David Hogg ripped into USA Today over the paper’s coverage of the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School and other mass shootings, telling MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell that the iconic broadsheet needed to be “held accountable” for glorifying shooters.
“It was interesting that you just had the USA Today chief editor from Washington D.C. on because they’re one of the worst offenders of that,” Hogg said moments after Mitchell’s interview with USA Today Washington Bureau chief Susan Page. “They’re one of the best news organizations at making mass shooters famous in the first place. They always plaster the shooter’s face everywhere. They always give them several hundred pages of coverage,”
“That’s what the shooters of my school asked for,” Hogg continued. “Organizations like USA Today and others are responsible in that, and they have to realize and be held accountable for these acts.”
The usually unflappable Mitchell came to the defense of the paper, saying that while she was sympathetic to Hogg’s broader concern, all media was guilty of the charge he was outlining.
“Perhaps because of its circulation but I have to tell you all of us, speaking just more broadly, all of the media do focus on the killers and on their backgrounds,” Mitchell said. “I take your point David that they should not be glorified.”
“And I did not mention them leading into you,” she added — making sure everyone watching knew that Hogg brought up the paper unprompted.
The interview concluded shortly thereafter and Mitchell returned to her panel which included a very muted Susan Page, who said only that it’s “great to hear David’s perspective on this” and noted that all journalists “struggled” with the issue.
Hogg did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap. USA Today issued the following statement in response to the teenager.
USA TODAY takes seriously its role as the nation’s newspaper. We also take seriously the concerns of our audiences. This is how we improve. Our newsrooms care deeply about how the news we report affects our local communities. We live in and are part of these communities. We also have grieved. We will continue to discuss how best to cover the ongoing tragedy of mass shootings.
Thursday will mark exactly one year since the shooting at Hogg’s high school, which left 17 dead and launched a national movement on gun violence in America.