December 27, 2012
"Yeah, asking for permission is pretty damning when you ignore what you are told directly from the law enforcement authority and do it anyway."
But what it tells us is that the prop was really, really important to Gregory. Let's think about why. He knew he was going to have NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre across the table and that he'd push him with one question after another, building the pressure. Here's how that moment looked:
You hear the tension in Gregory's voice as he's about to confront LaPierre with the prop — actually 2 props: the high-capacity magazine and then the smaller one. At the point when Gregory picks up the first prop, you see his eyes dart over to the side. He doesn't have the script memorized, but the precise text is important as he displays one prop and then the other. He need the prompter.
Of course, if this prop display is supposed to be explosive, it doesn't work, because LaPierre is good at not getting agitated. Predictably good, so Gregory's routine looks silly to me. But maybe it inflamed some people in the "Meet the Press" viewership. Maybe there were lots of folks at home going "OMG that thing is huge!!"
I'm trying to think of other examples in political/policy debates when somebody whipped out a prop for dramatic effect. Especially examples where it really worked. I remember President Clinton waggling his pen. Anything else?
ADDED: I was thinking about the value of a fetus replica for a pro-lifers, and, googling, happened upon this 3D-printed replica made from an MRI image.
UPDATE: I figured it out!