This Sunday we had Chris Wallace actually calling out wingnut and chickenhawk draft dodger Ted Nugent for some of his hackery on Fox News Sunday. CNN apparently felt the need to lower the bar with this “reporting,” and I use that term lightly from their correspondent Deborah Feyerick and host Erin Burnett, who highlighted her interview with Nugent this past Friday and then followed on her show Monday night.
I guess these two decided their network needed some “fair and balanced” reporting to counter that of one of the fellow hosts on there, Piers Morgan, who had Nugent on Monday evening as well and wasn’t quite as polite to him as Feyerick was in her fawning interview to put it mildly.
I’m no fan of Morgan and wonder if his part in the phone hacking at his former job might ever catch up to him, but some of his interviews on gun control have been at least informative and interesting if not at times horrifying, like the one with Alex Jones, which was like a bad car wreck you just can’t stop watching
We’ve got our own long list on Nugent and the crap that’s come out of his mouth at C&L as well. Why anyone at CNN felt the need to prop this guy up as part of the debate over gun control in the United States is beyond me. CNN looks like they’re doing their best to play both sides of the ratings game on this issue. I’m not sure who they think they’re going to appeal to in the long run by doing this.
BURNETT: Our fifth story OUTFRONT: shooting guns with Ted Nugent.
Our Deb Feyerick was invited in the rocker’s ranch in Waco, Texas, to talk hunting, self-defense, and the Second Amendment.
NUGENT: Fire in the hole.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For Ted Nugent, gun control is putting the second bullet in the same hole as the first.
NUGENT: Two down.
FEYERICK (on camera): A lot of people look at the tragedy at Sandy Hook and they say, something’s got to be done.
NUGENT: Agreed, something has to be done.
FEYERICK: And they point to weapons that were used as the cause.
NUGENT: No. It’s not the weapons. The weapons have nothing to do with it. These — again, these weapons are in every pickup truck in Texas.
FEYERICK (voice-over): The same platinum selling rocker is passionate about his music, his family, and his firearms. Nugent is fiercely protective of the rights of law-abiding gun owners and he’s invited us to his 300-acre ranch in Waco, Texas, to explain why.
NUGENT: I’ll give you some real eye candy in a second here.
FEYERICK: We see Oryx, wild turkey and black buck antelope, all fair game during hunting season.
Like tens of millions of Americans, Nugent grew up hunting with his dad and brothers. Guns are a family tradition he has avidly passed on to his wife and kids.
(on camera): If somebody close to you were killed by a gunman, would your views on guns change?
NUGENT: Absolutely not. No, I would never turn against this wonderful tool that brings me self defense capabilities and brings me great joy in competition and marksmanship training.
Now, Deb, you climb up this platform.
FEYERICK (voice-over): I’m trying to understand the nature of the hunt.
NUGENT: When I get up here, Deb — I’m not kidding you, I do 79 concerts, and I get up here, strap myself in, I take a deep breath and I sit here for six hours.
FEYERICK (on camera): So it’s meditative to you?
NUGENT: Absolute meditation.
FEYERICK: Have you ever tried yoga?
NUGENT: I think this is a supreme yoga.
All right. Fire in the hall.
FEYERICK (voice-over): Nugent’s passion for guns and unyielding belief in the Second Amendment right to bear arms has transformed Nugent into the sometimes fanatical face of the National Rifle Association.
NUGENT: Boy, you are a city girl.
FEYERICK (on camera): I’m such a city girl.
NUGENT: Stand kind of like you’re golfing. Just squeeze that trigger.
(voice-over): As he teaches me gun safety, Nugent repeatedly emphasizes that gun violence is caused by criminals, mentally ill and a justice system that paroles felon too soon. He believes limiting guns and ammunition will not stop tragedies like the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary.
(on camera): The argument that was made is that he was allowed to kill as many people as he did because it had multiple bullets and he was able to just keep firing.
NUGENT: Yes, the rate of fire in these mass shootings, it’s not a matter of bullets or fire power. A quail gun in the wrong hands is as deadly as this gun. People have got to come to that reality.
FEYERICK (voice-over): The ability to defend his family is something he takes very, very seriously.
NUGENT: When I’m being assaulted at my home, I and I alone, by any consideration whatsoever, will determine how many bullets I need to protect my family. FEYERICK: Nugent has been a sheriff’s deputy for 30 years and carries a concealed Glock at all times.
(on camera): So I want you and I to solve this problem of gun violence.
NUGENT: There is no gun violence. There is criminal violence and they use an assortment of tools.
FEYERICK: Let’s talk about background checks.
NUGENT: I like background checks.
FEYERICK (voice-over): Yes, but not at gun shows or with private sales.
(on camera): A lot of people in law enforcement have to take a psychological exam before they’re allowed to carry. So, why not ordinary citizens?
NUGENT: I wrote “Wango Tango” and I carry a gun.
FEYERICK (voice-over): Nugent sticks to his guns literally. For him, the Second Amendment is nonnegotiable.
NUGENT: America, my name is Ted Nugent, and these are all legal guns and I’m going to see that they remain legal because they’re all good.
BURNETT: They’re all good. It was just amazing to see.
At the end there when you showed the guns, some with the pink camouflage, you said his wife is also into shooting, how many guns does he have?
FEYERICK: He’s got over 200 guns. And he’s got Israeli Uzis, he’s got guns that are made in Romania, in Serbia. A lot of the Armalite, the AR series. AR doesn’t stand for assault rifle. It stands for Armalite. He wants people to know the terms so that we can talk about these terms —
BURNETT: It can be AR-15s, so we talk about that Bushmaster that was used in Newtown.
FEYERICK: Right. Yes, he’s one of those, too. He’s got everything. He really has a big stockpile of guns. But to him, he collects them the way you and I might collect watches or collect cars, for example.
BURNETT: Wow, OK.
So, President Obama has said he doesn’t have any intention of confiscating guns. That is not his goal. He’s not trying to attack the Second Amendment. Nugent, though, doesn’t believe him.
FEYERICK: He doesn’t believe him at all because the way he sees it, he says, look, the majority of guns, 310 million guns are in the hands of law-abiding citizens. The minority are in the hands of criminal criminals. They’re the ones who are committing the crimes.
That’s why he says, why is the government coming after us saying we’re going to ban the guns when we’re not the ones who are doing anything? So, he focuses on criminality, on people who have mental illness, on making sure people stay in prisons long enough. But he says it’s not the gun.
And that’s really the point that the NRA is trying to convey as part of this debate that’s going on in the country right now.
BURNETT: So what were they to do if there were a gun ban, just ignore it?
FEYERICK: Well, in many cases, yes, because how do enforce a gun ban? What do you do? If you take all the guns away tomorrow, people are out there who will find and get their hands on guns.
BURNETT: There are hundreds of millions of guns out there.
FEYERICK: Absolutely. Do you give them — do you hand in your guns? That’s the slippery slope that he sees, once you start in that direction, you’re going to be giving up these things or law enforcement is going to be coming and trying to register them.
Or there’s a whole series of reasons why they simply do not trust any sort of gun restriction in that way.
BURNETT: All right. Deb Feyerick, thank you very much.
And still to come, Vanilla Ice. A camel and I have something in common. I’ll tell you what it is, next.