You Know, CNN, You Could Have Had Emma Gonzalez On Instead of Rick Santorum

It was as offensive as it can possibly get.

Just one day after the historic March for Our Lives, CNN, bowing down once again to the god of false balance, just had to bring former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum onto the panel of State of the Union this morning to spit all over the children and teenagers who are trying to save lives:

CNN deserves to be bombarded with criticism for the decision to bring Santorum on to denigrate those who stood up against gun violence yesterday. I shook with anger as I heard Santorum suggest that these young Americans lack personal responsibility. These children and teenagers have far more personal responsibility than the adults–especially the adult elected officials–who, like Santorum, scorn their efforts.

I’ll never forget Emma Gonzalez’s powerful statement yesterday about the savagery that occurred in Parkland, Florida, last month. Why not bring Emma onto the State of the Union panel to discuss yesterday’s march, instead of an oaf like Santorum?

It’s bad enough when the likes of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) give rhetorical middle fingers to the youth who demanded action on gun violence. It’s even worse when CNN normalizes such right-wing radicalism by bringing obnoxious hacks like Santorum on to suggest that these kids should just shut up.

Two thumbs up to Van Jones and “never-Trump Republican” Linda Chavez for very subtly telling Santorum to get lost in their responses. Jones and Chavez also deserve praise for pointing out that action on gun violence ultimately won’t happen without a massive march to the polls to vote out the NRA’s sycophants. As powerful as yesterday’s march was, we cannot forget the words of former Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank:

I have been a firm believer that my friends on the left make a mistake by not thoroughly taking advantage of the political process. Pound for pound, the NRA is the most influential organization in America, and it has nothing to do with demonstrations. You have never seen a “shoot-in” by the NRA. They vote. They get all their people registered, and when a bill comes up, they call everybody – the city council, the senator, the supervisor, their representative. They have a lot of impact. Unfortunately, too many on the left find expressive politics more satisfying. Best example: contrast Occupy [Wall Street] and the Tea Party. In general, I was very disappointed because the Tea Party has been so much more effective than Occupy, not because they represent more people, but because they are smarter about how to do it. In summary, when the left gets mad, they tend to march. When the right gets mad, they tend to vote, and voting beats marching.

Santorum is no longer in the Senate because the voters threw him out on his ignorant rear end in 2006. Will the same fate befall the NRA’s lackeys in 2018 and 2020? We shall see. However, when it comes to false balance in the press, and the mainstream media’s need to provide extremists like Santorum a forum, it’s also time for us to say: enough is enough.

D.R. Tucker

D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.