The Florida students, survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting, have moved to the forefront of the gun control movement speaking out against the NRA and the politicians bought by the group, and now, their advocacy has come under attack by a right-wing smear campaign.
Gateway Pundit, a far-right blog which happens to have press credentials from the White House, is targeting David Hogg, a senior from Parkland. Hogg was one of the first students to speak out, demanding action,”We’re children. You guys are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role. Work together. Come over your politics and get something done.”
Lucian Wintrich, Gateway Pundit’s White House Correspondent, published a blog post with a photo of David Hogg and the word “EXPOSED” stamped in red. The post claims that the students words and actions throw up “red flags.” Especially Hogg since his father is a retired FBI agent, a fact the teen freely admitted to in an interview. Wintrich insinuates that Hogg’s father made his son talk about gun control and uses a Youtube video where the boy is having difficulty answering a question as proof.
Wintrich then goes into full-on conspiracy mode:
“Why would the child of an FBI agent be used as a pawn for anti-Trump rhetoric and anti-gun legislation? Because the FBI is only looking to curb YOUR Constitutional rights and INCREASE their power. We’ve seen similar moves by them many times over. This is just another disgusting example of it.”
The criticism and conspiracy talk doesn’t only revolve around David Hogg though. Gateway Pundit also attacks a few other students, namely Delaney Tarr, Cameron Kasky, and Emma Gonzalez. Apparently, their big crime was smiling in a photo. The article disgustingly calls the photo “promo stills for Glee: The High School Massacre.”
Unfortunately, the smear campaign has traveled from the Gateway Pundit and onto social media where people are joining the bandwagon. Here's one sickening example:
Once again, the teenagers are tasked with being rational and maintaining maturity as can be seen in Hogg’s response:
“I just think it’s a testament to the sick immaturity and broken state of our government when these people feel the need to pedal conspiracy theories about people that were in a school shooting where 17 people died and it just makes me sick. It’s immature, rude, and inhuman for these people to destroy the people trying to prevent the death of the future of America because they won’t.”
Continue reading about the campaign, “The far-right smear campaign against students who survived the Parkland massacre” written by Judd Legum at Think Progress posted on February 19, 2018.