ABC, CBS, and NBC’s Friday evening newscasts all spotlighted how “gun rights supporters, many of them openly armed” protested President Obama as he visited Roseburg, Oregon to comfort family members of the victims of the recent mass shooting there.
CBS’s John Blackstone played up how “the protesters gathered at the Roseburg airport carried both signs and guns – a potential nightmare for the Secret Service.” NBC Nightly News featured footage of a Confederate flag flying from pickup truck of one of the protesters – something ABC and CBS didn’t do.
Blackstone led his report on the President’s visit with his “potential nightmare for the Secret Service” line, and noted how protester Alan Montgomery “made no attempt to hide his holsters.” He asked Montgomery, “Is this part of your statement here – the fact that, as I see it, you’ve got a couple guns on you?” The gun rights supporter replied, “Well, it’s not necessarily a statement more than it is just my right.”
The correspondent later interviewed a second conservative demonstrator, who underlined that “our Second Amendment says no infringement. That means no infringement.” Blackstone then asked, “So, anybody can have a gun – somebody with mental problems – they can have a gun?” The CBS segment included footage of protesters bearing American flags and the yellow Gadsden flag with its “Don’t Tread On Me” slogan, but no Confederate flags.