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  • Fox Host Claims Obama Didn't Visit Victims Of Tragedies In 8 Years; She's Wrong

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Fox News co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle ignored recent history when she lauded President-elect Donald Trump for visiting victims of the Ohio State University attack and slammed President Obama, claiming the current president has never made these types of visits.

    Trump visited victims of the attack at OSU, which injured 11, as well as the officer who killed the attacker and spoke with the university president. During his visit, Trump called the victims “really brave people, amazing people” and called the meeting “an honor.”

    Fox News’ The Five reported on the meeting in a laudatory segment praising Trump, in which co-host Kimberly said “this is what leadership looks like” and added President Obama has never gone “directly to the source”:

    KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE (CO-HOST): [Trump] doesn’t sit there and talk about ideas, he actually goes out and meets the people, and sees the situation, asses it, talks to them, shakes the hand of the man who was able to save the people at the Ohio State University. This is what leadership looks like. The reason why it seems so shocking is because we didn’t see it in this past 8 years, going directly to the source and taking it to the people.

    JUAN WILLIAMS (CO-HOST): Wow, holy smokes you mean President Obama, President [George W.] Bush didn’t go to meet with victims of terror?

    GUILFOYLE: I did not say anything about President Bush, I said past eight years.

    But President Obama has met with numerous victims both of gun violence and natural disasters, during his eight years in office. Two days after the mass shooting in a Newtown, CT elementary school in December 2012, Obama attended an interfaith vigil and met with both the victims' families and the first responders. In July of 2012, the president flew to Aurora, CO to speak with “each family who had lost someone as well as survivors struggling to recover” after a mass shooting in a movie theater killed 12 and injured 58. More recently, the president visited the flood victims in Baton Rouge, LA, the victims’ families and first responders after the San Bernardino, CA attack, and the victims and survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, FL.

    Fox and right-wing media have a history of attacking Obama after a national tragedy claiming that the president hasn't visited quickly enough or claimed that his visit was politicizing the event.

  • Nightly News Shows Combat Fake News About Pizzeria With Real Reporting

    ABC, NBC, CBS Show “How A Fake News Story Can Lead To A Real Life-Threatening Situation"

    Blog ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

    Nightly news programs on NBC, CBS, and ABC examined “how a fake news story can lead to real world consequences” in their reports on a shooting incident at Comet Ping Pong, a Washington, DC, pizzeria.

    Accused shooter Edgar Welch entered the pizzeria on December 4 with an AR-15 assault rifle, fired at least one round into the floor, and told authorities he was there to “self-investigate” the conspiracy theory that dozens of prominent liberals are complicit in an international child sex trafficking ring, because emails stolen from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta referenced “pizza.”

    While conservative media outlets have typically downplayed fake news stories calling them “silly” and “nonsense,” broadcast nightly news programs on NBC, CBS, and ABC reported how fake news can have dangerous consequences.

    NBC correspondent Tom Costello reported on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt that “the Pizzagate conspiracy began with the Clinton WikiLeaks and an email stolen from campaign chief John Podesta about a fundraiser involving the restaurant.” Costello noted that 4chan users “suggested without any proof whatsoever that the word ‘pizza’ was code for ‘child sex trafficking’ at the restaurant,” and from there the malicious rumor spread “to Reddit and YouTube, feeding fake online news stories, then jumping to Facebook and Twitter.” Even though “both DC police and federal agents say the story is false,” Costello added that “discredited rumors about sex trafficking” targeting Democrats are “even shared by President-Elect Trump’s choice for national security adviser, General Michael T. Flynn.”:

    On CBS’ Evening News with Scott Pelley, Chip Reid took apart the “fictitious online conspiracy theory” started by “right-wing sites that make up fake news” alleging Clinton and her associates were involved in a pedophile ring. Host Scott Pelley noted that the shooter gave up when he “found no evidence that underage children were being harbored in the restaurant,” as the lies on the internet baselessly alleged:

    ABC senior justice correspondent Pierre Thomas highlighted the “egregious and deliberate lie” that is the Pizzagate conspiracy on ABC World News Tonight with Scott Pelley. Thomas reported that the suspect “aimed a rifle at an employee and fired a round into the floor” because he decided to “self-investigate” the “utterly false story about child abuse” at Comet Ping Pong. Thomas further reported that “employees have been besieged by death threats” since the right-wing lie gained traction online, “shows how a fake news story can lead to a real life-threatening situation”:

  • A Comprehensive Guide To Alex Jones: Conspiracy Theorist And Trump “Valuable Asset”

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones has claimed the government perpetrated the 9/11 attacks and the tragedies at Columbine, Oklahoma City, Sandy Hook, and the Boston Marathon, among others. He also alleges that a shadowy cabal of global elites are planning to kill or enslave most of the world’s population; argues the government is using airplanes to spray “chemtrails” to enact population control; and claims the government is putting chemicals into everyday products to turn children gay.

    And now he has the ear of the president-elect.

    Donald Trump has taken Jones from the fringes into the mainstream and is now set to make the toxic conspiracy theorist a “valuable asset” for his administration.

    Jones is perhaps the country’s biggest producer of conspiracy theory media, which he distributes through his eponymous internet/radio show, Infowars.com website, and YouTube channel.

    He received his biggest career boost when the Trump campaign partnered with Jones during the 2016 presidential election to bolster support for his candidacy. Trump himself went on the program, and top adviser Roger Stone serves as a surrogate to Jones’ followers through frequent guest appearances. Trump has reportedly watched Jones’ program, and he has repeatedly echoed Jones’ theories and rhetoric, prompting Jones to remark that it’s “surreal to talk about issues here on air and then word for word hear Trump say it two days later.”

    Jones ultimately believes that a cabal of global elites (the globalist “New World Order”) is bent on killing 80 percent of the population and corralling the survivors into prison camps. He interprets tragedies and acts of terrorism as staged or “false flag” events perpetrated by globalists -- including members of the U.S. government -- who are trying to eliminate rights or pass legislation. (Jones’ Infowars website defines false flag events as those where the “government engages in covert operations designed to deceive the public in such a way that the operations seem as if they are being carried out by other entities.”)

