As footage of the Florida students who walked out of their classes on Wednesday to protest inaction on gun violence played on the screen, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith called out those who have dared to question their motives.
While not specifically named by Smith, among those was his own Fox News colleague Tucker Carlson.
“Those same young men and women dealing with the hate and the baseless accusations on top of the harrowing ordeal they’ve already been through,” Smith told viewers. “It’s unthinkable what is happening to them now. Conspiracy theorists are peddling lies that are the students are simply political pawns, that activists are behind their protests.”
As Smith explained, YouTube had to remove a video that labeled Parkland student David Hogg an “actor” after it became the #1 trending video on that platform. “Students not only having to respond to the lies and the hate, but people who say they’re too young to have a full grasp of the issues,” he said. “And others that say because of what they went through, the students are just lashing out.”
During Carlson’s prime-time broadcast the night before, NRATV contributor Dan Bongino did just that by saying the students “probably have not studied” the “very complicated, layered issue” of gun rights, thereby suggesting their opinions were not worth hearing.
“But those very students that watched their friends die say they have every right to lead this charge,” Smith said, before playing a clip of shooting survivor Alfonso Calderon arguing that students like him have a right to make their voices heard.
“As the students from Parkland made their way to Tallahassee, lawmakers in Florida voted down a measure to stop people from buying assault weapons like the one that investigators say the gunman used in Parkland,” Smith added. “It didn’t even come up for a vote in the state house. But in no way has that outcome hindered the demonstrations.”
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to more accurately reflect what Bongino said about the Parkland students.