On February 22, National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch, speaking at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, made a startling and bizarre claim:
"Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it. Now I'm not saying that you love the tragedy. But I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you and many in the legacy media in the back [of the room]."
There has been much opining as to why Loesch would make such a statement, why she would assert that a particular group of her fellow American citizens would somehow rejoice over the slaughter of innocent men, women and children.
Some have suggested she was simply throwing red meat at an annual gathering that has, especially during the last few years, been a bastion for attacking the Fourth Estate. Some have speculated that her claim was an effort to distract the news media, which she knew would cover her remarks widely, from continuing to report on the intense gun control debate that has reemerged since the tragic February 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Loesch’s motive is of no concern to RTDNA. Her outrageous proclamation at the CPAC gathering itself is.
To her, to her fellow leaders and members of the NRA, and to all Americans, the Radio Television Digital News Association states on behalf of the journalists it represents:
We are your neighbors. Your friends. We attend the same houses of worship. We go to the same classes at the gym. Our children are in the same classes at school.
We live in and love the same communities you do.
We cannot make our communities better if we do not understand them, and as journalists we have dedicated our lives to uncovering challenges, understanding issues and uplifting each other’s voices.
We believe in truth and accuracy above all.
We are deeply affected by tragedy.
We are journalists and we do what we do because you have a need to know and understand the world around you.
On February 22, Loesch exercised her First Amendment right of free speech to attack unfairly journalists, whose rights are also protected by the First Amendment, to further in a harsh and callous manner her organization’s endeavors to defend the Second Amendment.
RTDNA is the world’s largest professional association devoted exclusively to advocating on behalf of broadcast and digital journalists. It works to protect the rights of broadcast and digital journalists in the courts and legislatures throughout the country, promotes ethical standards in the industry, provides members with training and education and honors outstanding work in the profession through the Edward R. Murrow Awards.