    Jones has repeatedly claimed that the 9/11 attacks were an “inside job” perpetrated by the government and that Osama Bin Laden worked for the CIA. He alleged the Oklahoma City bombing was a “staged event” by “criminals in Washington” to get sympathy to pass President Clinton’s policy agenda. He claimed mass shootings in Sandy Hook, Aurora, Columbine, Tucson, San Bernardino, and Orlando were false flag events. And Jones said the Boston Marathon bombing was “staged” and the bombers were “recruited by globalist intelligence agencies and set up horribly.”

    He’s also pushed fringe conspiracy theories about how government elites are trying to manipulate or control the world through other covert actions. Jones claimed the government is secretly encouraging “homosexuality with chemicals so that people don't have children.” He’s claimed vaccines are part of a covert population-control program to give the country cancer or autism. And he also said the government is controlling weather through a “weather weapon,” spraying chemicals into the air for “genocide and population reduction,” and that the singer Beyoncé is a CIA operative who's been deployed to cause mayhem in cities.

    Jones will likely become a leading Trump administration media ally despite his role as one of the worst purveyors of false stories and conspiracy theories. Trump adviser Roger Stone said that during Trump’s time in office, Jones will be “a valuable asset," noting that "somebody has to rally the people around President Trump’s legislative program.” And Trump himself reportedly indicated his relationship with Jones will continue: Jones said the president-elect called him after the election to thank his audience and promise he would return to the program.

    Below is a guide to many -- but far from all -- of Jones’ conspiracy theories.

    Alex Jones Is A Toxic Conspiracy Theorist

    Donald Trump Mainstreamed Jones, Who Will Be A “Valuable Asset” For The New Administration

    Jones: 9/11 Was An “Inside Job” Carried Out By The Government

    Jones: The Oklahoma City Bombing Was An “Inside Job” And “A Total False Flag”

    Jones: Sandy Hook Shooting Was A “Staged” “Hoax” With “Completely Fake With Actors”

    Jones Pushes Conspiracy Theories About Mass Shootings In Aurora, Columbine, Tucson, San Bernardino, And Orlando

    Jones: Boston Marathon Bombing Was “A Staged Event”

    Jones: Government Creating “Homosexuality With Chemicals”; LGBTQ Protection Will Lead To “Collapse Of Civilization”

    Jones: Vaccines Are Part Of Government Program To Kill Or Maim The Population

    Jones Pushes Conspiracy Theories About A "Weather Weapon," Chemtrails, FEMA Camps, Obama And Hillary Clinton Being Demons, And Others

    Jones Lobs Sexist Attacks Against Women: “Whore,” “Tramp,” “Bitch”

    Alex Jones Is A Toxic Conspiracy Theorist

    Alex Jones Is A Conspiracy Theorist Radio Host And Prolific Producer Of Web Content. Alex Jones is the host of The Alex Jones Show, which is syndicated by Genesis Communications Network. He also runs Infowars.com, which posts dozens of articles a day promoting conspiracy theories and attacks against progressives. The Washington Post wrote that it’s “difficult to confirm Jones’s audience size, but the host has said he has 5 million daily radio listeners and recently topped 80 million video views in a single month. He claims to have a bigger audience than Rush Limbaugh. Jones is able to multiply his audience by simulcasting his radio programming via his website and further spreading its reach on his YouTube channel.” [The Washington Post, 11/17/16]

    Jones’ Overarching Belief Is That “Globalist” Elites Are Plotting To Kill And Enslave The World. Jones believes that a cabal of global elites -- sometimes referred to as the New World Order -- are running secret programs designed to kill and enslave the world’s population, and it is up to patriots like himself to spread news of their plans for world domination. In his 2007 film Endgame, Jones laid out that scenario: 

    ALEX JONES: In the near future, Earth is dominated by a powerful world government. Once free nations are slaves to the will of a tiny elite. The dawn of a new dark age is upon mankind. Countries are a thing of the past. Every form of independence is under attack, with the family and even the individual itself nearing extinction. Close to 80% of the Earth’s population has been eliminated. The remnants of a once free humanity are forced to live within highly controlled compact prison-like cities. Travel is highly restricted. Super highways connect the mega cities and keep the population from entering into unauthorized zones.

    No human activity is private. A.I. super computers chronicle and categorize every action. A prison planet dominated by a ruthless gang of control freaks, whose power can never be challenged. This is the vision of the global elite. Their goal: a program of total dehumanization where the science of tyranny is law. A worldwide control grid designed to ensure the overlords’ monopoly of power forever. Our species will be condemned to this nightmare future, unless the masses are awakened to the New World Order master plan and mobilized to defeat it. [Endgame, 2007

    Donald Trump Mainstreamed Jones, Who Will Be A “Valuable Asset” For The New Administration

    Trump Appeared On Jones’ Program During The Presidential Campaign And Praised His “Amazing” Reputation. Donald Trump appeared on Jones’ program on December 2, 2015, and told Jones: "Your reputation's amazing. I will not let you down." [Media Matters, 12/2/15]

    Trump Called Jones A “Nice Guy” During January Campaign Event. [YouTube, 1/19/16]

    Trump Adviser Teamed Up With Infowars For Get-Out-The-Vote Pitch During Republican Primaries. In February, Trump senior policy adviser Stephen Miller praised Jones and Infowars for having "been on top of ... the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and on the immigration issue." Miller then pitched Trump to Jones' audience, telling them that "if you want to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership, if you want to close the border, if you want to protect American jobs and wages, then you have to support Donald J. Trump." Responding to a question about whether anti-Trump Republicans might try to block Trump's nomination at the convention, Miller added, “The easiest thing to do if we want to have Donald J. Trump be our nominee is to show up and vote tomorrow in New Hampshire and then to vote in South Carolina and all across this country." [Media Matters, 2/10/16]

    Roger Stone Is Trump’s Surrogate To Jones And His Audience. Roger Stone is a top adviser and ally to Trump. He is also one of the most frequent guests on Jones’ program, where he serves as a conduit between Trump and Jones’ audience. Stone has said he helped set up Jones and Trump and “they hit it off.” Stone also said that Trump “has watched Infowars.” [Media Matters, 11/17/16; YouTube, accessed 11/29/16]

