Speaking on The Federalist Radio Hour podcast on Thursday, nationally syndicated radio host, bestselling author and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch revealed the harrowing gauntlet she had to run through violent threats hurled at her as she walked toward the stage at CNN’s town hall about guns on Wednesday night. She stated that members of the crowd called, “murderer,” “child killer,” and “burn her.”
Loesch told The Federalist no one had informed her of the event’s format or the fact that students would be asking questions. She stated, “I had nothing in advance. I didn’t know how the setup was going to be. I didn’t know it was going to be in a giant arena where it was 360 all the way around. I had no clue. But I wanted to go and represent the people that I was representing, and also because I’m a parent too; I have kids and my oldest child is just a couple of years younger than these students.”
She added that when she walked into the arena it was already packed:
They had music that was playing. They had montages that they were flashing across the screen. They had a number of speakers from the school and from the community. They had the sheriff go up and speak. He mentioned special interest groups, referring to the membership of the NRA.
Then they brought the politicians out … and that was the first hour. After all of this was already happening, after emotions were already running high, and after CNN put everyone together and cranked up, really trying to wind people up even more.
I had no questions in advance. It was even weird the way they had us walk out because it was like entering like you were a boxer or like WWE. You were walking up to the stage and they had music playing. You had to walk in aisles with all these people screaming and you had to walk toward the stage. That’s how you entered.
Interviewer Ben Domenech asked, “What were they screaming?”
Loesch answered, “'murderer,' 'child killer,' and 'burn her,' … I spoke with a student of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School just a little bit ago on my radio program, and he — cause I was told — I thought I’d heard it, but I was told by a lot of other people that that was said, and he said, 'Oh, yeah,' he’s like, 'They said that and a lot more.'”
Loesch said of CNN’s Jake Tapper, who was the event moderator, “I know Jake, and it might strike a nerve, me saying this, but I think he lost control. … I don’t know if he lost control or if that was CNN’s intention, because [CNN President] Jeff Zucker was there. When we were backstage getting ready to go out, Jeff Zucker came in. He doesn’t just show up for nothing. This is not a day at the ballpark. It was weird. There was no control. It just went on forever and ever. At some point, you’re just desensitized, because where is the moderation? This is where a moderator drives this. You’re a moderator, you have to make sure people are being heard and it’s not just people standing up and giving speeches and screaming at somebody."
The Federalist reports:
Loesch said she felt like she was walking into a setup after hearing several students address questions to her before she was even on stage. When a student asked Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson a question that was intended for Loesch, Tapper immediately jumped in, exposing the event’s script had gone awry. “Senator Nelson, you don’t have to answer that question,” Tapper said. “Let’s move on to the next question.”
Loesch said that she had attended the town hall in order to discuss solution and proposals, pointing out, “The NRA … wanted to have a voice present because they felt that this is a huge national conversation discussing their ability to protect themselves and their families because they’re also parents, too. They just want to make sure their kids, our kids, have the same protection that the politicians on stage have; they want to make sure that their kids have the same protection that our celebrities have, that our athletes have. We guard our money with guns, but we don’t guard our children in schools … and so they wanted to make sure that this conversation at least was going to be approached in some fashion.”