It should not have taken a crystal ball to predict that the media would use the tragic school shooting in Florida as an opportunity to push for gun control. Not surprisingly, the anchors of CNN’s New Day spent a sizable portion of its Thursday morning broadcast acting as advocates for gun control.
CNN also wasted no time criticizing the President and Republicans' response to the shooting. Appearing on the morning show, New York Times White House Correspondent Maggie Haberman opined that "Part of the presidency is that you provide leadership in moments and this has just not been what he does." It seems like demand for gun control is the only “leadership” the folks on CNN might deem acceptable.
Anchor Chris Cuomo opened the segment with Haberman by criticizing one of President Trump’s tweets addressing the mass shooting, saying “I think the tweet is enough to show where his head is on this and what it is that he fundamentally doesn’t get.” The tweet in question pointed out that many people knew that the school shooter was disturbed and yet did not follow the golden rule of “see something, say something.” The tweet closed with the call to action, “Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again.” After reading the tweet, Cuomo said “that’s a dumb thing he just put out.”
Cuomo also did not appreciate that Florida’s Republican Governor Rick Scott and Republican Senator Marco Rubio chose to appear on Fox News. He referred to Fox News as a “mother ship” and a “safe haven” and accused Republicans of “hiding.”
In addition to criticizing the President for his response to the shooting, Haberman also accused the White House of choosing not to hold a press conference Wednesday so they could avoid answering questions about former West Wing aide Rob Porter. She said that the school shooting “provided a reason not to do it.” One can’t help but wonder if the media would have complained if the White House actually did hold a press conference so soon after the school shooting.
As the media continue to provide round-the-clock coverage of the school shooting, expect them to continue to make demands for gun control and demonize Republicans who do not jump on board.
CNN New Day
CHRIS CUOMO: All right, President Trump just tweeted about the deadly shooting, here it is again. I think it’s important that you hear it because it expresses so much about how stupid this situation is. “So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed. Even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior.” That’s all true. “Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem.” That is also true. "Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again." The President so far hasn’t spoken publicly about the tragedy but I think the tweet is enough to show where his head is on this and what it is that he fundamentally doesn’t get. Let’s bring in CNN Political Analyst Maggie Haberman, White House Correspondent for The New York Times. You reported, Maggie, thank you for being with us this morning, that his aides had been asking him to do more. Maybe he made the right call because that’s a dumb thing he just put out. Because while all of those things are true, none of them, you can call the police all you want. You’re not taking this young man’s gun away from him.
MAGGIE HABERMAN: That’s right.
CUOMO: He either doesn’t understand how the law works or he’s being glib and trying to cast blame somewhere else. Whatever it is, I don’t know how it’s helpful.
HABERMAN: Right. Or it’s some combination of both. Look, I think we may still hear from him. But yesterday, he was reluctant to do so. And look, that is not, to your point, this is not his strong suit, being the comforter in chief, being the person who sends sort of a moral message. We have very infrequently seen him do that. A lot of people, I think, for good reason, were contrasting how he handled the situation where 17 school kids were killed against what President Obama did after Sandy Hook, which was devastating and terrible, involved very young children. But these are all schoolchildren. To your point, talking about how this involves people where there were warning signs. You and I have covered a lot of these kinds of shootings. There are always warning signs and there is always a lot of what could have been differently at various points. But as you know, none of those would have prevented this unless it would have, you know, been some kind of, you know, putting him in a facility or putting him in a place where...
CUOMO: Right. If you could have triggered a 24-hour hold by throwing that he’s a threat to himself or someone else. It’s a very high bar, difficult to get.
HABERMAN: It’s a high bar and you don’t, and you don’t know.
CUOMO: Right. The President, I think, inadvertently, outlined the problem with the system while trying to put it on the system.
HABERMAN: I don’t think it was, it was intentional.
CUOMO: Because if you think about it, he’s kicked out of school. He’s not allowed on campus. He’s crazy online with what he’s saying. He’s being treated for mental health. And he’s still able to buy a gun. That’s the part of the tweet that the President left out.
CUOMO: That with all of this stuff, forget about telling people to report it, that’s part of it but that’s not the answer.
CUOMO: He was still able to get a gun.
CUOMO: And obviously he doesn’t have the resolve to do anything about this. After Vegas he said we’ll be talking about gun laws as time goes on. He hasn’t said a word.
HABERMAN: He hasn’t said a word. The White House chose not to go forward with a briefing yesterday, the daily press briefing, which one has to assume it was in part because they were facing yet another round of really uncomfortable questions for themselves about the Rob Porter situation. And this provided a reason to not do it. Usually, this kind of situation, you don’t need to hype up, necessarily, with hardened policy solutions right then but you say something.
HABERMAN: And they have said extremely little. It is really scary, there is now a national conversation among parents about what you tell your own children about this kind of thing. We have had these kinds of conversations now since 1999, since Columbine, where it become clear that this was going to be the new norm and not sort of an isolated incident every now and then. Part of the Presidency is that you provide leadership in moments like this and this has just not been what he does. Look, you have a, you have a Congress that is gridlocked. You have issues going back to President Obama’s term in terms of passing any new gun laws. This is obviously a very difficult issue. It is not solely the President who can do something. There are a lot of obstacles, to be clear. But he is not stepping out and voicing what could be momentum for such a thing and every time the White House is faced with a question about gun laws, they punt.
CUOMO: He could at least suggest that we have to stop the shootings. We have to figure out how. A little bit of it falls on us. I mean, look, the Republicans hide in these situations. Marco Rubio said some things that sound right politically, but they’re wrong. This isn’t an inexplicable tragedy.
HABERMAN: It’s not an act of God.
CUOMO: And your prayer for victims? What kind of prayer suggests that you will do nothing? But where is he this morning? He’s on Fox. Where’s Governor Scott this morning? They’re on Fox. They’re in the mother ship. You know, I hope our brothers and sisters over there take their responsibility seriously. You’ve got the access to these people. They think it’s a safe haven. Ask them the questions that matter. Because that’s why they’re there. They’re hiding. Don’t let them hide.