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  • NRA’s Allen West Is More Upset About Khizr Khan’s DNC Speech Than The Death Of Khan’s Son

    West: Khan Should Ask For God’s Forgiveness For His "Damn Politicized Stunt"

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    National Rifle Association board member and conservative pundit Allen West published an attack on Khizr Khan, a speaker at the Democratic National Convention whose son, a captain in the U.S. Army, was killed while serving in Iraq in 2004.

    West concluded a lengthy attack on Khan posted to his website, “I grieve for the loss of your son. However, I grieve even more that you used his sacrifice and loss as nothing more than a damn politicized stunt. May God forgive you for it.”

    During a July 28 speech at the Democratic convention, Khan, standing beside his wife Ghazala, spoke about their son, U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004 by a car bomb while protecting soldiers under his command.

    Khan’s remarks received widespread attention after he condemned the anti-Muslim rhetoric of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, asking whether Trump had ever read the U.S. Constitution and addressing the nominee, “You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”

    In a July 31 post to his website, West joined Trump and other members of conservative media who have attacked Khan since his convention speech. West is a retired Army Lt. Colonel whose service ended in controversy over his use of interrogation tactics in Iraq.

    In addition to writing that he grieved Khan’s speech more than the death of Khan’s son, West also wrote of Khan’s decision to make his speech: “I tend to believe that if alive, your son would consider that type of behavior abhorrent and deplorable” and suggested that the elder Khan “will be remembered as a political pawn.”

    West added that during his speech, Khan should have “taken the time to explain how humbled and thankful you are to live in America.” Khan actually did address his family’s decision to immigrate to the United States in his convention remarks, saying, “We were blessed to raise our three sons in a nation where they were free to be themselves and follow their dreams.”

    West also wished that during the convention speech Khan would have called the chief prophet and central figure of the Islam religion, the Prophet Muhammad, “a murderous warlord, psychopath, and, by modern day standards, a pedophile.”

    West was elected to a leadership position within the NRA during the group’s 2016 elections. He has also served as a Fox News contributor and the executive director of the think tank National Center for Policy Analysis.

    West’s diatribe against Khan was praised by fellow NRA board member Ted Nugent who wrote on his Facebook page, “DITTO Allen West from all humans with a brain, heart & soul! Allen West would make a great Commander in Chief!”:

  • NRA Offers False Attack In Complaining That Clinton Has Armed Security

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    The National Rifle Association attacked Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for being protected by the Secret Service with the fallacious claim that Clinton opposes private gun ownership.

    A video released by the NRA portrays Clinton as a hypocrite, alleging that a “Hillary Standard” exists because Clinton “has been surrounded by armed security for decades. But she thinks the Supreme Court was wrong to say the rest of us have a right to own firearms for self-defense.”

    The video features NRA top lobbyist Chris Cox complaining, “For the rest of her life, Hillary Clinton will never even think about dialing 911. For the past 30 years, she hasn’t taken a walk, a nap, or a bathroom break without a good guy with a gun there to protect her.”

    Throughout the video, the NRA includes stills of Clinton highlighting her armed security:

    The NRA claim that Clinton doesn’t think people should be able to own firearms for self-defense is a lie. Clinton did say that the landmark Supreme Court decision District of Columbia v. Heller -- which found an individual right for law-abiding people to have a firearm in the home for the purpose of self-defense -- was “wrongly decided,” but not for the reason the NRA claims.

    According to a spokesperson, Clinton believes Heller was “wrongly decided” because it “may open the door to overturning thoughtful, common sense safety measures in the future” such as a child access prevention provision that was struck down in the ruling, not because she opposes firearm ownership for lawful self-defense.

    Clinton routinely expresses support for law-abiding people to own firearms, but also supports further regulations to keep guns away from dangerous people, such as expanding background checks on gun sales. Some examples:

    • Clinton’s campaign policy position notes she “knows that gun ownership is part of the fabric of many law-abiding communities. But as a nation we can no longer allow guns to fall into the hands of domestic abusers, other violent criminals, and the seriously mentally ill.”

    • While discussing the August 2015 on-air killing of two Virginia journalists: “We've got to do something. It's a very difficult political issue. But we are smart enough, compassionate enough to balance legitimate Second Amendment rights concerns with preventive measures and control measures, so whatever motivated this murderer ... we will not see more needless, senseless deaths.”

