CNN Hypes Bloomberg Camp's Deceptive Claim of 'Child' (Age 20) Killed in Gang Shooting

February 22nd, 2020 8:41 PM

On Wednesday afternoon, CNN Newsroom host Brooke Baldwin provided an unchallenged forum for a Mike Bloomberg supporter to peddle a misleading story about having a "child" who was killed with a gun, which was featured in a misleading Bloomberg campaign ad played during the Super Bowl.

Although the ad implied that the shooting victim, George Kemp, was a "child" when he was killed, he was, according to Reason magazine, a 20-year-old gang member who allegedly helped provoke the altercation that led to his death.

Host Baldwin helpfully allowed her guest, Calandrian Simpson Kemp, to gloss over the details about her son's death without pressing her for more clarification for how any gun law might have prevented it. At 3:49 p.m. Eastern, Baldwin set up the segment:

BROOKE BALDWIN: For the very first time, voters will see a new face on the 2020 Democratic debate stage tonight. Billionaire Mike Bloomberg -- he will be going head to head with those who have criticized him for trying to buy his way into the White House. So Bloomberg has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on campaign ads -- far more than any of his rivals. And my next guest appears in one of Bloomberg's most expensive ads which aired during this past Super Bowl, and she is endorsing him for an extremely personal reason.

The show then played the first 40 seconds of the 60-second Bloomberg ad in which Calandrian Simpson Kemp could be seen referring to her son as "the child that I gave birth to," with an on screen printed message appearing seconds later which further implied that her son died as a child: "2,900 children die from gun violence every year."

Reason magazine has called out this statistic as a gross exaggeration of the number of child deaths which actually includes young adults.

She again referred to her son as a "child" later in the full version of the ad not shown by CNN.

Host Baldwin began by asking her guest how her son's death might have been stopped: "Can you just tell me a little bit about George and how you feel his death could have been prevented?"

Her guest was conspicuously short on details about how her son died or how a new law might have prevented it as she again referred to her son as a "child." Here's Calandrian Simpson Kemp:

My son, George Kemp, was my only son, and he was just a special child. George not only loved football, but George loved his horses, and George loved to help his friends become who they could be. He always would be a mentor to someone, and just to know that my son, George Kemp's life was taken by a gun is very hard, but I believe that his life could have been -- this could have been prevented by not having young adults having access to guns.

Instead of pressing for more details, Baldwin followed up by asking about how she met former Mayor Bloomberg and got involved in his presidential campaign.

At one point, Baldwin actually pressed her liberal guest further from the left on whether the former New York mayor would go far enough in banning what she referred to as "assault weapons."

Here's Baldwin: "While Bloomberg's plan would reinstate the federal ban on assault weapons, current assault weapons owners will be allowed to keep their guns but will have to report them to federal officials. Do you think -- do you think that plan goes far enough?"