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(60,536 posts)
Mon Aug 20, 2018, 04:22 PM Aug 2018

David Hogg, After Parkland [View all]

9:03 P.M.

Furious and unflinching, an NRA enemy, an accused “crisis actor,” and a high-school grad trying to figure out what’s next.

By Lisa Miller Photographs by Andres Kudacki

At 2:30 on February 14, David Hogg was not yet a spokesperson for radicalized young America or a renowned media savant or a resistance fighter or, to some, the encapsulation of everything terrifying about where the country is going, but a high-school senior crouched in a dark classroom while a gunman with an AR-15 ranged beyond the walls of his hiding place, slaughtering 17 people in six minutes. In the quiet aftermath, when the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School had stopped but before the SWAT team had given the all clear, the 17-year-old debate geek did what first came to mind: He detached himself from the situation by turning on his phone’s video recorder and, in a perfect simulation of the news correspondents he had watched in his bedroom for years, narrated the events that had just taken place. To an imaginary audience, Hogg explained that he, like many of his classmates in Parkland, Florida, had initially thought the massacre was a drill. “And then we heard more gunshots,” he said somberly, still in a crouch, his face in shadow, “and that was when we realized, This was not a drill.”

Like so many young men in so many foxholes before him, Hogg discovered in himself a powerful drive not to leave this Earth without making a mark. “We really only remember a few hundred people, if that many, out of the billions that have ever lived,” he told me at his house in a gated community in Parkland, ten days after the shooting. “Is that what I was destined to become?” Hogg was home alone that day, checking his phone and keeping company with Tater, the family terrier (allergic to grass but fond of tangerines and bananas), and he struck me as surprisingly composed. After the shooting, he had met up with his father but then driven himself home. That’s when he lost it, alone in the car, screaming “Fuck!” again and again at the top of his lungs and hammering his fists on the dashboard. By the time he got to his house, he was calm enough to send his video to the Sun-Sentinel, the newspaper where he worked as an intern. “I had the exclusive for about six hours,” he told me.

Hogg understood that he was living in a historical moment. Later that evening, he shouldered past his father, who was blocking the door, and biked back to school, where he offered his eyewitness account to the first television producer he saw. The segment with Laura Ingraham aired live at 10:05 on Fox. It is remarkable to watch — Hogg with his stoic poise, his David Byrne cheekbones and wide-set stare, his grave expression and small impatient nods of understanding, narrating the day’s atrocities. But it’s most memorable for its final moments, when he refuses to allow Ingraham to offer her condolences or to get off the air. “Can I say one more thing to the audience? I don’t want this just to be another mass shooting. I don’t want this to be something that people forget.”

By 6 a.m., to his parents’ astonishment, Hogg was in an ABC News van riding back to school, preparing to interview with George Stephanopoulos. Just past nine, on MSNBC, he was smoother now, more assertive and armed with facts. “Everybody’s getting used to this, and that’s not okay,” he told Stephanie Ruhle. He referenced statistics from Everytown for Gun Safety: “There have been 18 more mass shootings than there need to be this year at schools. It needs to come to an end.”

Instantly he was absorbed into the crew camped out at the house of a schoolmate named Cameron Kasky, a loose association of Parkland juniors and seniors who saw the shooting with the moral clarity of revolutionaries. Soon the group was operating under a hashtag, #NeverAgain, and planning a march on Washington. Hogg was so obviously an asset, a connoisseur of news cycles and sound bites, with the ability to hoover up facts and figures like his idol John Oliver and then spew them in angry torrents before the cameras. When Anderson Cooper asked Hogg if banning bump stocks was a good idea, his answer was succinct: “Absolutely, but that should have been done after 50 people were slaughtered in Las Vegas.”

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David Hogg, After Parkland [View all] DonViejo Aug 2018 OP
K&R Scurrilous Aug 2018 #1
And, an Awesome GOTV for Midterms! Cha Aug 2018 #2
An amazing young man. BannonsLiver Aug 2018 #3
Kick... yallerdawg Aug 2018 #4
Incredibly good article at the link; incredible young man. Thanks, Don. nt Hekate Aug 2018 #5
He has a great future ahead of him mainstreetonce Aug 2018 #6
If he ever decides to run for office, I plan to be a donor. calimary Aug 2018 #7
I hope I never have to be in a situation like his. ZeroSomeBrains Aug 2018 #8
. struggle4progress Aug 2018 #9
He Has Been So Impressive colsohlibgal Aug 2018 #10
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