CNN’s Worst Week Ever

Wolf Blitzer YouTube screenshot/CNN

Guy Short Six-time Republican National Convention delegate and GOP strategist
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On Monday, CNN’s coverage of the Florida shooting was as “objective” as you’d expect.

The morning kicked off with a flattering profile of Parkland students-turned-activists “changing the government.” Another story criticized President Trump’s “ambiguous 280-character ideas” and urged Republican leaders “to just do something.”

You’d expect better from the self-proclaimed “Most Trusted Name in News” coming off its least trustworthy week ever. CNN’s recent coverage epitomizes why the American people—only one-third of whom trust the media—are rapidly losing faith in the so-called “Fourth Estate.”

On Sunday, Brian Stelter—host of the ironically named “Reliable Sources”—invited student-activist David Hogg to lay the blame at the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) feet. Answering softball questions, Hogg not only claimed NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch “doesn’t care about these children’s lives,” but also defended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. (Yes, the same sheriff whose deputies refused to enter the school and defend the children from their assailant.)

Faced with ridiculous talking points, Stelter did nothing but encourage Hogg to regurgitate more of them.

Throughout last week, CNN trotted out students at Stoneman Douglas High School to make the case for gun control. One student called Republican support for Second Amendment rights “scary,” while CNN featured another claiming Republicans who “sit in their gilded House and Senate seats fund by the NRA” are “lying to us.” In another CNN interview, a Stoneman Douglas student described the NRA as “child murderers,” a claim the CNN anchor conducting the interview let stand.

While we all grieve with the Parkland community, the mainstream media’s responsibility is to report the facts and welcome a wide range of analytical perspectives. Instead, CNN has created a platform for unfounded left-wing opinions to supplant traditional news reporting—for no other reason than to spread its own gun control agenda to the masses. The network continues to exploit grieving children as propaganda pawns to score anti-Trump political points.

This takes us to CNN’s so-called town hall in Sunrise, Florida. Last Thursday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Loesch went out of their way to grieve with the victims and discuss gun policy, only to enter a lion’s den—that is, a CNN set-up—of hostile Democrats and vindictive liberalism. In one exchange, a Stoneman Douglas student looked Senator Rubio in the eyes and compared him to the school shooter: “It’s hard to look at you and not look down the barrel of an AR-15 and not look at Nicholas Cruz.” CNN anchor Jake Tapper sat approvingly silent.

Loesch, meanwhile, was heckled by the audience. Several students denounced her as a “murderer,” while others chanted “burn her!” Again, Tapper did nothing to defend Loesch—and the truth.

Instead of fostering a discussion, the purportedly “objective” CNN is openly lobbying for gun control without any consideration for other solutions. Why wasn’t Columbine survivor and Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R-CO) invited to the town hall?

Because this particular mass shooting survivor advocates a different point of view. Rep. Neville is vocally opposed to “gun-free zones,” which leaves schools and students vulnerable mass shootings. In his words, law-abiding citizens should be able to “to defend themselves and most importantly our children from the worst-case scenarios.”

He has a point. From 1998 to 2015, more than 96 percent of mass shootings occurred in gun-free zones, where a shooter could fire away at defenseless victims. Arming our schools would discourage would-be mass shooters and prevent tragedies like Parkland, and yet his valuable opinion was ignored by CNN.

Instead of belittling their critics, cable news networks would be better served restoring trust in the news media. If Monday’s coverage is any indication, CNN has a long way to go.

Guy Short (@shortguy1) is a former congressional chief of staff, six-time Republican National Convention delegate, and Republican strategist with over 25 years of experience in politics.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.