    Jones Said He "Personally Talked To" Trump To Give Him Advice. Jones said in August that he “personally talked to” Trump and encouraged him to push the conspiracy theory that the election is rigged, which Trump did. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 8/31/16]

    Trump Reportedly Praised Alex Jones For Having “One Of The Greatest Influences” He’s Ever Seen. Jones told author Jon Ronson that Trump complimented him as having “one of the greatest influences I’ve ever seen. … It’s greater than you know. Just know that your influence is second to none.” [Media Matters, 10/7/16]

    Trump Has Frequently Echoed Jones’ Conspiracy Theories “Word For Word.” Trump has repeated Jones’ claims that President Obama and Hillary Clinton are the founders of ISIS; that Muslims were celebrating in New Jersey after the 9/11 attacks; and that the 2016 election would be “rigged” against him. Following his election, Trump also adopted the false claim promoted by Jones that “millions of people” “voted illegally” in the presidential election. Trump’s regular echoing of his rhetoric caused Jones to remark in August that it’s “surreal to talk about issues here on air and then word for word hear Trump say it two days later. It is amazing.” [Media Matters, 8/11/16, 8/12/16, 11/28/16; Infowars, 11/26/15]

    Trump Called Jones To “Thank” His Audience After The Election. Jones said on November 11 that Trump personally called him to "thank" Jones' audience for its support during the campaign. Jones boasted that the newly elected Trump “gave me a call, and I told him, ‘Mr. President-elect, you’re too busy, we don’t need to talk.’ But we still spent over five minutes -- he said, 'Listen, Alex, I just talked to the kings and queens of the world -- world leaders, you name it.' But he said, 'It doesn’t matter, I wanted to talk to you to thank your audience, and I’ll be on in the next few weeks to thank them.'” Jones added that Trump said it wasn’t a “private call” and told him, “I want to thank your viewers, thank your listeners for standing up for this republic. We know what you did early on and throughout this campaign to stand up for what’s right.” [Media Matters, 11/14/16]

    Stone Said Jones Will Be A “Valuable Asset” For “Trump’s Legislative Program.” The Washington Post reported that Stone envisions Jones acting as an important media component for Trump’s presidency. Stone said of Jones: “He’s a valuable asset -- somebody has to rally the people around President Trump’s legislative program.” [The Washington Post, 11/17/16]

    Jones: 9/11 Was An “Inside Job” Carried Out By The Government

    Jones’ Biography Described Him As “One Of The Very First Founding Fathers Of The 9-11 Truth Movement.” A biography for Jones that was posted on his Infowars website -- and has since been replaced -- stated that he “predicted the attacks on September 11th, 2001 and is considered one of the very first founding fathers of the 9-11 Truth Movement.” [Infowars, via Internet Archive]

    Infowars Headline: “Flashback: Alex Jones Said 9/11 Inside Job On The Day It Happened.” Jones’ website posted audio of Jones’ September 11, 2001, broadcast and carried a headline stating that Jones said 9/11 was an “inside job” following the attacks that day. [Infowars, 9/11/11]

    Jones On September 11, 2001: The Government Is “Either Using Provocateur Arabs And Allowing Them To Do It Or This Is Full Complicity With The Federal Government.” Jones said during his September 11, 2001, broadcast that the government was behind the 9/11 attacks.

    ALEX JONES: Well I’ve been warning you about it for at least five years. All terrorism that we’ve looked at from the World Trade Center to Oklahoma City to Waco has been government actions. They need this as a pretext to bring you and your family martial law. They’re either using provocateur Arabs and allowing them to do it or this is full complicity with the federal government. The evidence is overwhelming.

    […]

    What am I saying? I’m saying who stands to gain from this? Who has the motive? Who can bring you martial law and destroy your freedoms? The government -- it’s not our government. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 9/11/01

    Jones Recalls His 9/11 Broadcast: "I Went On The Air And Said, ‘Those Were Controlled Demolitions. You Just Watched The Government Blow Up The World Trade Center.’” Rolling Stone interviewed Jones for a 2011 profile and wrote of his broadcasts on the day of the attacks:

    Seven weeks later, Jones became the only radio host in America to begin his September 11th broadcast with a tirade against the U.S. government. "I went on the air and said, 'Those were controlled demolitions. You just watched the government blow up the World Trade Center.' I lost 70 percent of my affiliates that day. Station managers asked me, 'Do you want to be on this crusade going nowhere, or do you want to be a star?' I'm proud I never compromised." [Rolling Stone, 3/2/11]

    Jones On September 19, 2011: Attack Was “A Federal Operation,” Bin Laden “A CIA Asset.” Jones said on his show on September 19, 2001, that 9/11 was “a federal operation, that’s right, a federal operation.” He later added that he had “smoking gun evidence” that Osama Bin Laden was “a CIA asset” and “a CIA hireling doing his job” for the government. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 9/19/01]

    Jones: The “Facts And Evidence" Show "That 9/11 Was An Inside Job.” Jones released the 2005 film Martial Law 9-11: The Rise of the Police State, which purported to document that the 9/11 attacks were an “inside job.” He claimed during the film that the hijackers were agents for the “U.S. government,” and the government flew the planes into the twin towers and Pentagon through “remote control systems.” Jones also alleged that the “globalists” were thwarted in completely incapacitating the government and want to carry out a more devastating attack to enslave the planet. From the film:

    ALEX JONES: In summation, it’s important to note that we only covered a tiny portion of the facts and evidence that clearly shows that 9/11 was an inside job. Number one, the official story of 9/11 has been completely disproven. At every point we’ve caught them lying, manufacturing evidence or covering up evidence. From high-level government inside sources and publicly available facts, we now have a very clear picture of how 9/11 was carried out.

    Number one, we know that the men who were on board the aircraft who were supposedly the hijackers had their houses, cars, credit cards paid for by the U.S. government. They were in truth agents taking part in drills and nothing more. Supposed computer malfunctions at American and United [Airlines] ensured that all four planes only had 20 percent occupancy on board on a day when flights on the East Coast were an average of 80 percent full. Once the decoys, known as hijackers, were on board the planes, a gas was released knocking out the occupants of the aircraft. Then a small criminal group in control of remote control systems patented for over 20 years took control of the aircraft and flew them into the World Trade Centers and Pentagon. The CIA controlled drills that morning, confused NORAD for over an hour until it was almost too late for them to shoot down the hijacked planes. I said almost too late. When they did find out, Dick Cheney wouldn’t let the planes fly over 350 miles an hour so three of the aircraft were able to hit their targets. The fourth wasn’t able to because our sources in the Pentagon have told us generals didn’t follow their orders and had Flight 93 shot down. If it would have hit its target, the capital, the government would have been completely decapitated and the president could have declared total martial law.

