L. BRENT BOZELL III AND TIM GRAHAM: Exploiting teenager rage
The school shooting in Parkland, Florida, shows how quickly our media elites move horrors from tragedy to political opportunity. They amplified the loudest voices of the shooting aftermath: teenage survivors who demanded gun control “solutions” like banning all semi-automatic assault weapons. These teenagers might accomplish in one week what the anti-Second Amendment crowd, led by these same media elites, has failed to do for decades.
Survivors of failed abortions (like Gianna Jessen or Melissa Ohden) have never held their attention for five seconds. That conflicts with the narrative.
Liberal journalists have openly discussed how these teenage advocates could be a crucial factor in defeating the gun-rights lobby. They could become the key to the kind of turnout necessary for putting Democrats in the majority in Congress. So they gave them every opportunity to push for liberal victory without any need to be civil.
David Hogg, the most prominent student survivor, went on CNN and proclaimed politicians shouldn’t take money from the National Rifle Association because they are “child murderers.” CNN morning anchor Alisyn Camerota didn’t correct him — or condemn his statement, regardless of the fact that he’d just stained the reputations of millions of NRA members by labeling them killers. She said nothing. She was satisfied — pleased, in fact. CNN.com happily posted the clip with the headline “Shooting Survivor Calls NRA ‘Child Murderers.'”
CNN’s motto is “Facts First.”
CNN hosted a “town hall” full of leftist rage against anyone who believes in Second Amendment rights. Their agenda was obvious from the program’s title: “Stand Up: The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action.” They used the hashtag #StudentsStandUp to promote it. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch were verbally slashed by the students without mercy.
Survivor Cameron Kasky stood a few feet from Rubio and smeared him on national television: “it’s hard to look at you and not look down the barrel of an AR-15 and not look at Nikolas Cruz, but the point is you’re here, and there are some people who are not.” Kasky also said he wished he could have questioned “the NRA lady” (Loesch), since he “would ask her how she can look in the mirror, considering the fact she has children, but, you know, maybe she avoids those.”
In the next hour, when Loesch was on, people in the audience shouted “murderer,” and “burn her,” and student survivor Emma Gonzalez lectured her that she would be a better mother: “Dana Loesch, I want you to know that we will support your two children in the way that … you will not.”
Moderator Jake Tapper allowed the audience to be as immoderate as it wanted. He tweeted afterward: “People freestyled a bit” — a bit? — “and I wasn’t inclined to reprimand a school shooting survivor or parent who lost a child for expressing him or herself in a question — even if aggressively.”
But this is the most amazing part. In the aftermath, no one in television “news” replayed the students’ rudeness as a storyline worthy of condemnation, or even comment. It matched their own political agenda and emotional temperature. When Rep. Joe Wilson yelled, “You lie!” at then-President Obama in 2009, these networks all angrily replayed it ad infinitum as a national disgrace. They called it “infamous.” CNN’s headline on the video clip read “The Heckling Heard ‘Round the World.”
Even Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito shaking his head at the 2010 State of the Union was projected as inappropriate.
Remember these student hecklers when CNN and their colleagues decry how President Donald Trump has single-handedly ruined civil discourse. Trump mocking CNN as “fake news” caused far more media outrage than Hogg calling the NRA “child murderers.”
It will happen again and again. They are hell-bent on ridding this country of the Second Amendment, one tragedy at a time.
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org.