|Conspicuously enthusiastic blamecasting exposes beneficiaries of Parkland shooting
(April 18, 2018)
Since the “lone gunman” narrative of the Parkland shooting has been shown to be preposterous, it cannot serve as the cause of the current gun-control movement. That means it must have come from somewhere else. This inescapable conclusion meets with considerable resistance from those who cannot separate appearance from reality or have embraced the gun-control movement for its own sake and are happy to sanction a fraud. Nevertheless, cognitive dissonance cannot alter the fact that the shooting was a pretext to a larger purpose: to stampede the nation into a gun-control frenzy.
Lynching the NRA
When it was founded in 1871, the National Rifle Association of America (NRA) was a consistent voice for the responsible use of firearms, including supporting gun control and advocating strict training in their use. In 1977, however, libertarians seized control of the NRA and equated gun ownership as an expression of rabid anti-government individualism. The right to gun ownership was now absolute and joined at the hip to the Second Amendment: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
The oft-cited “right to bear arms” has nothing to do with blanket permission to own a firearm but with the right of each state to maintain a militia. This is clearly spelled out in the sources of the amendment: Federalist 29, written by Alexander Hamilton and Federalist 46, by James Madison, the latter of whom wrote:
Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country [of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men], be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger… To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence.
The libertarian reading deliberately ignores the opening participial phrase, ungrammatical though it may be, to make the amendment read: “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” This is not what the framers intended. Hamilton goes into great detail about the logistical nightmare associated with the raising and training of well-regulated militias, but nevertheless defends their necessity.
The attention of the government ought particularly to be directed to the formation of a select corps of moderate extent, upon such principles as will really fit them for service in case of need. By thus circumscribing the plan, it will be possible to have an excellent body of well-trained militia, ready to take the field whenever the defense of the State shall require it.…This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist. (emphasis added)
The phrases “a select corps” and “a body of well-trained militia” clearly shows that gun ownership is a limited, collective right assigned to a group, not an absolute, individual right. To rephrase the great American editor H.L. Mencken, the idea that gun ownership makes Americans safer is like saying the cure for crime is more crime. An international study on firearm-related death proved this.
On Feb. 1, 2016, The American Journal of Medicine published a report of gun-related deaths in 22 wealthy nations for 2010 and found the U.S. murder rate to be 10.2 per 100,000 people compared to, say, Germany (1.1), Sweden (1.5), Canada (2.3) and the U.K. (0.2). According to the authors of the report:
Overall, our results show that the U.S., which has the most firearms per capita in the world, suffers disproportionately from firearms compared with other high-income countries. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that our firearms are killing us rather than protecting us.
The current version of the NRA has much to answer for, but the Parkland shooting is not one of them. In fact, there is no history of the NRA ever being involved in a mass shooting. The current anti-NRA ranting is exclusively a product of the AR-15 assault rifle that “lone gunman” Nikolas Cruz is alleged to have used, despite the fact that there are ample eyewitness and earwitness who mention multiple shooters. Because of the gun-worshipping mentality of the NRA and the ease with which it bribes legislators to sabotage gun-control legislation, it’s easy to understand that few if any people are willing to defend it against character assassination. In fact, gun-control advocates have eagerly jumped on the propaganda bandwagon.
Adding to the spurious nature of the anti-NRA broadside is the Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BSO). Its official report said Cruz was also equipped with a gas mask, smoke grenades and extra magazines of ammunition, though no witnesses mentioned grenades or smoke. Are we to believe that a teenaged boy could walk into Al’s Ammo Shack and get away with buying all this military hardware? Even if in some twisted scenario he could, why should the NRA be held responsible?! To add idiocy to injury, hundreds of emotional students, as if guided by some invisible hand, converged on the NRA’s Virginia headquarters to demand tighter gun laws even though the NRA is not responsible for passing legislation. The absurdity of this scene would have impressed Franz Kafka.
The gun control/anti-NRA frenzy has no defensible cause and effect. In fact, 33 days before the “March for our Lives To End School Gun Violence” on March 24, organizers posted ads on Craigslist offering to pay $200 to $500 per person to join the march’s “sales team.”
