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David Gregory will not be hosting “Meet the Press” this week because he is on vacation, reports Politico. His absence was planned before D.C. police started investigating the Sunday morning show and its host for displaying on-air what they described as a 30-round gun magazine. Police told ABC News that the network had requested permission to use “a high capacity magazine for their segment” and that “their request was denied.”
The New York Times, Politico and TMZ cite unnamed federal law enforcement officials who say “Meet the Press” also contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which may have mistakenly said using the magazine was legal.
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier told Breitbart.com, “We are investigating the incident to determine if the magazine was in fact real.” While this display may create legal problems for the network, it may also create journalistic problems, points out The Washington Post. “If it wasn’t in fact authentic,” writes Erik Wemple, “Gregory didn’t issue a disclosure to that effect on the air. Viewers were introduced to the magazine as if it could be deployed at that very moment.” The display occurred during Gregory’s interview last Sunday with National Rifle Association Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre.
Cornell University law professor William Jacobson says the email from DC police confirming the investigation “first appeared on the AR15 gun forum, and then at The Patriot Perspective blog which first broke the Gregory story.”
Nearly 10,000 people have signed a petition on the White House website to press charges against Gregory.