CNN Chief: ‘Silly’ To Criticize Our Gun Town Hall

REUTERS/Michael Laughlin

Amber Athey Podcast Columnist
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CNN chief Jeff Zucker claimed that the network’s town hall on the Parkland, Florida school shooting “presented both sides” and that criticism of the event is “silly.”

During the town hall, Marjory Stoneman Douglas students and audience members accused NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch of being complicit in murder and not caring about her own children. The crowd also booed the story of a pro-Second Amendment rape survivor and cheered loudly for a ban on all semi-automatic weapons. (RELATED: CNN Crowd Boos Pro-2A Rape Survivor)

After the town hall, CNN faced accusations that it scripted questions for students and would not allow a pro-Second Amendment student to write his own question. (RELATED: CNN Denies Student’s Claim The Network Planted ‘Scripted’ Questions At Gun Town Hall)

“That criticism is silly,” Zucker told The Hollywood Reporter. “The fact is we were there, we presented both sides. People who want to criticize are looking to just criticize before they even think about it.”

Zucker added that other Republicans beside Sen. Marco Rubio could have attended the town hall, arguing, “that’s not CNN’s problem.”

Zucker alleged the CNN town hall was an opportunity for people to have a “conversation” and that the event hosted people “who have different points of view.”

“I think it was a really important milestone in this conversation because for one of the few times, people who have different points of view were together,” says Zucker. “And the problem is: all too often, whether it’s on blogs or websites or partisan television networks, people are just talking to themselves. And nothing will ever change if we don’t start talking to one another.”

Anchor Jake Tapper, who was criticized for not pushing back on the students who personally attacked Loesch, seemed to give the students a pass because of their grief from the shooting.

“However offended anybody was at the passion in the town hall, and however upset they were at mean words that were said to Sen. Rubio or Dana Loesch, they’ll get over it,” Tapper declared. “And the people in that stadium, they won’t.”

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