    By the grace of god, everything didn’t go as planned. And so now the globalists have spent the last three and a half years trying to cover up the sloppy job they did on 9/11. They’re counting on the public not being able to face the horror of what really took place so they can carry out another, even more devastating attack and finish the job they started: enslaving America and using the country as an engine to take over the planet. [Martial Law 9-11: The Rise of the Police State, 2005]

    Jones: 9/11 Was A “Hoax” And “Fraud.” During a 2006 speech at a 9/11 truther conference, Jones said: “The 9/11 hoax, the 9/11 fraud is collapsing. The government’s ridiculous conspiracy theory is filled with millions of holes.” [Speech at Cooper Union, 9/10/06, via YouTube]

    Jones: There Are Over 300 Pieces Of “Absolutely Iron-Tight Proof That The Official Story’s A Fable And An Inside Job Is The Only Explanation.” [YouTube, 9/12/12]

    Jones’ Infowars Store Sells “9/11 Was An Inside Job" T-Shirt. A description for the item states: “These great shirts are both a show of support for the 9/11 truth movement and Alex Jones' Infowars. Let others know where you stand when you wear this shirt and show the world that 9/11 Truth is not a minority movement anymore.”

    [Infowars, accessed 11/29/16]

    Jones: The Oklahoma City Bombing Was An “Inside Job” And “A Total False Flag”

    Jones: “Federal Fingerprints Were All Over” Oklahoma City Bombing; Clinton “Needed A Crisis” To Enact Gun Laws And A “Socialized America.” Jones released the 2002 film 9/11 The Road to Tyranny, which claimed to document false flag events throughout history, including the Oklahoma City bombing. Jones accused the government of perpetrating the 1995 terrorist attack so President Clinton could pass his policy agenda. [9/11 The Road to Tyranny, 2002]

    Jones: Justice Department “Did It To Blame Us, It’s A Frame-Up. … The Real Criminals In Washington, They Blow Up Daycare Centers And Blame It On Us.” [YouTube, 4/10/15]

    Jones: Bombing Was A “False Flag,” “Staged Event.” Jones said the bombing was a “false flag” and “we’ve never had one so open and shut.” He added that convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh “was a patsy, that was a staged event.” [YouTube, 4/19/15]

    Infowars Headline: “Proof The OKC Bombing Was An Inside Job.” Jones’ website posted videos promoting the film A Noble Lie, which claims to document that the bombing was an inside job. [Infowars, 12/17/11]

    Jones: “Oklahoma City Was A Total False Flag With NATO, The ATF, And The CIA And The FBI.” Jones said in August 2016 of the Oklahoma City bombing:

    ALEX JONES: Now let’s talk about Oklahoma City. Let’s talk about Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City was a total false flag with NATO, the ATF, and the CIA and the FBI. And we know the names of the men from the witnesses in the building, from the police officers, and from the declassified information that came out. The bombs in the building. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 8/25/16]

    Jones: Sandy Hook Shooting Was A “Staged” “Hoax” With “Completely Fake With Actors”

    Jones: Sandy Hook Was A “Giant Hoax. … The Whole Thing Was Fake.” In December 2014, as PolitiFact noted, Jones said of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT:

    ALEX JONES: The whole thing is a giant hoax. And the problem is, how do you deal with a total hoax? I mean, it’s just -- how do you even convince the public something’s a total hoax?

    [...]

    The general public doesn’t know the school was actually closed the year before. They don’t know they’ve sealed it all, demolished the building. They don’t know that they had the kids going in circles in and out of the building as a photo-op. Blue screen, green screens, they got caught using.

    I mean the whole thing -- but remember, this is the same White House that’s been caught running the fake bin Laden raid that’s come out and been faked. It’s the same White House that got caught running all these other fake events over and over again. And it’s the same White House that says, “I never said that you could keep your doctor” when he did say you could keep your doctor. People just instinctively know that there’s a lot of fraud going on. But it took me about a year with Sandy Hook to come to grips with the fact that the whole thing was fake. I mean, even I couldn’t believe it. I knew they jumped on it, used the crisis, hyped it up. But then I did deep research -- and my gosh, it just pretty much didn’t happen. Unbelievable. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 12/28/14, via PolitiFact]

    Jones: Sandy Hook Was “Completely Fake With Actors.” As PolitiFact noted, Jones claimed in January 2015 that the shooting was “a synthetic completely fake with actors, in my view, manufactured. I couldn’t believe it at first. I knew they had actors there, clearly, but I thought they killed some real kids. And it just shows how bold they are, that they clearly used actors. I mean they even ended up using photos of kids killed in mass shootings here in a fake mass shooting in Turkey -- so yeah, or Pakistan. The sky is now the limit.” [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 1/13/15, via PolitiFact

    Jones Mocked Grief Over Sandy Hook Victims, Complained They’re Putting “Them In Our Face.”

    ALEX JONES: They’ll put al Qaeda in Libya or Syria to murder the Christians en masse. Our government and then -- “but oh he -- the Newtown kids! Oh!” [fake sobs] They take them, put them in our face, tell us their names, who they were. I heard an ad this morning on the radio, Bloomberg paid for it locally, going, “I dropped Billy off and watched him go around the corner and he never came back all because of the guns. Won’t you just turn your guns in for my son? Why’d you do it to him, gun owners? Well listen, I didn’t kill your kids! [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 4/9/13]

    Jones: “Sandy Hook, It’s Got Inside Job Written All Over It.” [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 4/9/13]

    Jones: The Government “Staged Sandy Hook.” Jones stated: “Folks, they staged Aurora, they staged Sandy Hook. The evidence is just overwhelming.” [Media Matters, 4/15/13]

    Jones: “We’ve Clearly Got People Where It’s Actors Playing Different Parts Of Different People ” At Sandy Hook. Jones said of the school shooting:

    ALEX JONES: We’ve clearly got people where it’s actors playing different parts of different people.

