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

Daily Wire editor-in-chief noted the network's 'absolutely egregious' coverage after Parkland shooting and lack of 'pushback' from anchors

Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro took CNN to task for its “absolutely egregious” pro-gun control bias in the wake of the February 14 mass shooting at a Florida high school, during an interview Sunday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”

Shapiro (shown above right) and many conservative commentators have long criticized CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other liberal mainstream media outlets for their anti-conservative bias in the news reporting and opinion programming.

When host Brian Stelter (shown above left) asked Shapiro where he saw “the most egregious media bias,” the guest responded at length and in detail.

“The coverage of the gun debate has been absolutely egregious. And I don’t want to single out your network, but CNN’s been pretty bad on this from a conservative perspective,” Shapiro replied.

He said outlets like CNN decided “to single out certain events and not other events in order to make a particular case, or they allow certain people to go on TV and suggest that folks like Dana Loesch or people at the NRA are evil, don’t care, they’re terrorists, and there’s no pushback from the anchors.”

“This sort of thing makes a lot of people on the Right feel that the media are really using this as an opportunity to push gun control rather than objectively covering the legislative efforts that are going on in Washington, D.C.,” Shapiro continued.

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After expelled student Nikolas Cruz killed 17 victims at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, using an AR-15 rifle, media outlets like CNN focused exclusively on pro-gun control messages from survivors and their families.

Shapiro argued that CNN and others outlets lavished favorable coverage on them without questioning the factual claims of their rhetoric or their political stances.

CNN, in particular, held a town hall shortly after the shooting that pitted Parkland survivors against National Rifle Association (NRA) spokeswoman Dana Loesch and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla). Shapiro condemned media outlets for “the necessity” after each mass shooting of putting “specific survivors” on TV.

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Shapiro said that “it’s not a pleasant thing” when media members “pretend their political views are not influencing their coverage when it’s so obvious that those political views clearly are influencing their coverage.”

Stelter pushed back against Shapiro’s criticism of CNN and other networks, saying, “but is it political to just want fewer gun deaths? That’s not political.”

Although Shapiro agreed that pushing for fewer gun deaths isn’t political, he argued that it is political to allow “certain people to go on TV” without “any sort of follow-up question. It’s not like some of the members of CNN are pushing a particular agenda and some are pushing another agenda. If there is a bias, it is universally to one side. And that’s what people on the right are saying.”

Stelter asked Shapiro whether it was “political” to interview students who are “scared to go back to school” after the Parkland shooting. Shapiro disagreed, noting that networks push a specific agenda when they exhibit no “pushback on questions that would be asked to any other guests” to challenge their rhetoric and views.

But Stelter told Shapiro, “I sometimes worry you all are trying to tear things down as opposed to make them better. It’s one thing to critique and want journalism to be better, but sometimes I feel like you’re just trying to get rid of journalism altogether.”

Related: Dana Loesch Slams CNN, Says Media ‘Love’ Mass Shootings

Shapiro argued that he doesn’t want CNN, The New York Times, or The Washington Post “to disappear,” noting that he only wants them “to do what they say they are supposed to be doing.”

“I want them to perform objective journalism if that’s what they say they are going to do and opinion journalism if they say that they’re opinion journalists,” Shapiro said. “There’s a difference between op-ed and journalism. It’s why my critique of MSNBC sometimes is a lot less strident, I think, than my critique of CNN because CNN purports to be objective. MSNBC really does not purport to be objective in the same way.”

Stelter told Shapiro that a “part of me thinks that you and your colleagues at The Daily Wire should try to get jobs then at The New York Times. If you don’t like the coverage, try to be a part of the solution as opposed to complaining about it.”

Shapiro’s comments came in the wake of multiple examples since February 14 of CNN’s blatant favoritism of pro-gun control advocates. Anchor Jake Tapper stood silent, for example, as 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.”

On another occasion, CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin urged Florida Republican state Rep. Matt Caldwell to “give it a shot to at least consider the ban” proposed to outlaw assault rifles in the same segment where she insisted that no one is “asking for their guns to be taken away.”

In March, CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota said that President Donald Trump was “at his best” when he offered to support some gun restrictions after the Parkland shooting.

CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer urged lawmakers to consider when they could “begin a debate in the Florida state legislature to ban ‘assault weapons.'” In March, Blitzer also allowed Parkland survivor David Hogg to claim without correction or a demand for specific evidence that the NRA has “continued to terrorize our children and hurt our future.”

During a segment in February, Cuomo lashed out at Second Amendment advocates who have criticized the anti-gun Parkland survivors for their political advocacy, noting that the NRA “does kill you with money.”

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo defended the students in February, saying, “Because, you know, we are spending time doing what we should, which is calling out people who are attacking these kids. And there is a lot of B.S. going on to try to take the momentum out of these kids’ efforts.”

During a segment in February, Cuomo lashed out at Second Amendment advocates who have criticized the anti-gun Parkland survivors for their political advocacy, noting that the NRA “does kill you with money.”

In February, Cuomo also wondered, “How can you not include” gun control advocacy as part of Trump’s “Make America Great Again” agenda?

“He’s supposed to be a change agent, right? We are the scourge of the world when it comes to [mass shootings]. Nobody is worse than we are. How does that not make the MAGA agenda?” Cuomo asked.

Cuomo said in March that “nothing will change” in the gun control debate “unless the politicians who fight change get punished for fighting change and those who push for change get rewarded for pushing change.”

The anchor further gushed that “we’re not used to seeing a group of victims that play to your sympathy and can act intelligently and make arguments the way that they did. But it was true then and it is true today.”

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

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