Early last month, during an NBC Sports football telecast, legendary sportcaster Bob Costas reacted to the murder-suicide perpetrated by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher by delivering a brief yet incisive editorial warning of the dangers of the American gun culture. Naturally, the gun culture, and especially the psychotic gun fetishist Ted Nugent, lost its collective shpadoinkle and retaliated with furious anger until Costas retracted his remarks.
I don’t think he should have backpedaled, of course, but he’s in a tight spot in which his job is to appeal to the broadest audience possible and political statements, however true, tend to be greeted badly by the half that disagrees with the statements.
So if sports and politics aren’t supposed to cross their streams, why on Earth would NBC Sports sponsor the largest gun show in the world, and in the wake of not just the Jovan Belcher story, but obviously the Oregon mall shooting and the Sandy Hook massacre? By the way, you read it correctly: the biggest gun show in the world.
Perhaps it’s not-so-subtle pander to the gun culture following Costas’ editorial. But there’s no indication from NBC regarding any sort of outreach effort, so we can only take it face value — a totally self-serving marketing expenditure. NBC will do whatever it has to do in order to promote itself, even if it means appearing infuriatingly tone deaf in the process. Clearly.
And it’s difficult to imagine their timing being any worse, given everything that’s happened, with the gun control debate front-and-center in the national conversation.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s SHOT Show begins today in Las Vegas, and NBC Sports as of this writing is still on board as a sponsor (SHOT is an acronym for “shooting, hunting, outdoor trade”). It’s a show specifically arranged for “all professionals involved with the shooting sports, hunting and law enforcement industries.” It isn’t necessarily open to the general public, and the show’s website makes sure to note that no one under the age of 16 will be allowed on the floor. That’s reassuring.
Oh, and ironically enough, attendees aren’t allowed to bring their own firearms, so no concealed carrying. (Bring whatever you can conceal in your pants to schools and movie theaters, though.) But there’s nothing on the website that restricts selling firearms to attendees via the infamous gun-show-loophole: a gaping crack in the law that allows people to buy firearms at gun shows without the usual background checks and waiting periods. Walk in, buy a gun, walk out. This is what NBC Sports is helping to finance.
Bushmaster, the manufacturer of the AR15 machine gun used at Sandy Hook, will be there with two different exhibit booths. And, predictably, The NRA will be there with not one but three different booths.
It’s good to know that there’s direct linkage between the firearm industry, the NRA, Bushmaster, the company responsible for the Sandy Hook weapon, and NBC Sports. And yet Bob Costas was way, way off the rails with his 30-second commentary? Did NBC think this wouldn’t get out — that they’ve associated their money and brand with organizations that promote unfettered gun ownership and a trade show in which military-style assault rifles will be on display? They’ve in fact been sponsoring the SHOT Show for several years according to NBC Sports spokesman Greg Hughes.
Yep. Your liberal media at work. Let it be known that NBC isn’t about promoting liberalism or Democratic politics. NBC, like any corporation, is all about promoting NBC and they’ll line up with gun fetishists, gun lobbyists and Bushmaster, for God’s sake, to do it.