Better late than never? CNN has finally apologized for smearing Marco Rubio as a do-nothing on gun violence, albeit mainly buried in their wall-to-wall “March For Our Lives” coverage yesterday. Ten days earlier, Alisyn Camerota had accused Rubio — the only Republican national figure to appear on CNN’s public-beating townhall in the wake of the Parkland massacre — of ducking the gun issue:
Watch this brazen attempt to mislead viewers by @CNN’s @NewDay host Alisyn Camerota, hailing @TedDeutch for the #StopSchoolViolenceAct, (the very bill that @MarcoRubio has been fighting for non stop for weeks) while criticizing Rubio for focusing on other priorities. pic.twitter.com/cvfdiEVw5f
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) March 15, 2018
With the marchers behind her yesterday, Camerota took a minute to set the record straight. Sort of, anyway:
— Rubio Republicans (@RubioRepublican) March 25, 2018
In a recent interview on New Day, I mischaracterized Senator Rubio as not being focused on gun violence since Parkland. I failed to mention that, in fact, there has been a lot that he has been doing behind the scenes.
Camerota then goes on to “highlight some of those things,” much of which — contra Camerota — have not at all been “behind the scenes.” The most glaring example of that, of course, was the CNN townhall itself, which was on prime-time television on Camerota’s own network. The network then repaid Rubio for that participation by allowing Camerota’s smear of Rubio to stand for ten full days.
The anchor then goes on to note that Rubio has pushed legislation by speaking publicly about the need for it. Rubio publicly sponsored his own STOP School Violence Act and the pending Fix-NICS proposal, both of which passed in no small measure due to his persistence. Two days before Camerota’s original accusation, Rubio held a joint news conference with Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and other Senate members to demand passage of STOP. That’s not exactly “behind the scenes,” and Camerota knows better.
It’s several days late and more than a dollar short, but at least it’s a retraction, and one that seems sticking. Camerota brought it up again this morning, rebutting David Hogg’s contention on New Day that Rubio isn’t doing anything:
.@davidhogg111 admits that his rage against Senator @marcorubio is misplaced since Rubio is one of the only ones who has been working across the isle to solve the shooting epidemic. pic.twitter.com/oUvTfdf73q
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) March 26, 2018
That’s worth a kudo, especially since most other media hosts have let Hogg’s increasingly shrill and ridiculous accusations slide without comment.
Rubio deserves a little better than this from CNN after his participation in their townhall, but at least he’s learned a lesson in that experience. So has Kyle Kashuv, who made an appearance on Face the Nation yesterday to argue that he’s been mainly ignored by the media, even though the “silent majority” at his school support his more moderate proposals for solutions to gun violence. He also told CBS that he thinks Rubio is getting the shaft from the media, too:
KASHUV: There — there’s a very — there’s a silent minority at Stoneman Douglas who agrees with me completely. Something called the Marshal Program, which was registered and implemented in Florida and which would allow properly trained officers and veterans, and unemployment veterans, to acquire the training to protect our school because we’ve seen in Maryland that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. And it really concerned me as to home come we did not see a single person —
BRENNAN: You want — you would have liked more armed guards at the school?
KASHUV: Absolutely. I mean we saw it in Maryland. He stopped the shooter. He did his job. And had the cowards of Broward done their job, I think that the count in Parkland would have been much lower. We saw that in Maryland that a good guy with a gun stopped a bad guy with a gun. The only way to stop an active shooter on campus is to have another person to eliminate him.
BRENNAN: So in your meetings with people on Capitol Hill and at the White House, did you get any promises to take action? Did they tell you anything would be done to follow through on what you’re laying out?
KASHUV: Every single senator that I have spoken with does not want to see this happen. I spoke with Senator Marco Rubio.
BRENNAN: Of course.
KASHUV: He cares so much about this. And it pains me to see how he’s being represented in the media.
Mainly, he’s been misrepresented. Kashuv has been barely represented at all, although that seems to be changing. Perhaps we’ll see more accountability now that the media’s obsession with marches has been sated for a while.