    • Speaking about the Umqua Community College mass shooting: “I feel like this is unfinished business in our country, and I am very determined that we are going to try to bring some sanity back, so that people's Second Amendment rights are protected -- but they are not absolute, the way the NRA wants them to be. There are common-sense ways to make sure people are not using guns to commit mass murders.”

    • Talking about “the right of people to own guns” in 2014: “We've got to rein in what has become an almost article of faith than anybody can have a gun anywhere, anytime, and I don't believe that is in the best interest of the vast majority of people. I think you can say that and still support the right of people to own guns.”

    The NRA endorsed Donald Trump for president (during an event where no guns were allowed) and subsequently issued a series of videos and ads attacking Clinton. The NRA spent $2 million on a July ad attacking Clinton over the 2012 Benghazi, Libya terror attacks. The ad was filmed at Alexandria National Cemetery, in violation of government policy that does not allow political ads to be filmed at military cemeteries. A July 25 testimonial of NRA members who support Trump prominently featured a man who promoted a conspiracy theory about the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting.

  • Fox News Didn’t Show Democratic Convention Speeches That Cut Against Its Right-Wing Narrative

    Blog ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN

    Fox News did not air several Democratic National Convention speeches from figures promoting issues that run counter to the narrative the network has pushed for years -- including racial justice, reproductive rights, gun safety reform, LGBT equality, and respect for Muslim-Americans.

    During the second day of the convention on July 26, members of the “Mothers of the Movement,” a group of women whose African-American children were killed due to gun violence or in officer-involved shootings, shared their experiences and their children’s memories. The women also urged people to support Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who they said “isn’t afraid to say that black lives matter,” and pushed for criminal justice reform and gun safety reform. Fox News not only neglected to air the speeches, but the Mothers of the Movement appearance went completely unmentioned at the time. Fox News and right-wing media have repeatedly demonized the Black Lives Matter movement, likening it to “a hate group” and a “murder movement.” They have also dismissed calls for criminal justice reform, pushing the “black-on-black crime” canard as an excuse and calling concerns about systemic racism in American society “dumb.”

    The convention also featured speakers who advocated for protecting abortion rights, including Planned Parenthood Action Fund president Cecile Richards, who spoke on July 26, and NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue, who spoke on July 27. Both speeches were ignored by Fox. Protecting abortion rights runs counter to the stigma Fox casts on the medical procedure, with their hosts falsely framing abortion law restrictions as patient safety measures and calling a common abortion procedure “dismemberment abortion.” Conservative media have joined Fox figures to demonize Planned Parenthood, repeatedly pushing debunked myths that the organization profited off the selling of fetal tissue. This smear effort has been led by Fox News, which has hosted overwhelmingly anti-choice guests -- often extremists -- to push misinformation about abortion and about Planned Parenthood.

    The convention included remarks from relatives of victims of the Orlando and Sandy Hook massacres, both speaking on July 27 on behalf of gun safety reform. Fox covered neither speaker. Fox has consistently misinformed on the issue of gun safety, pushing the National Rifle Association-driven lie that gun safety measures would “take” guns away from lawful gun owners,and calling gun safety reforms “flat-out dangerous.” Right-wing media have also falsely claimed that shootings tend to occur in so-called “gun-free zones,” and have even asserted that restricting assault weapons such as those used in the Orlando and Sandy Hook mass shootings constitutes a “war on women.”

    On the final day of the convention, Sarah McBride delivered remarks as the first openly transgender person to ever speak at a party convention. McBride urged the passing of legislation to “combat violence against transgender women of color, and to end the HIV and AIDS epidemic once and for all.” Again, Fox was the only cable network to not carry the speech. Fox has long waged a war on LGBT rights, arguing marriage equality would be a slippery slope to marrying animals and portraying those opposed to the policy as victims. More recently, Fox has worked to demonize transgender Americans, calling equal access to bathrooms for transgender people a “violation … of everybody’s rights” and pushing the dangerous and long-debunked myth that safe, accessible bathrooms for all would result in grown men targeting girls in restrooms. Fox personalities have also called transgender Americans “confused” and “troubled” and “a very big threat to our culture.”