    [...]

    I’ve looked at it and undoubtedly there’s a cover up, there’s actors, they’re manipulating, they’ve been caught lying, and they were pre-planning before it and rolled out with it. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 3/14/14]

    Jones: “I Don’t Know If Kids Really Got Killed” At Sandy Hook. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 7/7/15]

    Jones Smeared Parents Of Sandy Hook Victims As Actors. During a November broadcast of his program, Jones claimed that parents of the Sandy Hook victims were actors because there are purportedly “weird videos of reported parents of kids laughing and then all of a sudden they do the hyperventilating to cry to go on TV.” [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show11/17/16]

    Jones Regarding Site Of The Shooting: “That Place Is Like Children Of The Corn Or Something. I Mean, It Is Freaking Weird.” [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show11/17/16]

    Jones: “The Official Story Of Sandy Hook Has More Holes In It Than Swiss Cheese.” [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show11/18/16]

    Jones Pushes Conspiracy Theories About Mass Shootings In Aurora, Columbine, Tucson, San Bernardino, And Orlando

    Jones: “100 Percent Chance That The Mass Murder Committed” In Aurora, CO, “Was A False Flag, Mind-Control Event.” Hours after James Holmes shot and killed 12 people in a movie theater in Aurora, CO, Jones announced to his audience that there was a “100 percent chance” the incident was a “false flag.” [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show7/20/12]

    Jones: Aurora Shooter Worked For Government And Was “A Patsy. He Was Set Up.” Jones claims that Holmes was an agent for the government. Jones stated: “He was totally set up, on government payroll, said he was drugged, told people in the jail -- that was even in the local paper. Then they came out and said it was never said. He’s a patsy. He was set up. He was drugged outside.” [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show4/27/15]

    Jones: “All The Evidence Points Toward” Aurora Shooting Being “A Staged Event.” Jones claimed the government staged the Aurora shooting in an effort to pass stronger gun laws. [YouTube, 7/20/12]

    Jones: 1999 Columbine, CO, School Shooting Was An “Extremely Suspicious Event That Had Globalist Operations Written All Over It.” [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show7/20/12]

    Jones: “Columbine We Know Was A False Flag -- I’d Say 100 Percent False Flag.” [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show7/20/12]

    Jones On Tucson Shooting: “The Whole Thing Stinks To High Heaven.” In 2011, Jared Loughner went on a deadly shooting spree in Tucson, AZ. Jones told Rolling Stone that the shooting was “a staged mind-control operation”: "‘The whole thing stinks to high heaven,’ he says. ‘This kid Loughner disappeared for days at a time before the shooting? My gut tells me this was a staged mind-control operation. The government employs geometric psychological-warfare experts that know exactly how to indirectly manipulate unstable people through the media. They implanted the idea in his head by repeatedly asking, 'Is [Rep. Gabrielle] Giffords in danger?’” [Rolling Stone3/2/11]

    Jones Labeled San Bernardino, CA, Shooting A “False Flag” Because Government Wants To “Blame The Second Amendment.” [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show12/3/15]

    Infowars Headline: “San Bernardino Shooting Highly Suspicious.” [Infowars, 12/2/15]

    Jones: Orlando, FL, Shooting A “False Flag” To Take “Your Guns” And Speech. Jones responded to the deadly 2016 mass shooting at the Orlando gay nightclub Pulse by calling it a “false flag” event. Jones explained that the government “let it happen” so they can “pass laws and hate laws banning your speech” and taking “your guns.”

    ALEX JONES: The attacks in Orlando were a false flag terror attack. But before the mainstream media takes that out of context, I want to be clear. Our government and the governments of Europe allowed these huge hordes of radical jihadis in and have even allowed them in without vetting them on record, landing at airports across the country and not even checking their passports, IDs or visas. Our governments are bringing these people in and they’re allowing them to operate openly in our society so they can attack us and then have our freedoms taken.

    […]

    Yes it’s a false flag in that our government let it happen, run by Obama, just like Merkel did in Germany, so they can then say, “Oh, we’ve got to pass laws and hate laws banning your speech because you’re making the Muslims angry.” Or, “Oh my gosh, we’ve got to pass other hate laws to deal with right-wingers and stuff, and we need your guns, of course, so you can’t protect yourself.” [Media Matters6/13/16]

    Jones: Boston Marathon Bombing Was “A Staged Event”

    Jones On 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing: “This Thing Stinks To High Heaven #Falseflag .” [Twitter, 4/15/13]

    Infowars Headline: “Proof Boston Marathon Bombing Is False Flag Cover-Up.” [Infowars, 4/18/13]

    Jones: “I Have Never Seen A False Flag, Provocateured, Staged Event By A Government Come Apart Faster Than It Is Right Now.” [YouTube, 4/26/13]

    Jones: Boston Marathon Bombing “Is A False Flag. It Is A Staged Event.” Jones stated that the Boston Marathon bombing was a “false flag” and “a staged event” and the bombers were “patsies that were set up” and were actually recruited by “globalist intelligence agencies”:

    ALEX JONES: This operation is a false flag. It is a staged event. These guys are definitely patsies that were set up and they’re manipulating our tribalism that, “Hey, the guys from the other tribe bombed us but we got them.” When the truth is they were young men recruited by globalist intelligence agencies and set up horribly. And they could do it to any of us. We’re all in grave danger. [YouTube, 4/26/13]

    Jones Claimed Boston Marathon Bomber "Was Totally Set Up," "We Know It Was Fake." Jones claimed that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was convicted of the Boston Marathon bombing, “was totally set up, ladies and gentlemen, to sell the police state.” Jones also claimed that his deceased brother worked for the CIA. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 4/8/15]

    Jones: Government Creating “Homosexuality With Chemicals”; LGBTQ Protection Will Lead To “Collapse Of Civilization”

    Jones Claimed The Government Is Trying To "Encourage Homosexuality With Chemicals So That People Don't Have Children." Jones said that being gay is a “destructive lifestyle, but I don't hate these people. But the reason there's so many gay people now is because it's a chemical warfare operation. I have the government documents where they said they're going to encourage homosexuality with chemicals so that people don't have children.” Jones went on to use a juice box as an example of how chemicals make people gay. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 6/11/10, via Media Matters]

