COMMENTS: Police Blotter

NBC's crime lead was the decision by a federal appeals court to strike down as unConstitutional Washington DC's 30-year-old requirement for permits for handguns and rifles. Pete Williams called it "the most important gun control ruling in 70 years" because it relied on the Second Amendment. The court bypassed the wording about a "well-regulated militia" in order to zero in on the right to "keep and bear arms." If upheld by the Supreme Court, Williams anticipated that strict firearms bans in New York City and Chicago would be repealed too.

Neither ABC nor CBS even mentioned NBC's lead story. Williams mentioned the FBI Patriot Act controversy as a footnote to his firearms package.

CBS' crime lead, too, was unique to that network. Neither ABC nor NBC found Bob Orr's coverage of extortion threats newsworthy. In a Monty Pythonesque plot, a self-styled Bishop is threatening brokerage houses. He has sent 15 letters demanding that they manipulate the stock market so that prices close at $6.66. The Bishop backed up those threats by sending a pair of unassembled pipebombs through the mail. The feds believe he is based in Chicago. Orr called the Bishop a "complex character…his demands seem nonsensical but he has proven he can build a real explosive that is very worrisome."


You must be logged in to this website to leave a comment. Please click here to log in so you can participate in the discussion.