UPDATE with video David Hogg, one of the Florida high school students turned gun reform activists who have bowled over TV news anchors with their composure, articulation and media savvy, had Bill Maher at hello tonight.
“I honestly thought kids were a lot stupider,” Maher told Hogg and classmate Cameron Kasky on HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher tonight. “You’ve really given me faith that the kids today are actually very bright, way brighter than we were.”
And that was before Hogg revealed that he hung up on the White House last week, offended that President Donald Trump refused to attend CNN’s town hall meeting with survivors of the February 14 mass shooting that left 17 students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School dead.
Said Hogg of his White House phone call, “I ended on this message: We don’t need to listen to President Trump, Present Trump needs to listen to to the screams of the children and screams of this nation.”
“We have never seen change like this,” Maher told the students about their impact on the nation’s gun reform debate.
The students – co-founders of the student advocacy group Never Again MSD – are among the organizers of nationwide marches and the March for Our Lives rally outside the White House on March 24. The event has drawn considerable support from Hollywood, with George and Amal Clooney, Eli Broad, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw and Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg each pledging donations of at least $500,000.
Asked by Maher about the goal of the rally, Kasky said, “We want Americans to stop being afraid of demanding our politicians to take action. They work for us, we don’t work for them and the march is us coming out and saying to our employees ‘You guys suck at your job.’ ”
Perhaps surprisingly, neither Hogg nor Kasky would condemn the Second Amendment, even at Maher’s urging. Hogg said during the show’s YouTube-only Overtime segment that both his ex-FBI agent dad and Kasky’s police officer (reserve) father own guns. “Where you can’t scream fire in a crowded theater, you shouldn’t be able to get an AR-15 if you’re a mentally unstable individual,” Hogg said. “I don’t get what’s so hard for people to understand about that.”
During the top-of-show interview, Kasky lambasted critics who dismiss the students because of their youth. “We’ve seen our friends text their parents goodbye. We are the experts.”
And about that conspiracy slander claiming the Parkland students are actors? True, but not in the way the wingnuts believe. “I am an actor, actually,” he told Maher. “I’m in Spring Awakening at Parkland Performing Arts Center. Great show.”