CNN Promotes Chris Murphy's Attack on GOP Over School Shootings

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Cross posted to the MRC's NewsBusters blog

In the aftermath of the shootings at Oxford High School in Michigan, CNN again showed how much of a partisan Democrat network it has become as host Anderson Cooper not only promoted Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) in a hyped attack on Republicans, but, in the same show, spent more than four minutes trying to undermine Dr. Mehmet Oz as a possible Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.

At 8:42 p.m., Cooper hyped a speech Senator Murphy tweeted about in which he recalled getting angry driving home, turning around, and driving back to the Capitol to rail against Republicans, blaming them for school shootings. Hinting at Murphy lamely accusing Republicans of hypocrisy for caring about the lives of unborn babies, Cooper set up the segment: "This next story brings together the two stories we've just talked about -- the mass shooting in Michigan and the abortion arguments heard before the Supreme Court. Late yesterday, Democrat Chris Murphy from Connecticut posted this on Twitter."

The CNN host then read from Senator Murphy's tweet: "Driving home tonight, I thought about Republicans' floor speeches tonight on the 'sanctity of life.' And how this concern for 'life' apparently doesn't extend to the kids who were shot today in a school in Michigan. So I turned the car around, and went to the Senate floor."

After playing a clip from Senator Murphy's latest stunt in which he charged that the occurrence of school shootings in the U.S. "is a choice made by the United States Senate to sit on our hands and do nothing while kids die," Cooper brought on the Connecticut Democrat as a guest and gave him several minutes to repeat some of his attacks on Republicans without any challenge at all.

Even though Murphy has at times in the past been pressed into admitting that his proposals would not have prevented the most recent mass shooting, the Democrat Senator went unchallenged as he suggested that the most recent shooting could have been stopped if not for Republicans in the Senate:

It doesn't happen anywhere else other than the United States. It is a choice. There are policies in place that allow for this to continue. And my biggest worry is that we will lose this fight eventually because people decide that it's just part of the admission ticket to being an American, and that's just not true.

In spite of the fact that the Michigan gunman used a handgun (not a "military-style" weapon) that he presumably stole from his father who recently bought it after passing a background check, the CNN host did not bother to ask what any of his guest's gun control proposals have to do with the circumstances of this or most such mass shootings in public places that frequently get media attention.

Instead, Cooper's first followup echoed some of Murphy's claims of hypocrisy by Republicans: "You focus on what you see as the disconnect between -- in the argument for the sanctity of life when it comes to abortion rights, and then, not applying it the same way to the killing of kids."

After his guest snidely asserted that "it certainly appears that Republicans give up on kids once they're born," Cooper again bolstered his liberal guest's points as he followed up:

It's been remarkable. I was watching a demonstration here in New York of city workers who didn't want to be vaccinated. And a lot of the signs -- it seemed like a lot of them -- mostly men -- and a lot of the signs are about, you know, "You can't tell me what to do with my body," which were, you know, given the context of the debate we've seen over abortion rights, it's really interesting to see that same argument being used by people who are, you know, talking about vaccinations.

Murphy went on to city misleading polls claiming that more gun control is popular with the public than it is actually is.

After the segment ended and a few minutes of commercial break had gone by, the show ran a pre-recorded report on Dr. Oz, hitting him for some of his medical advice that has been criticized for not having enough research to support it. The entire four-minute segment had nothing positive to say about the potential Republican Senate candidate for Pennsylvania.

This news show that was essentially a campaign ad for Democrats was sponsored in part by Samsung. Their contact information is linked.

Transcript follows:

CNN's Anderson Cooper 360

December 1, 2021

ANDERSON COOPER: This next story brings together the two stories we've just talked about -- the mass shooting in Michigan and the abortion arguments heard before the Supreme Court. Late yesterday, Democrat Chris Murphy from Connecticut posted this on Twitter.

"Driving home tonight, I thought about Republicans' floor speeches tonight on the 'sanctity of life.' And how this concern for 'life' apparently doesn't extend to the kids who were shot today in a school in Michigan. So I turned the car around, and went to the Senate floor." When the Senator got there, here's part of what he said.

