White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today called the National Rifle Association and their latest lobbying campaign centering on the president's daughters "repugnant" and "cowardly," but according to a new poll, the NRA's tactics might just be working. After more than a month of attacking Hollywood, video games, and the David Gregory media elite, today's NBC/Wall Street Journal survey finds the Americans hate the NRA less than the entertainment industry. NBC's Mark Murray writes:
Forty-one percent of adults see the NRA -- the nation's top gun lobby -- in a positive light, while 34 percent view it in a negative light.
By comparison, just 24 percent have positive feelings about the entertainment industry, and 39 percent have negative ones.
Of course, the "entertainment industry" is broad and expansive and a few Kardashians are probably lumped in there to skew the numbers, but 41-24 is still a pretty big gap. And as Murray explains, it's not that far off from the 41-29 gap from last year. Of course, multiple polls since the Newtown shootings have found that gun-rights advocates maintain a strong foothold in polls, with surveys finding that those opposed to more gun control usually hovering around the 50-percent line. But this new poll may reveal that the backlash to the NRA's doubling down on their attacks on Hollywood and video games and the media — a longtime strategy of the lobby — hasn't affected the general public opinion since Newtown.
Even before the NRA spoke out after the Connecticut school shootings, we heard whispers that the strategy would focus on the usual suspects: "If we're going to talk about the Second Amendment, then let's also talk about the First Amendment, and Hollywood, and the video games that teach young kids how to shoot heads," a source told Fox News. And then LaPierre let out the full attack:
And here's another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal: There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people.
And then they have the nerve to call it "entertainment." But is that what it really is? Isn't fantasizing about killing people as away to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography
What we didn't know at the time was how convincing that argument might still be.
According to the Journal, the full results of the poll will be released tonight at 6:30 p.m.