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Corrupt CNN Hypes Anti-Gun Stunt Against NRA

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On Thursday’s New Day on CNN, the show plugged a stunt that was orchestrated by a gun control group that lured former NRA president David Keene into giving a speech for a fake graduation ceremony. The speech that was delivered in front of a group of empty chairs was used by the liberal group to suggest that gun rights activists are to blame for thousands of teens who died before graduating.

Setting up a segment with gun control activists Joaquin and Patricia Oliver, CNN’s Brianna Keilar recalled the stunt:

It was a fake high school graduation. David Keene, a former president of the NRA and a current board member of the gun group, thought he was practicing his address to James Madison Academy. But that school does not exist, and the rows of empty chairs that Keane was speaking to were placed there to represent the estimated 3,044 victims of gun violence who would have graduated this year if they had not died.

After Joaquin Castro explained why he decided to orchestrate the trickery, the CNN host praised its effectiveness as she followed up: “The images, they work to convey the message. This is very powerful. Can you tell us about the logistics — about carrying this out? How did this happen where you have a former NRA president who is speaking before all these empty chairs?”

The ad that was put together by the gun control group complained about NRA opposition to requiring private gun owners to get a background check before selling their weapons, but the fact that such background checks would not have prevented any mass shootings that have been brought to public attention was not mentioned at all.

Castro seemed taken aback at hearing a pro-gun message as he behaved as if Keene had said something wrong in his speech:

They said the speech. Those are their words. They believe that, and they bring it to where we were. So there was no editing. In this case or in some cases, things are so bizarre that there is no need for editing at all. This is what these guys believe, and what we did was call it out and put it out there so everyone knows.

As usual, CNN did not challenge any of the anti-gun views of their guests.

This episode of CNN’s New Day was sponsored in part by Instaflex. Click on the link to let them know what you think. 

Transcript follows:

CNN’s New Day

June 24, 2021

8:40 a.m. Eastern

BRIANNA KEILAR: It was a fake high school graduation. David Keene, a former president of the NRA and a current board member of the gun group, thought he was practicing his address to James Madison Academy. But that school does not exist, and the rows of empty chairs that Keane was speaking to were placed there to represent the estimated 3,044 victims of gun violence who would have graduated this year if they had not died.

DAVID KEENE, FORMER NRA PRESIDENT (in speech): This year, you focused on one of the most important of Madison’s amendments, the Second Amendment. There are some who will continue to fight to gut the Second Amendment, but I’d be willing to bet that many of you will be among those who stand up and prevent them from succeeding.

UNIDENTFIED VOICE (in audio): Do you know how many people are injured?

KEENE: So my advice to you is simple enough. Follow your dream and make it a reality.

KEILAR: Joining us now Manuel and Patricia Oliver who are the cofounders of Change the Ref, a pro gun control group that organized this fake graduation. Their son, Joaquin Oliver, was killed in the Parkland shooting in 2018. I want to thank you both so much for being with us. Manuel, first to you. This is the first time that your organization has confronted someone directly involved with the NRA, and I wonder why you decided this was so important.

JOAQUIN OLIVER, GUN CONTROL ACTIVIST: Well, thank you for having us here. I think that we have tried different things and different levels of disruption. At some point, we needed to get here. And I’m not saying that this is the last level of disruption. It’s just something that is working really good. The whole answer from everyone has been great — the reaction. So you keep trying things, and one of them will work better than others. I love these projects, and I think we’re going to do it more often.

KEILAR: Patricia, it is disruptive. The images, they work to convey the message. This is very powerful. Can you tell us about the logistics — about carrying this out? How did this happen where you have a former NRA president who is speaking before all these empty chairs?

(…)

KEILAR: They obviously didn’t know. Keene didn’t know what this was. He thought this was a rehearsal.

OLIVER: They didn’t know, but they do know what they said. And this is what I’m thinking while everyone is reacting to this campaign. This is not about bragging ourselves that we were able to trick these guys. No. They said the speech. Those are their words. They believe that, and they bring it to where we were. So there was no editing. In this case or in some cases, things are so bizarre that there is no need for editing at all. This is what these guys believe, and what we did was call it out and put it out there so everyone knows.

KEILAR: Have they responded?

OLIVER: Well, they haven’t responded to me, and I haven’t asked them everything — anything to none of them. I understand that some media is trying to contact them. I don’t have — I already heard everything that I need to hear from them, so I don’t have any questions. They might be mad. They might feel like fools. Honestly, it’s not about them. It’s about the 3,044 chairs that were missing a student because of gun violence, and those two guys are part of the problem and they are far away from being part of the solution.

(…)

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