Could students really have pulled this off?! Of course, not. The march’s political organizers were indeed selling something, but it wasn’t gun control. If it had been, there would have been no need to prevent any student from speaking, but they did. Patrick Petty and Hunter Pollack, who lost a sibling, along with Kyle Kashuv were denied the chance to speak because they support Trump and they objected to the manipulative conduct of the gun-control enthusiasts. Now we come to the real purpose of the march and the entire Parkland narrative.
Hogg hits the target
Just as the Parkland shooting was instrumental to a higher purpose (gun control), gun control is itself instrumental to an even higher purpose. Finding it depends on identifying who would benefit the most from a gun-control/anti-NRA attack campaign. The answer leads us to the real target, and the connection is provided by faux-survivor David Hogg.
In this interaction with CNN, his virtual press agency, Hogg did something quite remarkable: He directly linked the Parkland shooting with the NRA and the NRA with President Donald Trump, the real target. The cynical nature of Hogg’s NRA attack is obvious because he could not give believable responses to the softball questions lobbed by the CNN hostess. Hogg dutifully spread anti-NRA fearmongering no matter how preposterous it made him look. For example, he had no problem with accusing the NRA of wanting to lower the age of gun acquisition and gratuitously imputing to it violent motives:
Let us sell you more guns at an even younger age, put more people at risk, scare more people, cause more violence, kill more people, and sell more guns.
Hogg sank further into self-parody when he gave a non-response to an NRA graphic. It read: “Imposing a 3-day wait period on rifle and shotgun purchases would not have stopped any of the high-profile mass shootings in recent years.” The statement is correct––there is no cause and effect between waiting for a gun and using it––but when the hostess asked for a comment, Hogg resorted to an exclamatory non sequitur, complete with affected anger: “Nik Cruz was 19 and legally bought his assault rifle!”
This outburst served to reinforce the fictitious link between Cruz and the NRA, but it also exposed Hogg’s lack of credibility. How did he know for certain that Cruz, himself, bought the gun? Furthermore, the BSO said that when Cruz rode up to school in an Uber he was also armed with a gas mask and smoke grenades: Why doesn’t Hogg mention these?
Accuracy is not important for Hogg because his anti-NRA ranting is merely a rhetorical device to implicate Trump in the Parkland shooting, which he shows near the beginning of the interview. Hogg acknowledges that Trump wants to raise the age of gun ownership to 21, but then gives away his real motive:
[Trump] called out other GOP members, and he said that you’re essentially owned by the NRA, and that’s why you don’t want to take action. But then he stepped back down from where he was, and that’s why we’re seeing this stuff…Show us that you’re better than these other politicians, that you aren’t owned by the NRA, and that you actually want to take action. [emphasis added]
What action, pray tell, does the little firebrand have in mind? The president does not write legislation, control the NRA, or even control his own members of Congress. There is no action for Trump to take! If Hogg genuinely cared about gun control he would have publicly sided with Trump and aimed his scripted fusillades at NRA-owned congressmen, but that would have defeated the purpose.
Thought police go into damage control
When charges of Hogg’s dubious credibility flooded the Internet, one would have hoped for some sort of intelligent investigation, especially since Hogg’s lectures, sermons and tirades are obviously rehearsed and robotically delivered. How does a high school student rocket to international fame and become the go-to interview subject for every major network without having been put there by a powerful interest group? Did it never occur to anyone that the media’s fawning over Hogg might be a little too conspicuous and self-serving?
Perhaps some reporters did sense something amiss, but as far as this story was concerned, reporting went out the window. The palace press was heavily invested in pushing the cult of David Hogg and did so to the benefit of those who organized the Parkland shooting.
