Politics

CBS Anchors Allow Parkland Survivors to Smear NRA Without Pushback

High school student David Hogg said group 'basically threatened' his peers, is 'creating more violence [to] scare more people, sell more guns'

When Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg claimed Monday on CBS that the National Rifle Association (NRA) has “basically threatened” pro-gun control survivors and is “creating more violence so they can scare more people and sell more guns,” the network’s anchors failed to challenge the student’s incendiary claims.

After a gunman killed 17 victims at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, survivors launched the Never Again MSD movement to protest gun violence and Second Amendment protections. Hogg (above, second from right, in the gray jacket) and Emma González (far right), two of the movement’s most prominent founders, slammed the NRA in shocking fashion during an interview Monday that went unchecked by CBS anchors Anne-Marie Green and Vladimir Duthiers.

“But how does that make you feel when you know that there are a lot of people behind you, but there are also people who want to harm you, or say they want to harm you because of what you’re saying and speaking out?” Duthiers asked the students.

Green followed up, noting, “The NRA can certainly tap into some negative feelings. I’m not going to say that the organization feeds into conspiracy theories, but certainly they can ignite the kind of negative coverage that [Duthiers] is talking about. So what do you make of them?”

Hogg replied, “I think it just goes to prove exactly what they are.”

Although Hogg admitted he doesn’t think NRA members “are bad people at all,” he also said, “I think the problem comes in when it’s people at the top of this organization that don’t listen to their constituents and continue to scare people into buying more guns, creating more violence so they can scare more people and sell more guns.”

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“The people at the top of the NRA are no longer working for the people in their organization. They’re working on behalf of the gun lobby,” Hogg added.

Both Green and Duthiers agreed with “Mmm-hmms” — and neither challenged the student’s claims that the NRA is “creating more violence so they can scare more people and sell more guns.”

“And when you talk about the NRA and you make a suggestion like that, what do they say to you?” Duthiers asked.

Green chimed in, asking, “Has the organization been reaching out to you guys?”

Hogg said that “the way that they’ve been reaching out to us is basically threatening us.”

González then jumped in, saying the NRA has “been instigating things. And then we reply — they shy away. Like, they can dish it out, but they can’t take it.”

Again, neither anchor challenged or followed up on the students’ claims.

“Right,” Green said. “Oh, that’s really fascinating.”

NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch accused pro-gun control advocates Monday on NRATV’s “Stinchfield” of haphazardly “impugning” the character of NRA members without pushback. Loesch said the rhetoric “contributed to a state of poison in our national discourse, where you have politicians and celebrities and everyone else impugning the characters of millions of law-abiding members just because they choose to voluntarily enter into a fellowship and call themselves the NRA.”

“That’s the problem here. It created even more victims of a different sort,” Loesch said.

Hogg and González also appeared Sunday night in a CBS News “60 Minutes” profile of the shooting victims and their #NeverAgain movement. Media Research Center (MRC) managing editor Curtis Houck wrote an article about the segment in which he blasted CBS for offering “another pitifully fact check-free piece on behalf of the liberal media about the far-Left, pro-gun control Parkland survivors” that “declined to seriously push back on the ugly, violent rhetoric by some students since the February 14 massacre.”

Related: Shapiro Takes Stelter, CNN to Woodshed on Rabid Pro-Gun Control Bias

“Between last night and this morning, CBS decided that they wanted to channel CNN in giving only certain Parkland students an open forum to push their anti-gun views,” Houck told LifeZette. “They have yet to seriously be challenged on calling gun rights supporters ‘child murderers’ and comparing [Sen.] Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) to the gunman, but any news outlet should be doing so if they consider themselves to be truly objective outlets.”

Indeed, CNN anchor Jake Tapper stood silent while moderating a town hall last month when student Cameron Kasky told Rubio that “it’s hard to look at you and not look down the barrel on an AR-15 and not look at Nikolas Cruz.”

Although mainstream media outlets have been lavishing attention on pro-gun control student advocates such as Hogg and González, pro-Second Amendment students like Kyle Kashuv have been largely ignored.

“While these students defend their local police for having failed to protect them, others like Kyle Kashuv [are] advocating for longer-lasting solutions in the Stop School Violence Act,” Houck said. “Unfortunately, Kashuv’s views are unwelcome on places like CBS.”

PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter.

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