Me­dia sharks smell blood from Florida school — and rat­ings

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - BY CHARLES HURT

Never be­fore has such an un­speak­able Amer­i­can tragedy been so quickly and shame­lessly politi­cized for petty par­ti­san gain. The dead were not even buried from the Florida school shoot­ing be­fore the par­ti­san hacks and jack­als in the press showed up. With glow­ing eyes and snarling in the dark­ness, they were on the scent of a fresh kill they could ex­ploit to ad­vance their own po­lit­i­cal agenda. And, of course, to goose TV rat­ings.

It was a gnarly NASCAR crash — with­out a race. Pure po­lit­i­cal porn.

Of course, the vic­tims and sur­vivors and he­roes and fam­i­lies are not to blame for any of this. In fact, they are vic­tim­ized all over again when their voices got hi­jacked by po­lit­i­cal op­por­tunists seek­ing to push their own twisted and un­pop­u­lar agenda. And, of course, to goose TV rat­ings.

Even that child with the shaved head who ac­cused Dana Loesch of not car­ing for her own chil­dren be­cause she — like most of us — sup­ports the Sec­ond Amend­ment.

“Dana Loesch, I want you to know that we will sup­port your two chil­dren in the way that you will not,” she read from script.

Nasty and threat­en­ing, the child dragged Mrs. Loesch’s per­fectly in­no­cent chil­dren into the de­bate — live on na­tional tele­vi­sion — in a way that only a child who knows noth­ing of a mother’s love for her chil­dren could.

Mrs. Loesch is a brave Amer­i­can, will­ing to stand in the breach at a mo­ment when most peo­ple who agree with her would rather just grieve and pray and qui­etly seek ways to pre­vent such hate­ful car­nage from be­ing car­ried out again by an­other de­ranged mon­ster. Good thing she is al­ways armed. Again, that child is not to blame. She is un­der­stand­ably lost and griev­ing, thrust into a bro­ken world in which hate thrives and wins wher­ever laws have been tram­pled, threats ig­nored, and sick, lonely peo­ple are left to fester.

Mrs. Loesch, of course, treated the child with the gen­tle kind­ness only a lov­ing mother knows.

The only vil­lains present were the team of rolling cam­eras from CNN, which hosted the so-called “town hall.” It was more like heck­lers at a fu­neral.

Des­per­ate for view­ers, CNN was of­fer­ing up-close, rub­ber­neck­ing of a mass crime where 17 peo­ple — mostly chil­dren — were killed by a very sick per­son. CNN was there to cap­ture all the agony from in­no­cent peo­ple at their most vul­ner­a­ble.

Re­al­ity TV car­nage. Even bet­ter than the net­work’s usual ju­bi­lant search for crashed air­lin­ers.

Mean­while, Pres­i­dent Trump once again shelved all par­ti­san­ship and opened the White House to any­one sin­cerely de­ter­mined to stop any­thing like this from hap­pen­ing again.

He pro­posed a ban on so-called “bump stocks,” at least one of which was used in the Las Ve­gas shoot­ing. He pro­posed rais­ing the age for pur­chas­ing long guns. He pro­posed tough­en­ing back­ground checks for gun buy­ers and in­clud­ing in­for­ma­tion about men­tal ill­ness. And he pro­posed tight­en­ing se­cu­rity at all schools.

Some good ideas. Some less good ideas. But all se­ri­ous and not one shred of par­ti­san­ship.

Amid all the noise, Mr. Trump also turned to a wise voice. Dar­rell Scott lost his daugh­ter, Rachel, in the 1999 mas­sacre at Columbine High School.

To honor her mem­ory, the griev­ing fa­ther started a group called Rachel’s Chal­lenge, a pro­gram aimed at reach­ing chil­dren be­fore they be­come un­hinged mur­der­ous mon­sters.

“One of the things we have learned — and we train young peo­ple and we train teach­ers — that the fo­cus must not be just on unity or di­ver­sity,” he told the pres­i­dent.

“If you fo­cus too much on di­ver­sity, you cre­ate di­vi­sion. If you fo­cus too much on unity, you’ll cre­ate com­pro­mise. But if you fo­cus on re­lat­ed­ness and how we can re­late with one an­other, then you can cel­e­brate the di­ver­sity and you can see the unity take place.

“I am all for di­ver­sity. I am all for unity,” Mr. Scott said. “But the fo­cus re­ally needs to be on how can we con­nect.” Charles Hurt can be reached at churt@ wash­ing­ton­times.com and on Twit­ter @ charleshurt.

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