    Jones Blamed LGBTQ Community For Orlando Attack. During a show in July, Jones blamed “the LGBT community” for the deadly mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, FL. Jones stated: “I charge the left and I charge Obama and I charge the LGBT community in general with endangering America and with the blood of these 50-plus innocent men and women who did not deserve to die, who did not deserve to have bullets fired into them and all the other hundreds of thousands of other liberals and gays and others in the Middle East that have been murdered in the last five years under the Al Qaeda/ISIS onslaught that our government and CNN has pushed and said is a good thing.” [Right Wing Watch, 6/13/16]

    Jones: Giving Transgender People Rights Will Lead To Them "Vomiting And Crapping All Over The Place." Jones responded to efforts to enact non discrimination protections for transgender people, including in bathrooms, by stating: “I don't want my daughters growing up in a country where some transvestite comes walking into the thing hopped out of their brain on drugs, vomiting and crapping all over the place.” [Genesis Communications, The Alex Jones Show, 4/30/13, via Media Matters]

    Jones: Push For Same-Sex Marriage Leads To “The Breakdown Of The Family.” As the Southern Poverty Law Center noted, during a 2013 exchange, Jones said that people "have the right to do what they want as long as it doesn't hurt others" but the globalists are encouraging same-sex marriage because they “want to encourage the breakdown of the family, because the family is where people owe their allegiance. That's why they want to get rid of God. Not because they're atheists, but because they want the state to be God. And so they are taking the rights of an ancient, unified program of marriage and they are breaking it. So it's a major revolution, and they're destroying the dictionary and the definition. And now they're on television in the U.S. saying, by the way, now your kids belong to the state.” [Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed 11/22/16]

    Jones: “Trannymania” Will Lead To “The Collapse Of Civilization” And “Destruction Of The Family.” Jones claimed that the push for transgender protections is actually “the collapse of civilization, it’s the destruction of the family, it has nothing to do with somebody’s sexual preference. It is about messing with everyone and making everyone adopt this particular lifestyle.” [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 11/4/15]

    Jones: Elites Want To “Take Heterosexuals’ Kids -- They’re Hunting Us -- And Give Them To The Gay Couples.” Jones warned during a June 2013 program that global elites are going to “take heterosexuals’ kids -- they’re hunting us -- and give them to the gay couples. That’s what goes on.” Jones later warned that gangs of gay men are going to go door to door and “rape you.” [YouTube, 6/26/13

    Jones: President Obama Married "A Man" (Michelle Obama) Because He's "Obsessed With Transgender" Rights. Jones has claimed that President Obama is obsessed with transgender rights so he entered into a “completely fake” “arranged marriage” with Michelle Obama. He purported to explain of the Obamas’ marriage: “I think it’s all an arranged marriage, it’s all completely fake and it’s this big sick joke because he’s obsessed with transgender, just like some weird cult or something. I think Michelle Obama is a man. I really do. I really do. I believe it.” [Right Wing Watch, 5/17/16]

    Jones: Vaccines Are Part Of Government Program To Kill Or Maim The Population

    Jones: Vaccines Are Part Of A Global “Covert Sterilization” Program. [YouTube, 9/1/10

    Jones: Vaccines Are Part Of A “Soft Kill” Program To See How Many Children They Can Kill Or Maim. Jones said in an October 2016 YouTube that vaccines are part of a global conspiracy to kill and maim children:

    ALEX JONES: They’re testing to see how many children they can give neurological disorders and see if the nurses and doctors and public don’t notice. They’re testing soft kill on the public to see if they can manage massive numbers of dead and dying and maimed children. [YouTube, 10/29/16]

    Jones: Global Elites Are Pushing Vaccines So “Half Of Us Have Got Cancer, The Other Half Have Got Autism. This Is The Culling Of The Population.” [YouTube, 10/29/16]

    Jones: If You Take Vaccines, “You Will Become Disabled Or You Will Die.” [YouTube, 10/29/16]

    Jones Pushes Conspiracy Theories About A "Weather Weapon," Chemtrails, FEMA Camps, Obama And Hillary Clinton Being Demons, And Others

    Jones: Government Has A “Weather Weapon” That “Can Create And Steer” Natural Disasters. Jones has claimed that the government possesses a weather machine that can create floods and tornadoes. He said in 2013 that "of course there's weather weapon stuff going on -- we had floods in Texas like 15 years ago, killed 30-something people in one night. Turned out it was the Air Force." He added that while there are some “natural tornadoes,” the government "can create and steer groups of tornadoes." [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 5/21/13, via Media Matters]

    Jones: The Emanuel Brothers Are The Leaders Of “The Jewish Mafia” And “They’re Going To Scam You.” Jones said of Jewish brothers Ari, Ezekiel, and Rahm Emanuel:

    ALEX JONES: Oh but its okay because the Emanuels [Ari, Ezekiel, Rahm] are liberals. This is a guy who famously in the Clinton administration whenever they were talking about Democrats that weren’t doing what they were told, that would take a knife at the table and start stabbing it, breaking the table, breaking the knife screaming death, murder, [unintelligible noise]. Just start, in front of everyone -- and then when he [unintelligible] on the sidelines during the Clinton administration, with Obama, in the first administration is what I meant to get to. He would then tell Obama to shut up in cabinet meetings, I’m in command. And Obama would do what he said.

    ‘Cause let me tell you, the Emanuels are mafia. And you know I was thinking, they’re always trying to claim that if I talk about world government and corruption I’m anti-Semitic, there’s mafias of all different stripes and groups but since you want to talk about it, the Emanuels are Jewish mafia. So there you go. But, I mean it’s not that Jews are bad, it’s just they are the head of the Jewish mafia in the United States. They run Uber, they run the health care, they’re going to scam you, they’re going to hurt you.

    And then they got weirdos that they’re allied with like George Soros who’s a literal Nazi collaborator, and then you’ve got Madeleine Albright who’s a Nazi collaborator, her dad was, rounding up Jews, I mean it’s like, if being against Jews that are weirdo Nazi collaborators and gangsters makes me anti-Semitic then fine. I’m not against Jews, but at a certain point, when you people call you out, I’ve been called out in hundreds of newspapers in the last month, as being anti-Semitic, because I talk about a global, corporate, combine.

