Photo courtesy of Fox News.
An aide to a Florida State Rep has been fired after he claimed that two survivors of last week's Parkland shooting were paid actors.
Benjamin Kelly emailed a Tampa Bay Times reporter claiming that two Marjory Stoneman Douglas students who appeared on CNN were "actors" that "travel to various crisis". Kelly also sent the reporter a link to a conspiracy video on youtube. Kelly, who works for Republican State Rep Shawn Harrison, was fired later that day.
The Broward County Schools Superintendent confirmed that both students were legit. Florida Senator Marco Rubio dismissed the conspiracy claims as the work of "a disgusting group of idiots".
Despite this information, I saw a number of conservative friends share the story. Even after I denounced the story on air, I kept getting texts claiming that I needed to "do my research" and that the story was true.
This story followed a reprehensible tweet by Dinesh D'Souza:
The tweet featured a picture of crying students as the Florida legislature refused to take up a gun control measure.
As I explained on my show, a LOT of political debate these days targets people, not ideas. Some activists are at a loss as to how to attack grieving students and are looking for a way to do that. THAT says a lot about the state of debate these days - not about these students.