On Wednesday, CNN announced that they had hired firearms expert Stephen Gutowski as an analyst.
“CNN Announces ‘Guns in America’ Beat and Team,” the network wrote in a post. “Led by CNN Guns and Security Correspondent Josh Campbell, the new unit will feature reporting and analysis from The Reload’s Stephen Gutowski, The Trace’s Jennifer Mascia and The Guardian’s Abené Clayton”
“It’s true. I’m joining CNN as an analyst,” Gutowski, the founding editor of the Reload website, tweeted in response to the news. “I will still be heading up @TheReloadSite full-time, and we will continue to bring a sober, serious approach to firearms reporting and analysis. The only difference is I will be bringing that approach to CNN too.”
“CNN is paying me for my insight and analysis. That’s exactly what I plan to give them without fear or favor. Nobody has tried to tell me what to say or implied I ought to change my approach, which is good because I would have declined to move forward had that been the case,” he wrote in a post on The Reload.
While some on the right praised CNN for adding an analyst who would balance the gun debate on their channel, gun control activists went ballistic on social media.
“Guns are now the leading cause of death among children and teens. Gun violence is spiking. Most of Americans – including gun owners – support commonsense gun safety measures. Instead of starting there, CNN will pay a gun lobby ally to regurgitate dangerous misinformation,” tweeted Shannon Watts, the founder of the gun control group “Moms Demand.”
“Apparently CNN’s new direction is them making friends with the scum of the earth,” responded Democratic strategist Adam Parkhomenko.
“Gee, why am I not convinced that a guy running a site called “’reload’ is going to bring a serious approach to assault weapons. Major fail @CNN major fail. You’ll never get fox viewers that loathe you and now you’ve lost independents and liberals,” another critic wrote.
“CNN is a right wing propaganda show I no longer subscribe to it,” said another critic.
In addition to Gutowski, CNN hired Jennifer Mascia from The Trace, a nonprofit organization dedicated to covering the “gun violence crisis” in the U.S., and Abene Clayton, the lead reporter on The Guardian’s “Guns and Lies in America” series.
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