    Well why are you labeling the TPP Jewish, I mean it’s got Jews involved in it just like it’s got everybody else. It’s communist Chinese, global government, Japan, I mean all these groups -- but again, I’m gonna skip this break, it’s injected into it that you must be anti-Semetic. So, I was just sitting back and -- let me then, I guess I better do some exposes on the Jewish mafia. And a guy foaming at the mouth with knives at cabinet meetings, basically threatening the president. Totally crazed. Who’s got his fingers in everything, screwing us over. I mean, how do you come up with this stuff? Where does this come from? Why? It’s disgusting. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 10/25/16]

    Jones Released Film Claiming To Prove “The Existence Of A Secret Network Of FEMA Camps.” Jones released the 2010 film Police State 4: The Rise Of FEMA. Infowars’ description for the film states that “Jones conclusively proves the existence of a secret network of FEMA camps, now being expanded nationwide. The military industrial complex is transforming our once free nation into a giant prison camp. A cashless society control grid, constructed in the name of fighting terrorism, was actually built to enslave the American people. Body scanners, sound cannons, citizen spies, staged terror and cameras on every street corner — it’s only the beginning of the New World Order’s hellish plan.” In reality, no such FEMA camps exist. [Infowars, 3/19/10; Popular Mechanics, 12/26/14]

    Jones Claimed Las Vegas Cop Shooting Was “Absolutely Staged” By Government. In June 2014, Jerad and Amanda Miller ambushed and killed three people, including two police officers, in Las Vegas, NV. Jones claimed that the shooting was "absolutely staged" and said, "There is so much proof of this being staged yesterday, when I first read about it, and this morning, that my mind exploded with hundreds of data points, and quite frankly it's conclusive." Jones later suggested Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and the Obama administration were responsible for perpetrating the shooting. [Media Matters, 6/9/14]

    Jones: Government Spraying Chemicals Into The Air For “Genocide And Population Reduction.” Jones has repeatedly pushed claims about chemtrails, the conspiracy theory that government airplanes are spraying chemicals into the air for nefarious purposes. During a November 2011 segment on his program, Jones claimed that there’s a “total global government program that’s hiding in plain view” in which they spray chemicals into the air. Jones explained that they’re “spraying this every day” and “it’s hurting us.” He added that the “endgame” for the government is “genocide and population reduction.” [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 11/14/11

    Jones Said “Globalists” Caused Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster To Serve As A “Distraction” From Iraq. Jones wrote that "globalists" were involved in the deadly 2003 disaster, stating on his website:

    Three weeks ago, on my syndicated radio show, I said that there was a very good chance that the globalists would do something horrible concerning the latest Colombia mission. Understand, the psychological warfare technicians do not even need to publicly blame Iraq for the Columbia disaster. It will serve as a distraction in the global press during the final weeks of war preparation in the gulf. It Will Serve The Dual Purpose Of Unifying The Country Behind President Bush as he grandstands (See N YT --President Bush Had Tears In His Eyes On Saturday When He Spoke The Words That Became The Headline "The Columbia Is Lost" and Reuters -- Again, Bush Thrust Into Role As National Mourner), talking about how horrible the death of the astronauts has been.

    I pointed out many times on the air that they are using primitive psychological mechanisms built into our most primitive programming to unify and control us. Child kidnappings are actually down by two thirds since the late 1980's and early 1990, but the unified bureaus of propaganda (ABC, CNN, FOX etc.) have been playing it up as an incredible epidemic. We have seen an emerging pattern over the last few decades of playing up child kidnapping right before a war.

    If you are asking what this has to do with Columbia blowing up on reentry, let me explain it in simpler terms. What happens if you hit a beehive with a baseball bat? The bees will come out and attack anything in the vicinity. To give you a human example, in primitive societies when a large predator takes a member of the tribe, especially a young member, the tribe will go into a vicious seek-and-destroy hunting frenzy that we call "war" today. This is why they play up child kidnappings before a war.

    Similarly, the space program is at the core of American pride, and we see our astronauts as our greatest heroes -- great explorers. Their deaths cause insecurity, fear and anger. But don't worry, your gracious leader Lord Bush will feel the pain with you. Many weak-minded Americans will shift into mindless group-think and poll numbers for the war will rapidly rise. [Infowars, 2/1/03

    Jones Has Repeatedly Claimed That President Obama’s Birth Certificate Is Fraudulent. Jones has said that President Obama’s birth certificate is “fake. Of course it’s fake.” He has released numerous videos through his YouTube channel claiming that President Obama’s birth certificate is fraudulent. The videos’ headlines include, “PROOF!!! Obama Birth Certificate Fraud,” “Obama's Birth Certificate Proven Fraudulent,” and “Obama Bombshell: New Birth Certificate a Forgery.” [YouTube, 7/18/12, 4/27/11, 7/19/12, 5/19/11

    Jones Claimed Sources Have Told Him Obama And Clinton Are Possessed By Demons. Jones claimed that he “was told by people around" Clinton that "she's demon-possessed," and “high up” people have told him “Obama and Hillary both smell like sulfur.” [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 10/10/16]

    Jones Suggested President Obama Killed Justice Antonin Scalia. Following Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in February, Jones said that “my gut tells me they killed him and all the intellectual evidence lays it out.” He suggested that Obama murdered Scalia so he could push gun control legislation. [Right Wing Watch, 2/14/16, 2/16/16]

    Jones Claimed There’s "An Alien Force Not Of This World Attacking Humanity." [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 3/16/16]

    Jones: Beyoncé Is “Funded By The” CIA To Cause Mayhem. Jones reacted to Beyoncé’s music video Lemonade by claiming that it’s “high-level” “CIA propaganda because that’s their domestic job.” Jones claimed that Beyoncé has been “funded by” the government to “play us all off against each other” to create a police state. [Infowars, 4/25/16]

    Jones Lobs Sexist Attacks Against Women: “Whore,” “Tramp,” “Bitch”

