The right seems to be out of talking points, so they attack the messenger. This time the “messenger” are the high school students of Parkland Florida, who have watched friends die in a horrific mass shooting.
those who accuse the grieving fla students of being actors i hope are being ostracized in their community. shame, shame, shame
— Tom Brokaw (@tombrokaw) February 21, 2018
Some of the attacks on social media are simply insane, but you have to take them seriously because they go viral instantly. The Miami Herald sets some out:
Conservative pundits, outlets and social media posters on Tuesday hit airwaves and social media hard. Some raised absurd conspiracy theories that kids who just endured a horrifying assault are actually “crisis actors” trained to stage “false flag” events. Others questioned the motivations and political backing of students who have been praised by mainstream media, Democratic politicians, gun control groups and television stars like HBO’s John Oliver.
The Tampa Bay Times reported that an aide to Florida Rep. Shawn Harrison, a Republican from Hillsborough County, used state email to send a photo of two students with this message to a reporter: “Both kids in the picture are not students here but actors that travel to various crisis when they happen.” That’s false.
Harrison immediately distanced himself. “I was just made aware that my aide made an insensitive and inappropriate allegation about Parkland students today,’’ he tweeted Tuesday afternoon. “I have spoken to him and placed him on leave until we determine an appropriate course of action. I do not share his opinion and he did so without my knowledge.”
By early evening, Harrison’s aide Benjamin Kelly tweeted that he’d been fired.
A blogger at Gateway Pundit, a far-right, pro-Trump website, wrote a piece calling one of the leading student voices “a plant.” It included a picture of student David Hogg with a circle around his head and this statement: “Son of FBI agent.” Hogg was among the first Stoneman Douglas students to appear on networks and cable news demanding tougher laws from state and federal lawmakers.
Former U.S. Congressman Allen West, a Republican who served a single term in South Florida as a Tea Party star, also joined in. In one Twitter post, he lumped shooter Nikolas Cruz with five Americans of Middle Eastern descent who claimed connections to terrorist groups. There is no indication that 19-year-old Cruz, who state records show has lived much of his life in Broward County, was a follower of any Muslim terror group.
Jack Kingston, a former U.S. Representative from Georgia who is now a CNN contributor, doubted the students’ intentions, questioning their motivation on his Twitter account and opining that they’re being led by “left wing gun control activists.” On CNN’s New Day Tuesday morning, Kingston said the students’ “sorrow can very easily be hijacked by left-wing groups who have an agenda.”
Here’s a sample, mostly from the POS Dinesh D’Souza:
On and on it goes. Here, however, is Jack Kingston getting spanked by Van Jones for his comments:
And, undeterred, rallies are continuing.
Tonight, CNN is having a town hall. The NRA accepted CNN’s invitation to participate in the town hall and national spokeswoman Dana Loesch will represent the organization. Ugh.
But the rallies continue. As I write this, thousands of students in Broward County are staging a walkout:
LIVE: High school students in Broward County, Florida stage a walkout in solidarity with the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, looks like thousands. #NeverAgain #BanMachineGuns pic.twitter.com/nJLRSxfkVj
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) February 21, 2018
Students marching on the U.S. Capitol.https://t.co/svY8gc5PqN
— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) February 21, 2018
“This is what democracy looks like.” Tallahassee, Florida. pic.twitter.com/iZhqXnnNfO
— Peter Schorsch (@PeterSchorschFL) February 21, 2018
But one Texas school district is telling its students in no uncertain terms that gun protests will not be tolerated. The Needville, Texas, schools superintendent is threatening students with suspension if they walk out or otherwise disrupt the school day in their efforts to prevent future school days from being disrupted by a mass shooting:
“Life is all about choices and every choice has a consequence whether it be positive or negative. We will discipline no matter if it is one, fifty, or five hundred students involved,” Rhodes wrote. “All will be suspended for 3 days and parent notes will not alleviate the discipline.” […]
“A school is a place to learn and grow educationally, emotionally and morally,” Rhodes wrote.
“A disruption of the school will not be tolerated.”
Texas. Go figure.
People are getting innovative about getting at the NRA:
Things are happening.
The website advertising the ‘official credit card of the NRA’ just disappeared
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) February 21, 2018
The card was issued by @FNBOmaha (who is not responding to our inquiries but has been responding to customers on Twitter.) Here are the other companies in business with the NRA. https://t.co/YJh8dYyYzH
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) February 21, 2018
There is an interesting side note to this… the annual CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference). Once a mainstay for people like Ronald Reagan (the first president to speak there), it has been weakened by the schism between Trump supporters and Never-Trumpers. Last year, Steve Bannon spoke there, while wild-eyed nutbar Milo Yiannopoulos was dropped (for his Nazi affiliations). The gun issue appears to be breaking up the CPAC group again this year as The Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft (“The Dumbest Man on the Internet”) is being DIS-invited to take part in a panel because of his attacks on the Stoneman Douglas high school students.
How groundless information about Parkland survivors spread to hundreds of thousands of people.
Look at their eyes move. It’s obvious these kids are reading a screen or notes someone else wrote for them.
Notice how media is only talking to the same group of students. They aren’t talking to the pro gun ROTC students who actually saved lives, unlike these students… https://twitter.com/buzzfeednews/status/965240824404566017 …
“Images that attack the victims of last week’s tragedy in Florida are abhorrent. We are removing this content from Facebook,” deBree said in a statement.
Youtube is doing something similar.