White House press secretary Jay Carney called the ad "repugnant and cowardly," but "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart had a slightly different take on it.
"After seeing that ad, I would think that the NRA is either an elaborate, avant-guard, Joaquin-Phoenix-style joke or a false-flag operation run by Michael Moore in an attempt to discredit responsible gun owners," Stewart quipped in a lengthy segment Wednesday night, referring to Phoenix's bizarre publicity stunt on the "David Letterman" show in 2009.
But Stewart spent most of the segment slamming the government for its failure to tap a permanent director of the Department of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and questioning limits on the ATF's power to enforce federal gun laws.
Here's the NRA ad:
Stewart first tackled the post-Newtown gun control debate last week in a passionate tirade against gun rights advocates "remain[ing] vigilant against the rise of imaginary Hitler."