A National Rifle Association spokeswoman accused the media of loving mass shootings because they boost viewership.
“Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it,” NRA representative Dana Loesch said during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
“I’m not saying you guys love the tragedy but I am saying you love the ratings,” she added. “Crying white mothers are ratings gold”.
Last week’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 people dead, has attracted intensive media coverage - as has the aftermath, which has seen some survivors demanding more gun control.
Ms Loesch rebuffed calls for more stringent gun regulation during a CNN-hosted town hall meeting held the night before her speech at CPAC. She referenced the televised event as evidence that the media has an agenda in covering gun violence.
“There are thousands of grieving black mothers in Chicago every weekend and you don’t see town halls for them, do you?” she said.
“Where’s the CNN town hall for sanctuary cities?” she added, referencing municipalities that limit cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities.
“I call BS,” Ms Loesch said, echoing a phrase invoked by students who survived the Florida shooting as they rally for tougher gun laws.
An outspoken gun rights defender, Ms Loesch has spurred controversy before. She has used charged language to assail the media, warning in a video directed at New York Times journalists that “we’re coming for you” and threatening a “shot across your proverbial bow”.
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