The unconscionable attacks against the motives of the Parkland, Florida, students who have spent the past week speaking out on gun control following the deadly mass shooting at their high school have mostly existed on the outer fringe of political media. Until now.
“There is a huge controversy online that I am hesitant even to wade in on, but I think that it needs to be addressed,” Fox News’ primetime host Tucker Carlson said Tuesday night. He was speaking to Dan Bongino, who he identified as a “former Secret Service agent” without mentioning that he is currently a paid contributor to NRATV.
Carlson insisted that “all of us feel terrible” for the protesting students, adding, “You cannot imagine anything worse than your kids school getting shot up, but all of a sudden you are seeing these kids involved in calls for very specific pieces of legislation.”
“And the allegation has been that they are in some way in contact with organized anti-gun groups, and they’ve been denounced as immoral and heartless and how how dare you attack them,” Carlson continued, “which I am not doing, but it raises interesting questions about how we make our laws.”
Among those who have been pilloried for questioning the students’ ability or right to speak out on these issues are CNN contributor and former GOP Rep. Jack Kingston, who said the teens were being used by “left wing gun control activists,” a current Republican Florida lawmaker’s office, which called the students “crisis actors,” and conservative activist Dinesh D’Souza, who tweeted: “Adults 1, kids 0” when the Florida legislature voted down an effort to ban assault weapons.
Bongino agreed with Carlson that “if you are involved in a horrific, unimaginable tragedy, your voice should be heard,” but in the next breath said the teens’ voices would be “most valuable” on issues that do not concern guns. “But the media is focused more on a teenager's expertise in supply-side control measures for guns, which, Tucker, let’s be candid, they probably have not studied a very complicated, layered issue.”
“They are using these kids in a kind of moral blackmail, where you are not allowed to disagree or you are attacking the child,” Carlson said, saying that is something he would “never do as a father of four.”
Moments later, the host was cackling with glee as his guest pointed out the “irony” that “when it comes to things like immigration rights,” the media doesn’t want to talk to parents of kids who have been killed by undocumented immigrants.