board as an "entirely nonsensical" investigation into his on-air brandishing of an automatic gun magazine.
Gregory was interviewing the National Rifle Association's Wayne LaPierre on Sunday about the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., and to make a point he produced a high-capacity 30-round gun clip — an item apparently illegal to display on TV. Gregory is now under investigation by police.
"Investigating NBC’s David Gregory? Really? Can we be any sillier?" wrote Fox News' Greta Van Susteren in a blog post.
In an editorial on Thursday headlined "Free David Gregory," The Wall Street Journal
noted the absurdity of the situation, saying "It is illegal for Mr. Gregory to display [the clip] but apparently easy enough to acquire in time for a Sunday morning broadcast."
"It isn't clear that Mr. Gregory is guilty of anything other than perhaps overzealousness in pursuit of the conventional gun-control wisdom, which is not a crime unless we want to empty newsrooms and fill up jails from coast to coast," the editorial went on.
Van Susteren asked if it was "really worth the time to investigate him? How much time and money is going to be spent (wasted) investigating him? Can you think of a sillier use of investigative resources?"
It was announced shortly after the investigation began that Gregory would not host "Meet the Press" this weekend. Immediately, conspiracy theories started swirling over whether Gregory was on the lam.
But these were quashed quickly by CNN's Howard Kurtz, who noted that Gregory had planned a vacation for some time.
"Gregory had no intent to commit a crime," Kurtz also wrote. "He was committing journalism instead. Gun owners often say they want the government to leave them alone; why then are some clamoring for Gregory to be prosecuted?"
Politico rounded up the usual suspects:
"Excellent use of D.C. police resources, investigating 'Meet the Press' for committing an act of journalism," — the Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg.
"When guns are outlawed, only David Gregory will have guns" — Slate's Matt Yglesias.
"David Gregory ammo nonstory may be even more of a nonstory" — Jeff Jarvis.
"If only David Gregory hadn't watched so many Hollywood movies where news anchors confronted guests with facts and evidence . . ." — Ana Marie Cox.
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