As they’ve done all week, ABC’s Good Morning America spent several reports touting the “impressive” and “passionate” teen gun control activists from Parkland, Florida, who met with President Trump yesterday at the White House and who screeched “murderer” at Florida Senator Marco Rubio and the NRA’s Dana Loesch at CNN’s ruckus, scripted “townhall” last night.
Anchor George Stephanopoulos brought on two students who visited the White House and one student from the townhall, and basically baited them to bash the NRA, President Trump and Republican Marco Rubio for not agreeing to every demand from their extreme anti-Second Amendment agenda.
The only time ABC gave to gun rights supporters was in a 40 second brief right before this Stephanopoulos sit-down, previewing tonight’s Nightline episode. That’s right, if you stay up till 12:35 am EST, ABC will show you the “other side” of this gun debate, (as Michael Strahan put it.) How encouraging that the network is truly making an effort of showing both sides to a highly polarizing debate!
But on GMA February 22, Stephanopoulos only spoke to anti-gun student activists, even though, as we know, other students from the same tragedy have the opposite opinion on the matter.
To Julia Cordoff, who attended the White House listening session yesterday, Stephanopoulos asked skeptically whether Trump really “heard” what the students were saying, by suggesting that teachers be armed.
“Do you think he heard what you all were saying? What was your response to all that?” the ABC anchor asked doubtfully. Surprisingly, Cordoff didn’t doubt Trump’s sincerity, but instead blamed the NRA for not “understanding.”
Turning to Ryan Deitsch, who spoke at the CNN town hall, Stephanopoulos tried to get him to bash Marco Rubio, instead. “Pretty clear that he’s not going to walk away from the NRA,” he scoffed to the high school student.
Deitsch blasted Rubio for “dancing around the question” and “continuing to take money from an organization that has been known to help in the aiding of killing innocent lives.” Deitsch was probably referring to the fake news story that circulated last week after the shooting, which erroneously claimed that the NRA personally donated $10,000 to “training” shooter Nikolas Cruz. But instead of asking for clarification or pushing back on Deitsch’s false statement, Stephanopoulos kept encouraging more hatred from the students.
“Sam, you know, the NRA is one powerful organization,” Stephanopoulos said with a smarmy grin to student Sam Zeif. Referring to Australia’s gun ban, he asked Zeif how critics could deny the effectiveness of that ban. “How do you respond to those who say that just can't happen here in the United States?” he asked.
“I don’t get how they could be so blind,” the teen shook his head in disgust.
After Cordoff admitted that their goal was to get rid of guns, not arm more people, Stephanopoulos praised the teens goal of gun confiscation as noble. “As you said, this is just the beginning,” he gushed, twice, to end the interview.
Robin Roberts also basically admitted that they were on the students side in banning most guns in an earlier report, calling the likelihood that some extra restrictions on gun rights was “a step” in the right direction.
To read the full transcript, click expand below:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Okay, right now we hear from three of the students you’ve seen from Stoneman Douglas high. Sam Zeif and Julia Cordover joined the session with President Trump yesterday. Ryan Deitsch was part of the group lobbying Florida state lawmakers, also that town hall meeting last night. Thanks to all of you for joining us. Sam, let me begin with you. It was really movinging to see you there with the president yesterday. The idea he seemed most engaged by yesterday was this idea of arming teachers. What was your reaction to that?
SAM ZEIF: I was in shock. [scoffs] I really couldn't believe that he would even think of the idea of putting that responsibility on teachers. Teachers need to focus and they do a great job of focusing on molding the minds of the future like Julia and I, and how can you give them the responsibility of going to school every day and not knowing if they're going to have to kill one of their students or not and knowing that they have the option to.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Julia, that was a pretty extraordinary back and forth with the president with all -- everybody in that room yesterday. Do you think he heard what you all were saying? What was your response to all that?
JULIA CORDOVER: Yes, I believe that he heard our true stories and our emotions. However, I was shocked to see that the NRA was quick to respond before we even left the White House. My classmates and I. And I do not understand why the NRA is not understanding of us students, of our lives, of their lives and of everyone else.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Ryan, you had the chance to question Senator Rubio last night at that town hall meeting. Pretty clear that he's not going to walk away from the NRA even though he told you you're already making a difference.
RYAN DEITSCH: Yeah, definitely Senator Rubio did not as Cameron Kasky plainly plainly put it, he asked him would he take the money and Rubio danced around the question as politicians do. He just did not want to answer it even though the crowd knew exactly what he was saying, that he will continue to take money from an organization that has been known to help in the aiding of killing innocent lives.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Sam, you know, the NRA is one powerful organization. You mentioned yesterday that meeting with the president Australia's experience after they had a horrific episode of gun violence they banned semiautomatic weapons and automatic weapons and as you pointed out there hasn't been a single school shooting there since that happened but how do you respond to those who say that just can't happen here in the United States?
SAM ZEIF: I don't get how they could be so blind. I just don't understand. People are not coming into our school -- we have people with mental illnesses in our school. They're not coming in with mental illnesses and killing us. They're coming in with guns and killing us. It's just plain and simple. I don't understand how these politicians who get paid to lead our country cannot see this.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Julia, you had a tweet last night. You said this is only the beginning. “Right now we may be infamous for our tragedy but we will be famous for this movement of change.” What specifically do you want to see?
JULIA CORDOVER: Thank you. Yes, I realize that the city of Parkland has been pushing for this movement of change along with the other neighborhood schools and even broader to the whole country that is forcing this change because enough is enough. We are tired of losing innocent lives to situations that are preventable and it all starts with less gun, not more guns.
STEPHANOPOULOS: As you said this is just the beginning. Thank you for your voices. I know this has been the week of your lives but as you said it is just the beginning. Thank you all very much for your time and your voices this morning.
MICHAEL STRAHAN: Very impressive young people. Very impressive.