CNN Avoids Key Point in Report on Parents Stopped During Uvalde Shooting

  • Uvalde gunman was shooting children for 40-60 minutes while police outside did nothing
  • CNN report obscures this fact, uses expert to say it was an ‘active scene’ and promote confusion
  • Entire report is largely nonsense words, experts used to fill time and not give readers any new facts

OUR RATING: Sloppy and Error-Filled. Your typical Friday night at Fox News, sloppy work.

Indicted Outlet: John Berman | CNN | Link | 5/26/22

After the May 2022 school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, CNN reporter John Berman showed raw footage of parents who were being forcibly restrained from entering the school.

The footage is heart-rending and tragic, considering that some of those in anguish are being kept from protecting their children who were inside being killed by a lone gunman madman. Ultimately 19 students and 2 teachers were killed. [1]

Berman frames this discussion and controversy, though, by ignoring the context for the viewers. He fails to explain that the controversy is why the police waited 40-60 minutes before entering the school even though they knew a madman with a gun was inside. He also fails to explain that the controversy over the video is whether those parents were at a point in the school shooting where they could have stormed the building and potentially saved their children.

This is missing the context of the central part of story. And while it may seem inadvertent or accidental, the questions by Berman throughout the rest of the interview show that he’s inexcusably using deliberate language to deny viewers the critical piece of the story.

Major Violations:

  • Missing Context
  • Superficial Investigation
  • Ignoring the Central Issue
  • Filibuster
  • Bad Sources
  • Government Genuflect
  • Unbalanced

As Berman talks to the representative from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Lt. Chris Olivarez, he’s engaging in what we’re now calling the Government Genuflect, where he accepts whatever the government official says uncritically, and lets a government official exonerate themselves.

This is wildly inappropriate as a journalist, why not just let the official government spokesperson just write your stories at that point?

The official government story always needs to be contrasted against what is being alleged. The official story should be balanced against what other evidence indicates that contradicts and contrasts with the official story.

The official story is that the law enforcement people on-site made an official perimeter and we’re waiting to establish a plan and the personnel needed to infiltrate the school.

The question is whether the stated time-delay of 40-60 minutes was appropriate given that a lone gunman was inside a school with vulnerable students and teachers.

CNN’s Berman categorizes this as “frustration” by the parents, and that’s just a wild misrepresentation. The parents were being held back as they were potentially hearing their children get shot nearby.

It’s not unreasonable, given the available video evidence, to cast a strongly negative light on the officers who were visibly detaining and suppressing parents as their children were at risk inside. The way Berman makes it sound, is that the parents showed up to a barricade and wanted to enter the crime scene and the respectful officers held them back for their own safety and well-being.

Berman is trying to spin this video by inferring that the anguish is because of the tragedy overall and he’s ignoring the time issue, that their children may have still been alive at the time of the video and they were held back from saving them by police who were lazily standing around for an hour while a crazed gunman shot up a school.

This is a fundamental misrepresentation of the story by CNN.

Indeed this is the evolving story and the central question: why were the parents held back. Other outlets highlight this question directly. [2][3]

One mother, who was 40 miles away when she heard about the shooting and came to the scene, was even arrested and held in cuffs by federal marshalls. [4][5][8]

The Wall Street Journal’s timeline of events makes the time gap for the police response clear:

Ramos shot his grandmother Tuesday morning and then used her truck to drive to Robb Elementary School, crashing the truck into a nearby ditch at 11:28 a.m., according to the timeline laid out by Mr. Escalon. The gunman then began shooting at people at a funeral home across the street, prompting a 911 call reporting a gunman at the school at 11:30. Ramos then climbed a fence onto school grounds and began firing before walking inside, unimpeded, at 11:40. The first police arrived on the scene at 11:44 and exchanged gunfire with Ramos, who barricaded himself in a fourth-grade classroom. There, he killed the students and teachers.
Border Patrol tactical team went into the school an hour later, around 12:40, was able to get into the classroom and kill Ramos, Mr. Escalon said.

So police had 11:44-12:40 where they were outside, with guns, waiting for the Border Patrol to show up.

If this video was shot during that period of time, the parents are not ‘anguished’ and ‘frustrated’ because of the tragedy, they are being held back from preventing the death of their children within earshot.

This is the central question: why did the police wait, and on whose authority?

CNN asks none of those questions.

Instead, CNN gives cover to the negligent police.

“It was an active scene.”

“The police were dealing with the situation.”

“The families just wanted answers, and no one could provide answers.”

Even CNN, elsewhere, highlighted this exact question in another story, with the headline: Uvalde school shooter was in school for up to an hour before law enforcement broke into room where he was barricaded and killed him” [6]

After 3:50 into the clip, Berman offers there are “unanswered questions” about whether parents were held back. The job of a journalist isn’t to ask questions, its to answer them.

What Berman does, is he presents a few of the questions and then filibusters by just filling the airtime in lieu of answering any of these questions.

And then he permits the government agents to deflect from answering the question when they say they are establishing a perimeter, and that they couldn’t let parents into the scene. Those are answers that completely ignore the central question: why did the police wait an hour to go inside?

Berman even lets the government flak say that there are a ‘lot of unanswered questions’ as though there’s anyone to answer those questions except for the agent. Everyone has ‘unanswered questions‘ even the people with the answers!

Here’s the raw video from the incident in question:


Rumors circulate online that law enforcement went in to save their children while letting the children of the general public get shot. [7] These rumors exist and circulate because there isn’t a direct confrontation by reporters on this clear point: why did police take so long to enter the school when they were on-site, knew a solo gunman was inside and there were children at risk?

Indeed, the news as is currently being reported, indicates that a courageous off-duty Customs and Border Patrol agent was the one who finally went inside and stopped the gunman, and did so ‘without hesitation’ according to reports. [9]

What CNN is doing is ‘reporting’ on these stories, without actually providing any substance. They are covering for major government negligence by filibustering the topic with nonsense.

OUR RATING: Sloppy and Error-Filled. Your typical Friday night at Fox News, sloppy work.

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