The Opposition With Jordan Klepper, Comedy Central’s attempt to do for Alex Jones what The Colbert Report did for Bill O’Reilly, arrived just as late night was ushering in Jimmy Kimmel’s Age of Sincerity, not an ideal time for a work of highly mannered sarcasm. But there’s almost no other way to process attacks on the survivors of the Parkland shooting: try to engage sincerely with the idea that Republicans are picking a fight with teenagers who just saw their classmates gunned down, and the mind just shuts off.
The trick to even beginning to talk about something so vile is keeping a little distance, and that’s what correspondent Laura Grey does in this segment, conducting condescending interviews with newly-minted gun control activists to show that conducting condescending interviews with newly-minted gun control activists is wrong. Grey’s interactions with teens are Laura-Ingraham-class disasters, but the highlight is her conversation with one very pissed off member of the Florida legislature. Carlos Guillermo Smith, who sponsored the gun control bill that the legislature—in front of an audience of Parkland survivors—voted against even debating, isn’t happy with his Republican colleagues. Grey tries to put a positive spin on things:
Weren’t they doing these kids a favor? Showing them how the gun debate works in America? Which is: You don’t have it!
Smith’s response is genuinely shocking to hear from a sitting lawmaker:
In a sick, twisted way, yeah, they were showing them, “Hey, after Sandy Hook, we didn’t give a fuck. After Pulse, we actually gave even less fucks than we gave before.” And after Parkland, Republican, NRA-loving lawmakers still don’t give a fuck.
Representative Smith! It does our country’s schoolchildren a great disservice to allege that Republicans give less fucks about gun violence after each mass shooting. They give fewer fucks.