Shows on CNN's afternoon and evening lineup were too busy kicking up dirt over a scandal about President Trump and the late Senator John McCain to bother discussing the latest mass-shooting.
CNN hosts had no difficulty Trumpifying their reporting on the passing of Senator McCain, with the President’s response eating up an absurd 106 minutes of coverage between 5:00 and 10:00 p.m. Eastern. Both the premature raising of the American flag over the White House and the President’s delayed acknowledgment of McCain’s service were included in this count.
Yet within those five hours, CNN – the same network that in February held a gotcha-laden town hall with Second Amendment advocates following the shooting in Parkland, Florida – spent a pitiful four minutes and 24 seconds covering the Jacksonville shooting. The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer and Cuomo PrimeTime were the only shows that even bothered to burn a segment on the topic: one apiece, tacked on during the final ten minutes of each show.
Chris Cuomo spent what little time he’d set aside for the shooting asking why the media seemed so overwhelmingly disinterested in covering it. He excused the lack of attention by blaming the frequency of mass-shootings across the country: “The more they happen, the less we react to them.”
After bringing in fellow CNN host Don Lemon, he continued with his bid for media exculpation, reciting: “The numbers aren’t that big, the national attention’s not there, there’s compassion fatigue, people feel nothing can get done.”
However, Cuomo neglected to add some other details about this shooting. For example, the shooter purchased the weapon in his liberal home state of Maryland, which has 66 “firearm-related laws,” making it the seventh-strictest state for firearm ownership in the country, accourding to CNBC.
While Cuomo briefly mentioned the shooter’s history of mental illness, he failed to take note of a Maryland law that “enables family members or friends the ability to take guns away from a person whom they deem unfit to have a firearm through a court order.”
It is impossible to know, but one wonders whether these bits of information – which could prove problematic for gun control advocates attempting to make hay out of the shooting – also helped turn the network off from spending too much time on this news item.
Rather than navigating a minefield of problematic details about the shooting, CNN opted instead to flood its airwaves with the easily digestible Trump-McCain scandal.