CNN received a prestigious journalism award for a televised town hall event after the Parkland, Florida, massacre that was really a gun control advocacy event at which conservatives were berated and verbally abused, according to Hot Air.
In the wake of the mass killing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018, CNN set up an event that included some survivors of the tragedy, National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch, Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio, and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.
The event was not remotely journalistic in nature; instead, it was set up to scapegoat conservatives Rubio and Loesch as having contributed to the tragedy by way of their views on gun rights.
Still, the University of Southern California's Norman Lear Center awarded CNN the "Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism," even though the event itself was titled, "The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action." It was activism, not journalism.
Hot Air's Allahpundit summarized what the event, and the award, say about the state of mainstream media:
It was embarrassing all the way through, less town hall than mob catharsis, and of course they're being rewarded for it by industry watchdogs rather than reprimanded. If you wonder why big media is frequently so terrible, this is a small part of the answer: They're incentivized to be that way by their own gatekeepers.
One of the lowlights of the event was when Parkland survivor Cameron Kasky told Rubio that he couldn't look at him "and not look down the barrel of an AR-15 and not look at Nikolas Cruz" before demanding that Rubio reject any future support from the NRA.
Survivor to Rubio: Will you reject NRA money? www.youtube.com
Loesch said after the event that CNN blindsided her in terms of what her role would be at the event and about how intentionally antagonistic the environment would be against her, and also said a woman tried to physically attack her after the broadcast.
"I showed up in good faith for genuine conversation knowing that at best, it would be a tough event," Loesch tweeted. "The lengths @CNNPR went to inflame emotions and exploit pain to *put on a show* is inexcusable, shameful, and it's grotesque they're celebrating getting an 'award' for their conduct."
@CNNPR @CronkiteAward I showed up in good faith for genuine conversation knowing that at best, it would be a tough… https://t.co/d2XJfhenJy— Dana Loesch (@Dana Loesch)1553018653.0