CNN to host new town hall on gun control. What could go wrong?

The last time they did this after a mass shooting they ended up with one of the biggest sh*tshows in the network’s history, a forum for grief-stricken people to hoot at gun-rights advocates in the guise of a policy conversation.

Featuring special guest and local moral authority Sheriff Scott Israel.

Naturally the thing to do after a wrenching double mass shooting is to bring back the format, except this time with a moderator to Jake Tapper’s left just to make CNN’s advocacy role that much clearer.

John spotted this tweet from CNNer Brian Stelter earlier this afternoon and asked sarcastically, “Why won’t Republicans appear on CNN?”

One Republican, Rep. Ted Yoho, did agree to come on the air to chat about gun policy. For his trouble he was greeted by a graphic created by CNN listing 49 other Republicans who rejected their interview requests — a perfectly reasonable response by those pols given the network’s bias. That should be a lesson to any GOPer who’s weighing whether to attend Wednesday night’s forum: Even when you’re willing to play nice with CNN, like Yoho did, your appearance will be used to try to score a point on your party.

So don’t go. Organize your own informal town hall on Facebook fielding questions from viewers if you want to address the public on gun policy. There’s no need to encourage CNN’s demagoguery.

Under the circumstances, I don’t know how else to explain another gun-control town hall where the same-old-same-old talking points will be rehashed except as an exercise in ideological advocacy. After all, there was another hot topic this past weekend that CNN might have profitably focused on instead, white nationalism and the online radicalization of killers like the El Paso shooter via forums like 8Chan. Plenty of conservative pols and commentators denounced that ideology this weekend. Bringing righties and lefties together on TV to discuss solutions, like Lindsey Graham’s and Richard Blumenthal’s idea for “red-flag orders,” would be an interesting bipartisan opportunity, and would also scratch CNN’s itch to make Republicans answer for the radicalism of the far right, replete with hard questions about some of Trump’s rhetoric. The fact that they skipped that to reheat the usual gun-policy stew tells you where their priorities are. Sure, white nationalism is dangerous, but when a crisis presents a chance politically to grab some guns, you take it.

Exit question: Which far-left Democrat said this over the weekend? “On a personal level, I’m willing to subrogate any of my other rights to avoid another Sandy Hook, another Pulse nightclub, another day like we had yesterday… Show me the law and sign me up and I will give up any other right I have.” The answer may surprise you!