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'Nothing can ever be the same again': The Newtown coverage that earned an Emmy nomination

On Dec. 14, 26 were murdered in Newtown, Conn., in a horrific mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.
A makeshift memorial in Newtown, Connecticut. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Reuters)
A makeshift memorial in Newtown, Connecticut.

On Dec. 14, 26 were murdered in Newtown, Conn., in a horrific mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

In the following weeks, Morning Joe covered the tragedy closely, online and offline, fusing news and discussion together to create a space for a national conversation on gun reform. We brought the heartbreak and the conversations Americans were having across the country to the air, asking experts and elected officials to weigh in.

On Thursday, our coverage was nominated for an Emmy award for Outstanding News Discussion and Analysis. Here are some of the stories and conversations that earned us the nomination.

Host Joe Scarborough opened up about his own struggle to reconcile his desire to protect the Second Amendment with the realization that regulation was necessary to protect our children. “Every American must know—from this day forward–that nothing can ever be the same again,” he said. “Let this be out true landmark; let Newtown be the hour after which, in the words of the New Testament, we did all we could to make all things new. Politicians can no longer be allowed to defend the status quo. They must instead be forced to protect our children. Parents can no longer take 'No' for an answer from Washington when the topic turns to protecting children.”

West Virginia’s Sen. Joe Manchin, an NRA A-rated politician, sat down with us and agreed: Everything has changed.

“Seeing the massacre of so many innocent children has changed everything,” he said. “Everything has to be on the table.”

Months later, Manchin is still fighting for universal background checks, with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who also joined Morning Joe that first Monday to call for reform.

Soon cracks in the NRA stronghold started popping up everywhere. Morning Joe quickly became the outlet for the national conversation on gun reforms.

New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined the table to call for reform, calling on the president to lead the way. Nearly seven months later, he is a leading force in the fight for gun control.

As legislators filtered in to discuss potential reforms and the day-to-day news, Morning Joe stepped back to ask the big questions: How can we comprehensively combat violence?

Scarborough called on Republicans to lead on gun violence and not be held hostage by special interests. Taking a sensible stance on and semi-automatic weapons could help the party, he argued; the alternative would make them the ‘party of glocks and Bushmaster’s.’

Seven months later, the conversation on gun reform and Newtown isn't over. For more, check out our profile on Carlee Soto on the six month anniversary of the shooting and the blistering Morning Joe response to the senators who voted again background checks in the Senate. And tune in on October 1st to see if we win the Emmy!