The propaganda pulpit
On the front line of this offensive propaganda offensive is Anderson Cooper, former CIA intern and CNN’s crisis-actor specialist. In March 2012, Cooper interviewed someone by the name of Danny Dayem about the Syrian “civil war.” “Syrian Danny,” as he came to be known, was presented as an anti-Assad fighter reporting from an active war zone in Homs, Syria. However, the entire interview was staged, with Dayem even directing gunfire sound effects and stalling the “interview” until CNN (Cooper) was ready. Dayem, who is a zionist and speaks with an obvious English accent, later admitted he was a terrorist propagandist, but CNN had treated him as a credible source for more than a year. Cooper neither apologized for spreading false news nor was he fired for professional misconduct.
At Parkland, Cooper’s crisis-actor engagement skills were on display in two instances. One involved his interaction with the Sucher sisters, Emily and Alicia, who were presented as Parkland students speaking about their experience. The audience was supposed to accept their emotional reactions at face value, but Cooper and the CNN graphics team forgot to mention that both girls are professional actresses. Alicia, and Emily have bios on imdb.com.
The second crisis-actor instance involved Cooper’s multiple engagements with David Hogg. One of these was this Feb. 20 segment, when Hogg and his father Kevin, a former FBI agent, were ostensibly invited to respond to the charges that David is a crisis actor, but that is not entirely true. The segment showed the mutually dependent relationship between CNN and Hogg. Hogg needs CNN to make him seem genuine despite himself, and CNN needs Hogg because he is the face of the anti-NRA/anti-Trump narrative, of which CNN is also a beneficiary.
From the outset, Cooper laid his propaganda credentials face up on the table, so to speak. At no time did he make even a pretense of behaving like an honest journalist, as these examples of his tactics attest:
Poisoning the Well
Special case of ad hominem (personal attack), a person pre-emptively introduces irrelevant, prejudicial material to discredit anything the target person or group might say.
Cooper begins his Hogg segment in left field by describing funerals for four students; featuring three students who received military awards for heroism, though what heroic acts they committed is anybody’s guess; and commenting on students busing to the Florida state capital for a gun control vote.
At 00:52, after setting the emotionally manipulative tone, Cooper poisons the well: “Something else has been happening as these kids bury their friends: some sick conspiracy theories have been cropping up.” He then talks over a picture of a tweet featuring two students called crisis actors––David Hogg and Emma Gonzales––thus polluting the issue of crisis actors with negative pathos.
Genetic Fallacy/Extreme Example
Attacking the origin or cause of a claim rather than its substance/origin or cause is not representative
Cooper then says the accusation of crisis actor “[pops] up time and time again from alt-right, far right and conspiracy websites.” These sites do not represent the political views of everyone who thinks Hogg is a crisis actor, and to imply that they do is a clear attempt to derationalize the issue. Cooper goes on to ridicule the very idea of crisis actors and then baldly asserts that Emma Gonzales and David Hogg are not actors but rather Parkland students fighting for change. From this point, the very subject of crisis actors is anathematized and denied despite the fact that the U.S. government actively solicits them.
Guilt by Association
Discrediting an idea or claim by association with an undesirable person or group
At 3:39 Cooper divulges the real bias behind this crisis-actor segment. In reacting to a retweet of a critical comment that mentions Hogg and his father, he? said:
While we’d normally be reluctant to give these conspiracy theories any oxygen at all, it’s what happened next that makes it newsworthy because the person who hit the “like” button on the “Thomas Paine” tweet was none other than the president’s own son, Don Jr.
What Donald Trump Jr. likes or does not like has nothing to do with the substantive charge that David Hogg is a crisis actor. The only possible reason for including this glaring irrelevancy and giving it such prominence is to it to attack Trump. This is the real focus of the segment. Cooper proved this when at 4:03 he asked David Hogg what goes through his mind when he hears Trump Jr. liking “conspiracy theories” that involve his father and him.
To list all the examples of Cooper’s crimes against journalism would take too long, but at this point the reader has seen enough to realize that something is terribly wrong when a host deliberately prejudices an issue to cosset a guest and not hold the guest accountable for what he says. From here, the rest of the show degenerates into political grandstanding and more genetic fallacies. If nothing else, Cooper’s misconduct highlights the political symbiosis between CNN and Hogg.
