Conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza followed up with The Western Journal about his admittedly “insensitive” tweet that mocked survivors of last week’s Florida school shooting.
“I apologized for the tweet because a fair reading of it shows that I was insensitive to the suffering of students who lost friends in the tragedy,” he said.
As a father, he added that he “felt the fear and horror of this shooting like any parent in my situation.”
“At the same time, I was appalled at how the media is using these poor young survivors as pawns,” D’Souza continued. “I saw one video on social media in which the producer is literally coaching the kid about what to say and how to say it.”
In his original tweet, posted Tuesday, D’Souza commented on a photo of students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High watching as the Florida state Senate rejected a bill that would have banned assault weapons.
“Worst news since their parents told them to get summer jobs,” the commentator wrote.
According to D’Souza, his tweet was in response to an Associated Press story he read about how the students reacted to the gun ban vote.
“Note that my response was not to the students reacting to the Florida shooting, it was to the students reacting to a legislative vote on the gun issue,” he said.
Late Tuesday night, D’Souza seemed to make an attempt to defend what he wrote.
“Genuine grief I can empathize with. But grief organized for the cameras—politically orchestrated grief—strikes me as phony & inauthentic,” he posted, before adding in a later tweet, “While the media exploits the Parkland shooting, my heart goes out to the parents & family members who are grieving the loss of loved ones.”
On Wednesday morning, the commentator did apologize for his “insensitive” post, writing that he was “truly sorry.”
“Since FDR the Democrats have become experts at the politics of grief which is to say manipulating fear and suffering for political gain,” D’Souza told The Western Journal. “Remember Rahm Emanuel: Never let a tragedy go to waste.”
He added that he admires “the courage of the students” and was “actually quite distraught when one of them responded to my tweet by pointing out that her best friend had been shot.”
“In social media, as in the heat of debate, we all sometimes say things that are wrong or insensitive or go too far,” D’Souza continued. “I was wrong in this case and I’ve said I’m sorry. None of this will deter me in continuing to speak out or in pressing my arguments for the issues I care about.”
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