On Tuesday, two weeks after the tragic gun massacre in Uvalde, Texas, Matthew McConaughey — native of the small southwestern city — came to D.C. to make a speech. The actor was one of the first celebrity responses to the mass shooting, and he followed that up with an op-ed for USA Today. Now he was in the White House press room, further elaborating on how to thread the needle between protecting people from gun violence while also not enraging gun rights advocates (and those offering dodgy solutions). And he did such a good job that at least a couple Fox News reporters seemed moved.
As per Mediaite, when McConaughey’s speech, which ran 20 minutes, was over, the response wasn’t kneejerk rejection. Indeed, both John Roberts and Brett Baier (and maybe even Sandra Smith) couldn’t find that much fault with it.
Smith herself seemed to marvel that “someone from Hollywood” would make a call to “restore our family values in the wake of that mass shooting at the elementary school in Texas.”
Roberts, meanwhile, called it an “impassioned plea,” as well as “the best presentation we have seen from that podium in an awfully long time.” He was a bit skeptical about a compromise between Republican and Democratic lawmakers, noting that while the idea is to make “laws that save lives but don’t infringe on second amendment rights,” such a thing is “difficult.”
But Baier — who had booked McConaughey on Fox News that evening — was a bit more optimistic:
You know, his specifics are, it seems like, a compromised position and I think there are a lot of Americans who get, can get around raising the age to 21 for AR-15. I think there are a lot of Americans who can get around a four-day waiting period to make sure that, you know, somebody just does not get it in the passion of the moment and does something. I think red flag laws raise other red flags that we have seen in other places, maybe that gets worked out. But there are compromised positions here and I think Capitol Hill is working on this.
Of course, these are just initial reactions. Surely when Fox News hits the primetime hours, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham will have their say.
In the meantime, you can watch McConaughey’s full speech in the video above.