Talking points and body language
Just as he did in the above-cited interview regarding the NRA, David Hogg continued to embarrass himself on national TV and validate the charges against him. He delivered talking points instead of honest answers and showed his dishonesty through his delivery and body language. To Cooper’s question regarding Trump Jr., his response was so idiotic and sanctimonious that further comment is unnecessary: “I’m just so sorry that these people have lost their faith in America.”
Every time Hogg is put in front of a camera he comes off looking less and less believable. In fact, he couldn’t even convince himself. At 4:37, Hogg robotically intones: “These people saying this is absolutely disturbing, and I’m not an actor in any sense, way, shape or form. I’m the son of a former FBI agent, and that is true.”
Throughout these few seconds Hogg stares stiffly at the camera, but when he says “sense, way, shape or form,” he looks down and to the right before returning to his former pose. This suggests deception; if he really believed his own words he would have stayed looking directly at the camera.
|Left: David Hogg prepares to tell Anderson Cooper that he's not a crisis actor;
Right: He can't say it into the camera.
The rest of Cooper’s segment consisted of fawning platitudes and Hogg trying to convince the audience that he supports the Second Amendment: “I want every American to own a gun that has a mentally stable mind, a credible background… and will not go out and commit these atrocities.” Obviously, Hogg thinks guns really do kill people.
By the end, any intelligent person would have been left scratching his head in wonderment at this bizarre spectacle and Cooper’s cringeworthy bias. Perhaps it might have helped if Cooper had told the whole truth about David Hogg’s parents. He identified Kevin Hogg as a former FBI agent but failed to mention that he was a crisis management specialist. He also didn’t point out that Hogg’s mother works for CNN.
Cooper’s conflict of interest is symptomatic of CNN, which is a beneficiary of the Parkland shooting and its anti-Trump objective. In fact, CNN was as much an active participant as it was, for example, in the 2015 Bataclan shooting, the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing and the 2001 World Trade Centre/Pentagon attack. Without this loyal narrative spinner, these staged attacks could not be sold as a real acts of mass violence to terrorize the public.
The connection between mass media and Parkland’s political beneficiaries can best be seen in this attack piece on thinkprogress.org entitled, “Everything you need to know about the absurd ‘crisis actor’ conspiracy theory.” Just like Anderson Cooper, author Luke Barnes accepts as gospel the sacred violence of the Parkland narrative and intones the requisite imprecations to slander critics as “conspiracy theorists” and “alt-right extremists.” The reader is subjected to a sustained harangue that is dependent on the same logical and rhetorical fallacies.
Thinkprogress.org is replete with anti-right wing frothing, as if no middle ground in an issue could possibly exist. This is no accident. Thinkprogress is a project of the Centre for American Progress, which is a Clintoncrat propaganda front. Current president Neera Tanden served on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and in the Obama and Bill Clinton administration. Founding president and CEO is Democratic Party éminence grise John Podesta, most recently Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, journalists overwhelmingly threw personal funds at Hillary Clinton––$381,814––compared to just $14,373 to Trump. Attack stories on Trump were conspicuous; negative stories on Clinton, conspicuous by their absence. Understandably, then-candidate Trump condemned the mainstream media for being actively biased against him and for putting out “fake news.” Chief among the accused non-print fake-news sites was CNN.
It is not possible to say who specifically set up the Parkland shooting or who fired at whom–– that’s what patsies and a compliant media are for––but it is possible to say the following: the official narrative of the Parkland shooting is a politically staged event, as are the gun-control and the anti-Trump campaigns. Yet, for Americans who have allowed themselves to be seduced by the sacred violence and who have bought into David Hogg’s scripted sermonizing, this fact is morally inadmissible and must be aggressively denied, not because it’s wrong but because it is politically expedient to do so. In the words of Columbia University professor and journalist Chris Hedges:
The reality of the narrative is irrelevant. It can be completely at odds with the facts. The consistency and emotional appeal of the story are paramount. Those who are best at deception succeed.