Bozell & Graham Column: 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 teenaged advocates could be a crucial factor in defeating the gun-rights lobby. They could become the key to the kind of turnout necessary to putting the 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 NRA because they were “child murderers.” CNN morning anchor Alisyn Camerota didn’t correct him — or condemn his statement, given he’d just stained the reputations of millions of NRA members by labeling them killers. She said nothing. She was satisfied — pleased, in fact. happily posted video 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: Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action.” They used the hashtag #StudentsStandUp to promote it.  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 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.” Kasky also said he wished he could question “the NRA lady” (Dana Loesch), since “I would ask her how she can look in the mirror, because she has children, but 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, even comment. It matched their own political agenda and emotional temperature. When Rep. Joe Wilson yelled “You lie” at 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 called it “the heckling heard ‘round the world.”

Even Justice Alito shaking his head silently at the 2010 State of the Union was projected as inappropriate.

Remember these student hecklers when CNN and their colleagues decry how 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.

Please support NewsBusters today! (a 501c3 non-profit production of the Media Research Center)

Parkland School Shooting Guns Jake Tapper
Brent Bozell's picture

Tim Graham's picture