SENATOR CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT) (from congressional speech): Do not lecture us about the sanctity, the importance of life when 100 people every single day are losing their lives to guns -- when kids go to school fearful that they won't return home because a classmate will turn a gun on them. (editing jump) You care about life? Then, get these dangerous military-style weapons off the streets, out of our schools. (editing jump) This is a choice made by the United States Senate to sit on our hands and do nothing while kids die.

COOPER: Senator Murphy joins us now. Um, what's the response been to your speech? Do -- you know, obviously, you have, you know, made impassioned speeches before. You've worked on these speeches for a long, long time. Do you ever get the feeling that it doesn't have an impact?

SENATOR CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): Oh no, I think it all has an impact because we're building a social change movement, right? And every social change movement over the course of American history has to have the long view. It hits obstacles, failures before it achieves success, and that's what the modern anti-gun violence movement is. I'm not sure that I changed the minds of any of my Republican colleagues with that speech yesterday, but what I am most worried about, Anderson, is this country, people of good will, people of conscience just start to normalize these shootings -- start to believe that we have to accept two mass shootings every single day, many of these high-profile school shootings -- as part of the American landscape. It's just not true. It doesn't happen anywhere else other than the United States. It is a choice. There are policies in place that allow for this to continue. And my biggest worry is that we will lose this fight eventually because people decide that it's just part of the admission ticket to being an American, and that's just not true.

COOPER: You focus on what you see as the disconnect between -- in the argument for the sanctity of life when it comes to abortion rights, and then, not applying it the same way to the killing of kids.

SENATOR MURPHY: Yeah. I mean, it certainly appears that Republicans give up on kids once they're born because there are 100 people every single day dying from guns -- a rate 10 times higher than any other high-income nation. But I also look at how cavalier Republicans have been about COVID. I mean, the fact that they are, right now, as we speak, threatening to shut down the government because Joe Biden has vaccinated too many people -- 700,000 people have died, and yet they don't seem serious about actually getting this thing under control. So I do get angry when I hear Republicans lecturing us on the sanctity and importance of preserving life. And then, they do nothing when these kids are being murdered all over the country every single night. It's totally inconsistent.

COOPER:  It's been remarkable. I was watching a demonstration here in New York of city workers who didn't want to be vaccinated. And a lot of the signs -- it seemed like a lot of them -- mostly men -- and a lot of the signs are about, you know, "You can't tell me what to do with my body," which were, you know, given the context of the debate we've seen over abortion rights, it's really interesting to see that same argument being used by people who are, you know, talking about vaccinations.

SENATOR MURPHY: Yeah, Republicans, you know, hate big government until it's a question of what a woman can do with her own body. Then, all of a sudden, the government needs to make decisions for people. I mean, again, these are -- these are two issues that stand right next to each other. Republicans say that when it comes to vaccines, every individual should have control over their own body -- the government has no business to tell you what to do. 

But when it comes to abortion, no individual should have a say over what happens to their own body -- the government shouldn't be able to prescribe what you can do and what you can't do. None of it makes sense together. But that does not seem to bother the modern Republican party. The hypocrisy is noted by others but of no concern to those who seem to bring the arguments to the floor.

COOPER:  I want to play another moment from your speech last night on the floor.

SENATOR MURPHY (from congressional speech): It doesn't even involve any political risk. The changes we're talking about in order to make our schools safe places, they are supported by the vast majority of Americans -- Republicans and Democrats. And yet, the gun lobby and the gun industry is more important to half of the members of the Senate than is the safety of our kids. And that is infuriating.

COOPER: Do you think the gun rights issue has become an even bigger rallying cry for Republicans since the former President got into politics?

SENATOR MURPHY:  That's a good question. I think the gun lobby has always been strong inside the Republican party. Certainly, Donald Trump did nothing to break that grip. But this is a symbiotic relationship in which the Republican party has become a one-trick pony. All they talk about is how much they hate government. Well, the best way they can translate how much they hate government is to argue for the ability of the citizenry to arm themselves in order to overthrow the government. And so the gun lobby relies on the Republican party -- Republicans rely on the gun lobby. 

And at some point, that party will recognize that 80 percent of the American people don't agree with them. They want things like universal background checks. The vast majority of Americans want a ban on assault weapons. But that relationship between the Republican party and the gun lobby, predating Donald Trump, is still one that we have yet to break. We will. It's just a question of when, not if. We just have to get stronger and stronger as a movement.

COOPER: Senator Murphy, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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