'How dare you': CNN's Camerota clashes with NRA's Loesch over her claim that media 'love' mass shootings

The national spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association on Friday doubled down on her claim that members of the media “love” mass shootings, like last week’s school massacre in Parkland, Fla., because of the bump in television ratings that some networks experience in their wake.

In a heated exchange with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on Friday morning, NRA representative Dana Loesch was asked by the “New Day” host why she would make such an inflammatory assertion.

“Because it’s true,” Loesch said. “I do think that many in the media do because they like the ratings aspect of it. And it’s true because it’s it’s wall to wall coverage. They put the murderer’s face up on loop, on televisions all across America, more than they discuss the victims or survivors.”

Camerota called the claim “malicious.”

“I don’t know anybody in the media that likes mass shootings,” Camerota said. “You’re wrong on every single level. We pray that there’s never another one. And the idea of them being ratings gold … guess what? They’re not ratings gold. Because Americans have reached saturation levels. They’re so sick of it. It’s so heartbreaking that they actually often turn away.”

In fact, the gun industry, which is closely allied with the NRA, is the one that profits from mass shootings; gun sales surged after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn., leading to a jump in accidental shooting deaths.

Loesch accused CNN of allowing guests to paint the NRA and its members as “child murderers.”

“We’ve never said that, Dana. We’ve never said that,” Camerota countered.

In a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland on Thursday, Loesch accused news networks of chasing ratings in the aftermath of mass killings like the one at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“Many in legacy media love mass shootings,” Loesch said. “I’m not saying you love the tragedy, but you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold.”

Camerota asked why Loesch would resort to using such “inflammatory rhetoric” at CPAC.

“Because it’s true,” Loesch said. “It’s true, Alisyn.”

“It’s not true, you know this!” Camerota replied. “It’s just not true! How dare you!”

Loesch, who appeared at a CNN-hosted town hall with Parkland, Fla., survivors earlier in the week, also accused the media and lawmakers at CPAC of unfairly targeting the NRA.

“We will not be gaslighted into thinking that we’re responsible for a tragedy that we had nothing to do with,” Loesch said.

She reiterated that stance on Friday while discussing solutions to curb gun violence.

“The NRA does bear some responsibility in fixing this,” Camerota said. “They do need to come to the table.”

“No, we absolutely do not,” Loesch said.

RELATED: A look at the NRA and gun rights supporters

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The National Rifle Association (NRA) and gun rights supporters
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The National Rifle Association (NRA) and gun rights supporters
A gun rights demonstrator armed with a rifle walks past a sign memorializing the children and teachers killed in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012, as protesters aligned with the Women's March hold a rally against the National Rifle Association at NRA headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia, U.S. July 14, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre speaks at the National Rifle Association (NRA) Leadership Forum at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the National Rifle Association (NRA) Leadership Forum at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Supporters listen to U.S. President Donald Trump deliver remarks at the National Rifle Association (NRA) Leadership Forum at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Supporters wait for U.S. President Donald Trump to deliver remarks at the National Rifle Association (NRA) Leadership Forum at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Supporters wait for U.S. President Donald Trump to deliver remarks at the National Rifle Association (NRA) Leadership Forum at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Onlookers, including a man wearing a National Rifle Association (NRA) t-shirt, watch as a 95-by-50-foot American flag is unfurled on the side of an apartment complex, a replica of the "The Great Flag" that was spun, woven, dyed, constructed and displayed on the same building by Amoskeag Manufacturing Company in 1914, in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., June 14, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
NRA Executive Director Chris Cox (L) and Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre (R) welcome U.S. President Donald Trump (C) onstage to deliver remarks at the National Rifle Association (NRA) Leadership Forum at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
File Photo: NRA gun enthusiasts view Sig Sauer rifles at the National Rifle Association's annual meetings & exhibits show in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. on May 21, 2016. REUTERS/John Sommers II
Gun enthusiasts look over Smith & Wesson guns at the National Rifle Association's (NRA) annual meetings and exhibits show in Louisville, Kentucky, May 21, 2016. REUTERS/John Sommers II/File Photo
James Bell from Nashville, TN, look over rifle scopes from Burris Riflescope at the National Rifle Association's (NRA) annual meetings and exhibits show in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. May 21, 2016. REUTERS/John Sommers II/File Photo
Gun enthusiasts poses for a picture with an FN MK 48 machine gun and a MK 19 grenade launcher at the National Rifle Association's (NRA) annual meetings & exhibits show in Louisville, Kentucky, May 21, 2016. REUTERS/John Sommers II
Gun enthusiasts look over guns at FN America firearms at the National Rifle Association's (NRA) annual meetings and exhibits show in Louisville, Kentucky, May 21, 2016. REUTERS/John Sommers II
Gun instructor Robert Allen (L) works with Eathan Hawkins (8) at the air gun range at the National Rifle Association's (NRA) annual meetings and exhibits show in Louisville, Kentucky, May 21, 2016. REUTERS/John Sommers II
Indiana Governor Mike Pence addresses members of the National Rifle Association during their NRA-ILA Leadership Forum at their annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, May 20, 2016. REUTERS/John Sommers II
Attendees recite the pledge of allegiance before the National Rifle Association's NRA-ILA Leadership Forum during their annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, May 20, 2016. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Attendees visit the trade booths during the National Rifle Association's (NRA) annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, May 21, 2016. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Attendees visit the trade booths during the National Rifle Association's (NRA) annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, May 21, 2016. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Activists hold a protest and vigil against gun violence on the third anniversary of the Sandy Hook mass shooting, outside the National Rifle Association (NRA) headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia December 14, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Brendan Walsh looks at a rifle scope in the trade booths showroom during the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee April 12, 2015. REUTERS/Harrison McClary
Fans wait in line to meet musician and supporter of the NRA, Ted Nugent, who was signing autographs during the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee April 12, 2015. REUTERS/Harrison McClary
Musician and supporter of the NRA, Ted Nugent, signs autographs during the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee April 12, 2015. REUTERS/Harrison McClary
Dave Verner looks at pistols and scopes in the trade booth area during the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee April 11, 2015. REUTERS/Harrison McClary
Brett Throckmorten of Barnes Bullets shows Logan Wingo how to sight down an electronic rifle in the trade booth area during the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, April 11, 2015. REUTERS/Harrison McClary
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Loesch’s comments come as the NRA is facing pressure from lawmakers and President Trump to act in the wake of the latest school shooting. Trump has proposed expanding background checks and raising the minimum age for buying semi-automatic weapons from 18 to 21

On Thursday, President Trump predicted the NRA would back such changes.

“They’re ready to do things, they want to do things,” Trump said. “You know, they’re good people. They’re patriots. They love this country.”

But when asked Friday if the NRA would back the new age requirement, Loesch said it would not.

“Raising the age is not going to solve psychosis,” she said.

Loesch said that when she was 20 years old, she lived alone and owned guns — a shotgun and an AR-15 — for her personal protection.

“I don’t want anyone not to have the ability to defend themselves,” she said.

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