    Muslim-American Khizr Khan, whose son was a U.S. Army captain killed in Iraq, also addressed the convention on July 28. Khan spoke about the honor he and his wife felt to attend the convention “as patriotic American Muslims with undivided loyalty to our country.” Khan condemned Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s rhetoric against Muslims, challenging Trump to read the Constitution and concluding, “You have sacrificed nothing. And no one." Fox only aired two minutes of the 7-minute-long speech without audio as commercials -- including a Benghazi attack ad -- played over it. Fox figures have repeatedly questioned the patriotism and beliefs of Muslim-Americans, saying it is “ridiculous” to claim they “are assimilating”, claiming that Islam “was born of violence," and repeatedly ignoring Muslim-American voices to falsely assert that the community doesn’t speak out after terrorist attacks. Fox and right-wing media also gave cover to Trump’s Muslim ban proposal, calling it “rather prudent” and framing it as “the Constitution versus the Quran on every level.”

    Here are The Democratic Convention Speeches Fox Didn't Show

  • Fox News Completely Ignores Convention Speech By Mother Whose Son Was Killed In Orlando Massacre

    Blog ››› ››› TYLER CHERRY

    As CNN and MSNBC aired a moving speech from Christine Leinonen, a mother whose son was killed at the Orlando, FL, massacre at an LGBT nightclub, during the Democratic National Convention, Fox News completely ignored the appearance, instead holding a panel discussion about inner city poverty and Donald Trump’s appeal to disaffected voters.

    On July 27, Christine Leinonen, mother of Christopher "Drew" Leinonen, a victim in the massacre at the Pulse nightclub, spoke onstage at the Democratic National Convention to advocate for common sense gun safety laws, endorse Hillary Clinton, and memorialize her son. Leinonen lamented the lack of “common sense” gun safety laws prohibiting the sale of assault weapons in her speech. Both CNN and MSNBC aired Leinonen’s full remarks:

     

     

    On Fox News, an outlet that has brought lies and fearmongering to the debate over gun safety and shamed victims of the Orlando massacre for not fighting back, the appearance went unmentioned:

     

     

  • NRA's New Testimonial For Trump Features Man Who Promoted Sandy Hook Conspiracy

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    A testimonial video for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump released by the National Rifle Association prominently features a man who posted online content suggesting that some Sandy Hook Elementary School parents were actually actors.

    NRA News, the NRA’s media arm, published a nearly eight-minute testimonial in support of Trump on July 25. The NRA endorsed Trump on May 20 during its annual meeting in Louisville, KY.

    The testimonial echoes claims made at the annual meeting, focusing on the false claim that Hillary Clinton would abolish the Second Amendment as president. The testimonial also features video footage of terrorist attacks, including the recent attack in Nice, France, that left 84 people dead.

    Throughout the testimonial, the NRA presents interviews of people attending the NRA annual meeting expressing support for Trump. One individual identified by the NRA as Vince Resor is featured five times in the video.

    Resor first comments on gun-free zones (“Gun-free zones have cost us a lot of lives and it’s time to put an end to that”) and the future of the Supreme Court (“America won’t be America. The Supreme Court can make or break the country for the next generation”) before offering words of encouragement for Trump.

    Resor says that he is “excited” about Trump, that “he is right for the country at this time,” and “You either vote for Trump or you vote for a dim future for all Americans, and your kids, and generations to come.”

    The NRA video gives Resor the last word, with his pitch closing out the testimonial: “Keep your foot on the gas, Donald Trump. This is no time to let up. We’re sliding down the slippery slope and it’s time to put the hammer down and get the job done.”

     

    On his public Facebook page, Resor suggested that parents of two children who attended Sandy Hook Elementary School, the site of a 2012 mass shooting, are actually actors. Sharing a false report from a conspiracy website about the parents of two Sandy Hook students, Resor wrote weeks after the shooting, “What is amazing here is not how despicable this is, but how unremarkable it is to learn that the mainstream media deceives us with propaganda to advance their cause. Disgusting.”

    He also referenced the same conspiracy in April 2013, writing, “Now are these the real Newtown parents or the actors from Florida?”

    The claim that certain people who made media appearances or appeared in news footage following the Sandy Hook mass shooting were actually “crisis actors” is a central tenet to the conspiracy theory that the shooting was a hoax.

    Other conspiracies appear on Resor’s page, including the claim that President Obama is a Muslim:

    Resor also operates a blog where he wrote that he is “all for racial profiling” and “and any other method that helps law enforcement civil servants rid us of the criminal element fouling our society,” arguing, “If you wear a towel around your head, you get searched. If your crack is exposed because your pants are too low, you get searched.”