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Allegan County clerk calls Parkland shooting survivor 'an actor'

Rose White/WZZM-TV • Apr 21, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Allegan County Clerk Bob Genetski called a Parkland, Florida, shooting survivor "an actor" in a tweet.

Genetski responded to a CNN tweet in February that had a video of David Hogg talking about the state of politics in America. The county clerk's tweet read: "That kid @davidhogg111 is just an actor and @CNN needs some new ones."

Students from the Parkland shooting who are speaking out have been falsely depicted as "crisis actors" who were not really at the shooting. The conspiracy theory has been touted all over the internet, and it even cost an aide to a Florida representative his job.

Benjamin Kelly was the district secretary for Rep. Shawn Harrison. In a February email to a reporter, he called several students actors. Kelly was quickly fired by Harrison.

Hogg has been one of the main targets of conspiracy critics who believe that he is too well-spoken and articulate to be an actual shooting survivor.

In an interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN's AC360, Hogg said, "I'm not a crisis actor. I'm someone who had to witness this and live through this and I continue to be having to do that."

Genetski provided a statement regarding his tweet. It read in part: “I personally believe David Hogg is being used by CNN because he fits their liberal narrative of Big Government Solutions to the Parkland tragedy. I do not believe that he went to acting school or receives money from CNN, however, it seems as if the liberal network found a preppy, middle class looking kid – who sadly according to the media was at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on the day of the shooting – and pays him in interviews and airtime as long as he drives their message of gun confiscation.

“My perception is that the young man has been grandstanding and self-promoting with this awful event in the background and that he is using the shootings as cause to be disrespectful to Florida Governor Scott, Senator Rubio, the president and basically anyone whose views CNN happens to disagree with. I spent fourteen and a half years as a high school teacher, and it hurts terribly to see students go through the pain the kids in Parkland are going through. But Hogg’s call for a spring break boycott of Florida – and the media’s reckless promotion of it (CNN Feb 26th) would hurt those working in the tourist industry and possibly hurt even some of the families he claims to want to protect through his activism.”

Genetski is currently serving as the Allegan County clerk. He is also running for a state Senate seat as a Republican in Michigan's 26th District. He previously represented District 80 in the Michigan House of Representatives from 2009-15. He did not seek re-election in 2014.

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