In a recent op-ed piece for Politico, Scarborough wrote of the lobbyists who would visit his office when he was a U.S. House member for Florida’s First District. Lobbyists all claimed to “only want a level playing field,” but then proceeded to ask for special favors and treatment.
“So don’t be surprised that NRA lobbyists, Hollywood producers and violent videogame makers are contributing nothing of worth to the debate over how to best protect school children from the next Newtown massacre,” Scarborough wrote. “Like most lobbyists, they are only interested in protecting their bottom line.”
On his “Morning Joe” broadcast, Scarborough has been tough on the NRA. What’s notable now is that he’s applying the same standard to Hollywood and other producers of violent content consumed by our young people.
“I have used this space to discuss how the NRA should temper its extreme forces to contribute positively to this debate in the coming months,” he noted. “I have also discussed the need for Hollywood producers and videogame makers to be more responsible in their jobs instead of continuing to churn out killing ‘games’ that contribute to a violent culture and inspires mass murderers. Unfortunately, those who defend violent movies and videogame makers are liberals who, after offering the caveat that they don’t allow their children to watch such trash, take the extreme position that there is nothing we can do to stop other children from being besieged by countless images of random slaughter.”
“Channeling Wayne LaPierre, these liberals then ominously warn of going down a slippery slope that would lay waste to the entire First Amendment,” he wrote. “It is as ignorant an argument as the one pushed by survivalists, who claim their right to assault weapons are protected by the Second Amendment… Unfortunately for Hollywood liberals out to make a quick million, the First Amendment is no more absolute than the Second. Too many liberals choose to ignorantly cling to an absolutist view on the First Amendment that keep them in solidarity with their political contributors in Hollywood. Never mind that such an extreme view of the First Amendment is undermined by 200 years of Supreme Court precedent.”
Scarborough’s view of the Second Amendment may be too narrow — he clearly doesn’t know firearms (Congress can’t decide what an “assault rifle” is), and who are these “survivalists”? The AR-15 is, according to the New York Times, the nation’s best-selling rifle, “favored by target shooters in competitions and by hunters.”
But his indictment of Hollywood is on target. As emotions subside, a more rational discourse can and should take place. And it must include Hollywood.
As Scarborough says, Democrats must pressure “Hollywood’s entertainment industry, to avoid becoming the liberal version of gun lobbyists.”