MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle calls out far-right media for smearing Parkland survivors with conspiracy theories

Ruhle also calls out Facebook for featuring the misinformation on its platform

From the February 21 edition of MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle:

Video file

STEPHANIE RUHLE (HOST): Meanwhile, down in Florida, students from Stoneman Douglas High School headed to Tallahassee where their local lawmakers were preparing to consider a ban on assault rifles, rifles like that AR-15, the one that killed so many of their classmates last week on Valentine's Day. About a hundred of them boarded buses for the six and a half hour trip to the state capitol, hopeful they might be able to break the gridlock over gun control. The students spent hours lobbying their representatives but it didn't change the political reality. A motion that would have brought the ban to the House floor was defeated by nearly a 2 to 1 margin. The vote left some in shock and others broke down in tears. One student said she felt like lawmakers are, quote, “just not listening.” The whole movement is being led by students. The ones who survived that shooting one week ago.

But here's what's sick. Some people cannot quite get their heads around that. Young leaders -- there are some conservative media outlets that are now questioning whether these grief-stricken students are just puppets of the liberal left, basically being used to try to gain sympathy for the gun control movement. You may have seen articles like this on your Facebook page. They have already been shared more than 80,000 times. Are you listening, Mark Zuckerberg? Are you listening, Sheryl Sandberg? 80,000 times on Facebook, the social media outlet that was designed to create community, show pictures of your kids, cats, dance recitals, but the kids, well they're not having any of it. 


RUHLE: Imagine, to call these students puppets. That's pathetic.


RUHLE: And imagine that, some view it as a hoax, because these young kids are eloquent, are well-educated. We think -- there's people out there who think they just must be liars. What do you say to that, those who say they look too comfortable, they look to slick, they can't be for real?  

ASHLEY KURTH, STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER: It makes me sick when I hear people saying that and the easiest way for me to explain it, and when they asked why we're out here doing these interviews is our brains kind of switched over and it's not that we've compartmentalized or that we're uncaring or unfeeling. It's we're so angry for what we experienced that day that they've just taken that energy and focus and put it into what is it that we can do right now as an action. 

And these kids, they're looking for some way to have their voices being heard. I mean, they're the ones that are being told, “No, this can't be done, no, that can't be done.” And they're like, “Well it has to.” Something has to be done. I mean we always used to tell our kids, and we preached to them, actions speak louder than words. And they are out here trying to help these actions to make our school safer and to make it a better environment for them to go and learn. And to the people that say, “Oh, yes, our kids, we always say that they're well-educated and stuff.” Yes, our school has a very high population of kids that go in to do things that are in politics or to become really amazing doctors and get into journalism and do really awesome things with their lives. We have a very, very good group of kids at our school that enjoy educating. They like to learn. 


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