During Thursday's edition of CNN's Wolf, panelist Nia-Malika Henderson slammed NRA Spokeswoman Dana Loesch's statement at CPAC alleging that "legacy media" enjoy mass shootings and referred to members of the NRA as "conspiracy theorists” for believing that the Democrats want to take their guns away.
Henderson referred to Loesch’s suggestion as “outrageous.” Perhaps equally outrageous were some of the comments made at CNN’s explosive town hall Wednesday night dealing with gun control where Loesch and Senator Marco Rubio became the villains of the evening. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez, who has become one of the well-recognized faces of the “Never Again” movement, suggested that Loesch’s support for Second Amendment rights makes her a bad mother, saying “I want you to know that we will support your two children in the way that we will not – you will not.”
Rubio did not exactly receive a warm welcome from the crowd at the south Florida town hall either. Cameron Kasky, another Stoneman Douglas High School student, actually compared the Senator to Nikolas Cruz, the psychopath who carried out last week’s mass shooting, “Senator Rubio, it’s hard to look at you and not look down the barrel on an AR-15 and not look at Nikolas Cruz, but the point is: You’re here and there are some people who are not.” Rubio probably feels grateful he made it out of that arena in one piece.
No doubt about it, Loesch’s statement at CPAC went heavy on the hyperbole. But she did acknowledge that the media does not actually “love the tragedy.” But her statement did have some degree of truth to it; the media and the Democrats definitely enjoy exploiting the tragedy as a catalyst to push for gun control. As Fox News host Tucker Carlson pointed out, the media is using the survivors of the massacre for “moral blackmail” to accuse anyone who does not favor the imposition of stricter gun laws as immoral.
Host Wolf Blitzer turned to former FBI Agent and CNN Contributor Josh Campbell, asking for his take on the NRA CEO Wayne Lapierre’s assertion that the FBI bears a fair share of the blame for the school shooting. Campbell characterized LaPierre’s statement as an “attack on the FBI and law enforcement for purely political reasons” but later admitted that “we have to hold the FBI accountable” for their “colossal, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking mistake.” So he trashes LaPierre while basically admitting that his statement was true.
Campbell concluded that particular exchange by bashing Republicans, warning that “the party of law enforcement is going to quickly find its way on the road to irrelevancy if they think that the way and their solution to their political problems is to attack the FBI and to attack law enforcement.” CNN can only hope.
Their lopsided coverage on the controversial issue of guns over the past week proves that the media harbors the exact same feelings towards middle America as Former President Obama, who scornfully accused them of clinging to their guns and religion.
WOLF BLITZER: Yeah, they put out a statement yesterday saying they oppose lowering the age for people in the United States to purchase a rifle. Right now in many states, you only have to be 18, like Florida, whereas a handgun you got to be 21 in the United States. The spokeswoman, Nia, for the NRA, Dana Loesch, the NRA Spokeswoman, she spoke just before Wayne Lapierre at this conference. She went one step further. Listen to this.
DANA LOESCH: Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it. Now I’m not saying that you love the tragedy but I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying, white mothers are ratings gold.
BLITZER: All right, Nia, I mean, that’s pretty outrageous.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON: Horrifying. Yeah. Pretty outrageous but this is kind of what she specializes in. I mean, she gets attention and eyeballs to her speech here by saying something so outrageous, false and horrifying but I think it gets to Gloria’s point here as well. I mean, as much as it’s an us vs. them in terms of the Democrats supposedly being socialists, they put the media in the same place. The kind of mainstream media, of course, Dana was, Dana was at our, was at our town hall yesterday and criticizing the media in some ways. But I think, yeah, it’s just this big culture war, us vs. them, you rile up the base, you energize that crowd, you grow the membership, which is about 3 to 5 million folks there but there’s, you know, I mean, ultimately, they’re conspiracy theorists. I mean, that’s what Wayne Lapierre is talking about, this idea of an ultimately Democrats want to grab everyone’s guns. There’s no evidence that that is actually what is going on. Certainly no evidence of what she said there but it’s good red meat for that crowd there.
BLITZER: Yeah. You know, Josh, the NRA’s Wayne Lapierre also said, and I’m quoting him now, he said, “the unbelievable failure of the FBI”, his words, “was one of the reasons for the school shooting.” You’re a former agent of the FBI. How do you respond to that kind of language?
JOSH CAMPBELL: Well, it’s upsetting but it’s not surprising and it’s yet another example of an attack on the FBI and law enforcement for purely political reasons. And, you know, we’re always going to have these special interest groups that are trying to further their own special interests. That we’re never going to stop. But my question, the issue I have, is where are the voices of those who know the FBI, who know law enforcement stepping out and standing up to say that this nonsense needs to stop? Now we have to hold the FBI accountable. They’re responsible for what looks to be a colossal, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking mistake here. We have to get to the bottom of it and they need to be held to account. But this isn’t about accountability. This is about pure politics so we have people that are currently in government, we have people that are formerly in government, even former law enforcement, some of whom make a hobby of, you know, going on TV and, you know, sticking their finger to the wind to see what the direction of the political winds are before they weigh in on a controversial topic. Where are those voices? Where are they countering the nonsense that’s out there? You know, Wolf, it’s not a Republican issue, it’s not a Democrat issue but you can guarantee that law enforcement in America are paying attention to every single word of this debate. And my job here is analysis so let me put it in analytical terms. I assess, with extremely high confidence, that the “party of law enforcement” is going to quickly find its way on the road to irrelevancy if they think that the way and their solution to their political problems is to attack the FBI and to attack law enforcement.
BLITZER: Yeah. The FBI Deputy Director, as you know Josh, he admitted today that procedures weren’t followed when they received a tip about this killer, this shooter down in Florida. They’ve got to learn from that blunder, that was a major mistake, and move on.
CAMPBELL: They do. And Wolf, can I say something also real quickly just about what we heard there as far as the media and enjoying these kind of events? I’m s, as I sat there and listened to that, I thought, well, wow, what a difference 12 hours makes. Talk about Jekyll and Hyde. We didn’t see that person last night. But, you know, in front of a red meat audience, it, it was striking and I have to say, Wolf, I sat there with you on the day of the shooting; on that set. And the, the anger in that room. I wish the American people could have seen it. When we went to break, I don’t know if you could actually talk through your clenched jaw, we all sat there just infuriated that this, we see yet another again, another attack on our children in the United States. So for anyone to claim that this is something that the media enjoys. It’s, it’s, it’s stunning and there are no words.
BLITZER: Yeah. Totally, totally sick.