The Parkland, Fla., high school shooting that left 17 people dead is a textbook example of how supposedly neutral journalists promote a left-wing agenda – in this case, by showing overwhelming support for gun control.
On "Meet the Press” on NBC last Sunday, moderator Chuck Todd talked openly about getting rid of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, which states in full: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Todd asked: “Isn’t the difficulty here legislatively, the Constitution,” and then cited a New York Times column calling getting rid of the Second Amendment.
The columnist – Bret Stephens – is ostensibly one of the right-wing writers for the Times. (Heaven help us.) Yet, he’s anti-Second Amendment and there he was at the end of the week as an MSNBC contributor, once more attacking the right to keep and bear arms.
Stephens said: “There is something kind of aggressively and inhumanly repetitive about this line that guns are essential to American liberties – a hard one to stomach when so many thousands of people are dying every year for this so-called ‘liberty.’”
Those on the left attacking gun rights were much worse and far more numerous.
NBC highlighted videos of gun owners “destroying or getting rid of their firearms.” And CNN went from bad to worse. “Newsroom” anchor Brooke Baldwin harassed a Florida Republican about a possible assault weapons ban and asked him to “give it a shot to at least consider the ban.” Anchor Wolf Blitzer lobbied hard for gun control, asking one Florida legislator, “when do you want to begin a debate in the Florida state Legislature to ban assault weapons?”
Journalists moved onto a massively biased CNN Town Hall on guns that was more stunt that anything else. Here’s how The New York Times described it: “Senator Marco Rubio and a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association were repeatedly heckled at a nationally televised forum.”
That sounds bad, but it understates the problem.
One audience member shouted "you're a murderer" at NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch. Still another compared Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., to the Florida gunman.
The crowd even booed a story about a rape survivor who said she wishes she had been armed to stop her attacker. Through it all, moderator Jake Tapper did little to squash even the most extreme comments or to appear even mildly neutral.
The town hall was reminiscent of the Salem witch trials, blaming guns instead of the sheriff's department, which had a deputy at the school who never entered or tried to stop the killings. The deputy has since resigned.
Media coverage declined further from there.
One student at the CNN forum, Colton Haab, later said that CNN wrote the questions, which CNN denied. “CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions, and it ended up being all scripted,” he complained. “I expected to be able to ask my questions and give my opinion on my questions.”
CNN has an awful history with live events, from leaked presidential debate questions to taking a question at a debate for Democratic presidential contenders from a snowman.
The fallout from all of this was widespread, generating stupid comments across the left and the media. Liberal mega-donor Tom Steyer cited the bogus and debunked Everytown for Gun Safety statistic claiming there had been 18 shootings at schools this year. He later deleted the tweet.
CNN’s Twitter feed looked more like Everytown, or at least Hollywood Town, bashing legislators “who refused to vote for an assault weapons ban.” And Tinseltown types were angry that the NRA had used a GIF of comedian Amy Poehler, sending the NRA four-letter word comments.
The media’s quest for gun control continued into the weekend. CNN’s “Reliable Sources” newsletter was unhappy about media criticism at CPAC, the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.
The CNN newsletter was particularly outraged that Loesch used that venue to further attack the media. “She clearly wants the ‘media’ to be on the defensive. The more time she spends talking about heartless journalists, the less time she has to talk about the heartbreak of gun violence.”
Loesch is correct. It’s time to talk about bad journalism. As CNN’s S.E. Cupp summed it up: “I’ve been saying for years, I can't name another single issue about which the media knows so little and yet is so vocal.”
2. Dishonoring a Great Man: The Rev. Billy Graham was called the “pastor to presidents,” but when he died at age 99 this week he was called much worse.
Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca, urged Graham to “have fun in hell, b----.” And when decent people responded to her, Duca doubled down. “‘Respecting the dead’ only applies to people who weren't evil pieces of s---- while they were living, thanks.” (She spelled out the full word. Classy.)
The Washington Post’s “Acts of Faith” section ran this memorable headline: “Divorce, drugs, drinking: Billy Graham’s children and their absent father.” Working parents who travel for their jobs are common. Military families, especially, cope with this issue. When did the Post attack them for working? Oh, yeah, that didn’t fit the newspaper’s agenda.
Matthew Avery Sutton went full the attack in The Guardian. “When Billy Graham stands before the judgement seat of God, he may finally realize how bad he failed his country, and perhaps his God,” he wrote.
Now contrast all that with this lovely New York Times headline with communist dictator and murderer Fidel Castro died: “Fidel Castro, Cuban Revolutionary Who Defied U.S., Dies at 90.” Just another example of how Loesch is right.
3. Russia, Russia, Russia: It was hard to find good news this week, but entertainment was easy to locate. It turns out that the traditional media have figured out who helped Russia sow division in the United States.
The Nov. 12 coverage of a post-election, anti-Trump rally showed that CNN and MSNBC both hyped it pretty heavily. Network coverage of the “love rally” was especially positive. Online outlets joined in the Russian-backed fun, attacking the president-elect. There was Salon, Daily Beast, Rolling Stone, and, my favorite, PBS. You know, the neutral network we pay for with our tax dollars.
Somehow that didn’t figure prominently in this week’s news coverage. But CNN was sure out to harass an ordinary woman who fell victim to the exact same Russian garbage as the network did. Reporter Drew Griffin harangued the woman for pushing Russian propaganda without a hint of self-awareness.
4. NPR Sexual Misconduct: It’s been difficult to stay current on multiplying media sexual misconduct scandals. But publicly funded NPR had an “open Board of Directors meeting and then a tense all-staff meeting” this week to address widespread misconduct problems at the organization. NPR reported the reality that “leadership repeatedly received information about inappropriate behavior” and yet the problems continued.
The Associated Press reported some interesting fallout from the analysis of activities at the left-wing network: “The investigators found, among other things, that NPR staffers often distrusted management, and that female staffers felt the company’s culture favored men, in areas like opportunity, promotions and compensation.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: After student Colton Haab said a CNN producer insisted he use a question that the network scripted for him, the student’s father, Glenn, forwarded an email to media outlets including Fox News, claiming it served as proof. On Feb. 27, Glenn Haab acknowledged he omitted words in that email, but added, “There was nothing malicious behind it.”