Warner Todd Huston at Breitbart, Katie Glueck at the Politico, and William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection all reported today that NBC’s David Gregory is under investigation by the Washington, DC Metro Police in connection with his apparent brandishing of “a 30-round magazine purportedly for an AR-15 or similar ‘assault rifle’” on Sunday morning’s “Meet the Press” program.
Jacobson further noted another potentially serious complication for NBC:
It may be even worse for Gregory and NBC News. According to an e-mail received by The Patriots Perspective website, which originally broke the Gregory story, NBC News had inquired whether it was permitted to use the magazine and was told that it was not permitted. The authenticity of the email has not been verified.
Approximately two hours ago I emailed the same three senior communications executives at NBC News asking for them to confirm or deny this information, but none has responded.
I also asked MPD Officer Alali about it, and he said he could not comment on anything other than the fact that there was an active investigation. He would not comment on whether “customerservice.mpd2.dc.gov” “firstname.lastname@example.org” was a legitimate address or anything regarding the email and whether NBC News was warned not to use the magazine.
If it turns out that the information in the email is verified, this would change the nature of the incident from an unknowing violation to a possible knowing violation. While intent is not a part of the crime, it certainly may affect prosecutorial discretion if there were a prior warning.
Regardless of whether there was a warning, if the magazine were just a prop, one would expect a prompt response from NBC News instead of stonewalling.
All of this makes those who have been criticizing as ridiculous the assertions by center-right bloggers and others that there may be potential problems with what Gregory did look quite ridiculous themselves.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.