December 3, 2012

Fire Costas? Really? (Jennifer Graylock/AP)

In a just-concluded segment with Megyn Kelly on Fox News, radio commentator Lars Larson declared that NBC’s Bob Costas should be fired for his comments during halftime of last night’s broadcast of “Sunday Night Football.” As discussed Internet-wide today, Costas used that perch to opine on gun laws in the aftermath of the horrifying murder-suicide tragedy revolving around Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher.

Here’s how Larson framed his argument: “Bob Costas, based on the standards of our society and our profession, deserves to be fired for these remarks.” The true offense of the Costas on-air editorial, said Larson, was that he was essentially advocating the denial of civil rights to Americans. That is, Larson asked, what would have happened to Costas if he’d advocated stripping the rights of African Americans to vote?

So there’s the equivalency that Larson is advancing: The rights of people to own a gun versus the rights of a minority group to vote. Allow this columnist to slip way out on a civic limb here and say that debate over legitimate restraints on gun ownership is a fine thing and a debate over stripping the voting rights of African Americans is not.

Kirsten Powers, who was debating Larson in the segment, couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “There are so many things wrong with what was just said,” she said.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.