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February 23, 2018

"Who loves mass shootings?"

CNN's Alisyn Camerota posed the improbable question to NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch on Friday, one day after Loesch declared at the Conservative Political Action Conference that "[many] in legacy media love mass shootings." Loesch additionally accused the media of milking "crying white mothers" for TV ratings, just one week after 17 people were killed in a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

After reading Loesch's quote back to her, Camerota asked: "Why would you make a statement like that?" The NRA spokeswoman replied: "Because it's true." Loesch claimed that she was not referring to everyone in the media — "I said 'many,' not 'all'" — and pointed to "wall-to-wall coverage" of the shootings, claiming that TV networks give more air time to the perpetrators of mass shootings than to the survivors.

"It's just malicious, actually, that you would say that," Camerota retorted. "I don't know anybody in the media who likes mass shootings. You're wrong on every single level. We pray that there's never another one." Loesch tried to get a word in, but Camerota continued: "Guess what? [Mass shootings] are not ratings gold because Americans have reached saturation level," she said. "It's so heartbreaking that they actually often turn away, and we still have the conversation trying to find solutions."

"You're saying that it's malicious, but yet on your network, you've allowed [gun owners] to be indicted as child-murderers," Loesch replied. Watch the tense exchange below. Kelly O'Meara Morales

February 20, 2018

On Tuesday, CNN's Alisyn Camerota had some questions for former Republican Rep. Jack Kingston (Ga.), who questioned the authenticity of the students who survived last week's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In the wake of the shooting — in which 17 people were killed by a 19-year-old wielding a semiautomatic weapon — students across the country have planned anti-gun demonstrations, which Kingston suggested over the weekend was the nefarious work of "left-wing gun control activists.”

On Tuesday, Kingston appeared on CNN's New Day to explain that claim. Camerota began with a simple question: "Do you think these kids aren't acting on their own volition?"

Kingston acknowledged that the shooting was "a horrible tragedy" but said that the students' "sorrow can very easily be hijacked by left-wing groups. ... Do we really think 17-year-olds on their own are going to plan a nationwide rally?" Kingston claimed this looked like the work of groups associated with liberal financier and frequent right-wing target George Soros.

Camerota insisted otherwise: "I talked to these kids before they knew the body count of how many of their friends had been killed," she said. "They hadn't been indoctrinated by some left-wing group. They were motivated from what they saw and what they endured during that ordeal."

Kingston tried to backtrack, saying, "I don't doubt their sincerity," to which Camerota replied, "Yes you do, Jack." The former congressman then argued that 17-year-olds simply do not have the "logistical ability to plan a nationwide rally without it being hijacked by groups that already had the pre-existing anti-gun agenda."

"Jack, it's just silly," Camerota replied. Watch the whole exchange below. Kelly O'Meara Morales