News & Politics

CNN Honored with Prestigious Cronkite Award for its Awful Parkland Town Hall

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel speaks before a CNN town hall broadcast, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Fla. (Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File)

CNN was honored Tuesday with the “Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism” for their truly awful February 2018 town hall in Parkland, Fla., where NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch was demonized while disgraced former Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel was lionized.

The two-hour special “was aired only seven days after 17 students and teachers were murdered by a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School,” the Norman Lear Center’s press release states.

In this “compelling and powerful” forum, moderator Jake Tapper deftly gave generous space to speak to gun control advocates, politicians, Parkland students, parents and a representative from the NRA. The program helped “advance the national conversation on gun control and violence,” the jury said.

Actually, it disgracefully demogued the issue while emotions were still raw.

Israel, who was fired by new Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, in January due to his incompetent handling of the shooting, was feted as a hero during the CNN town hall as he shamed local politicians, Dana Loesch, and the NRA in front of an approving liberal, anti-gun mob.

It wasn’t long after CNN’s town hall, however, that the truth about his woefully inadequate leadership came trickling out and the drumbeat of calls for his resignation became deafening.

Some conservatives have described the town hall as an “Orwellian Two Minutes Hate” against the Second Amendment, but as the Chicago Tribune’s John Kass noted in a column following the spectacle, that doesn’t quite do it justice.

Because it went on for much longer than two minutes, didn’t it?

It went on and on and on, and from the earliest moments it became clear that this wasn’t a reasonable discussion about complicated policy and the Bill of Rights.

This was all about confrontation, drama, and exhorting a crowd that wants politicians to “do something” about guns. And so, the CNN many minutes of Second Amendment hate was nothing more than a campaign rally for the Democratic Party.

Indeed, rather than focus on the systemic failures that led up to a violent and unstable person legally acquiring a gun, the town hall seemed designed to promote a gun-control agenda and villainize Second Amendment supporters — especially Loesch.

Town hall attendees booed and chanted “shame on you!” as she left the stage.

Loesch wondered on Twitter why she didn’t get a share of the award since she was the delegated villain at the farcical town hall.

CNN anchor Jake Tapper, who was the moderator of the Parkland town hall, unfollowed Loesch after the above tweet.

Conservative Parkland High School student Kyle Kashuv spoke for many when he called CNN’s town hall “a shameful display” and called the fact that it got an award “disgusting.”