    Jones On Female CNBC Anchor: "Whore," "Trash, Tramp, Filth, Scum." Jones defended friend Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) from media attacks by lashing out at CNBC anchor Kelly Evans, who challenged the senator during an interview. Jones called Evans a "whore" and "pimp" for "signing on to a system of murder, you little piece of trash, tramp, filth, scum woman!" [Media Matters, 2/4/15]

    Jones Attacked Female Reporters At Fox News As “Cutesy Infobabes.” Jones responded to criticism of friend Rand Paul from Fox News by attacking female reporters as “cutesy infobabes.” [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show4/10/15]

    Jones Said Chelsea Clinton Looks Like Mister Ed The Horse. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 8/23/15]

    Jones: Clinton Aide Huma Abedin Isn’t “Good-Looking,” “Looks Like Bin Laden.” [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 6/14/16]

    Jones To Hillary Clinton: “You Bitch.” During an August 2015 program, Jones repeatedly called Clinton “a witch” and then asked, “Hey Hillary, you got bodyguards. Are their guns bad too? Why can’t I have a gun to protect myself, you bitch?” [Right Wing Watch, 8/27/15]

    Jones: Women Shouldn’t Be In Combat Because Of Their “Menstrual Period” And Because They "Fight With Each Other.” Jones complained that the efforts to include women in the military are a form of “social engineering” designed to destabilize the military and the American family. He added, “can you imagine being in combat with a bunch of women? I mean, can you imagine that? I mean, do you know how much women fight with each other?” [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 1/14/15

  • Alex Jones’ Infowars.com Attacks Sandy Hook Principal’s Daughter

    Infowars Reporter: “Don't You Understand That If Your Mother Had A Pistol Or A Firearm She Could Have Prevented Her Death?”

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Infowars.com, the website operated by conspiracy theorist and radio host Alex Jones, lashed out at Erica Lafferty, the daughter of slain Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung, for calling on President-elect Donald Trump not to appear on Jones’ show because Jones has pushed conspiracy theories about the 2012 Sandy Hook tragedy.

    In a November 28 Infowars.com video, Infowars.com reporter Owen Shroyer said he wanted to “stand up” for Jones before attacking Lafferty’s advocacy for stronger gun laws as illogical and claiming that Lafferty needs “to address” the theories of Wolfgang Halbig, a leading Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist who has been warned by police against harrasing victims of the attack.

    Lafferty has been outspoken in calling for President-elect Trump not to appear on Jones’ radio program. Before he was elected, Trump praised Jones as having an “amazing” reputation, and Jones said that after Trump’s victory, he called Jones to promise to appear on his show in the near future.

    In a November 16 open letter to Trump, Lafferty wrote, “radio host Alex Jones has fanned the flames of a hateful conspiracy theory claiming that the shooting that took my mother never happened. It’s unthinkable. It’s unacceptable. I’m asking you to denounce it immediately and cut ties with Alex Jones and anyone who subscribes to these dangerous ideas.”

    Indeed, it is well documented that in the wake of the 2012 shooting, which left 20 children and six educators dead, Jones repeatedly suggested that the shooting was a “hoax” that never happened. Jones has reacted to Lafferty’s letter by lying about his past statements while simultaneously doubling down on his conspiratorial claims about the attack.

    Shroyer addressed Lafferty directly in his video, which was posted to Alex Jones’ YouTube channel. He said, “I just have this message to you. Why wouldn't you want a good guy on the scene with a gun when a bad guy comes? I’m just missing this logic. Don't you understand that if your mother had a pistol or a firearm she could have prevented her death? A good person with a gun could have stopped a bad person with a gun and saved lives. Why does this logic escape you?”

    In the video, Shroyer repeatedly cited Halbig, who he said has perhaps “done the best reporting” on the Sandy Hook shooting. According to Shroyer, “All Alex Jones wants is the truth. All Wolfgang Halbig wants is the truth. Why are you butting heads with people that want to find out the truth of what happened to your mother?”

    According to a profile in New York magazine, Halbig, the host of “a semi-regular Sandy Hook Justice Report podcast,” is “the hoaxers’ lead investigator,” and “one of Halbig’s favorite Sandy Hook theories is that Sasha Davidson, who was killed, is in fact alive and living as another Newtown girl named Allison Rodriguez.” (Halbig has appeared as a guest on Jones' program.)

    Shroyer concluded his video with more attacks, claiming, “We are just looking for truth and some of the things that you’ve said in your op-ed are just inaccurate and inappropriate and again I would say as you are now an advocate for gun legislation or gun safety, I ask you, if your mother had a gun ready aimed and ready to be fired at Dylann Roof (sic) when he took your mother's life, do you think she would still be alive today?”

    (Adam Lanza killed Dawn Hochsprung. Dylann Roof is the man alleged to have killed nine African-American worshippers at a South Carolina church during a racist attack.)

  • NRATV Urges President-Elect Trump To Continue Attacking The Press

    NRATV Commentator Dana Loesch: “Rat Bastards” In The Mainstream Media Got “Curb-Stomped” By Trump’s Victory

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    The host of NRATV urged President-elect Donald Trump to “not stop holding the media accountable” and to not “stop his tough straight talk about the dishonesty of the media” shortly before an NRATV commentator said she was happy that mainstream media was “curb-stomped” by Trump’s victory.

    NRATV has served as a pro-Trump attack dog against the media since its launch in October, several weeks before the presidential election.

    During the November 23 broadcast of NRATV, host Grant Stinchfield said, “I hope that Donald Trump does not stop holding the media accountable, and I hope he doesn't stop his tough straight talk about the dishonesty of the media because I really do think that's what endeared him to so much of the American public.” Trump’s campaign and transition period have both been notable for the attacks the candidate -- and now president-elect -- has levied against the press and press freedoms.

    Following Stinchfield’s comment, NRATV commentator and conservative radio host Dana Loesch ranted about the “mainstream media,” claiming that its members were “curb-stomped” by Trump’s election and that the mainstream press is “the boil on the backside of American politics” and its members are “the rat bastards of the earth.”

    There seem to be no lengths to which NRATV won’t go to defend Trump. For example, during the show’s October 27 broadcast, Stinchfield attacked the media for covering numerous sexual assault allegations against Trump, saying outlets should instead have been reporting on people who used guns in self-defense.

    Like Trump, the NRA frequently pushes the talking point that the press is in cahoots with so-called global elites who are trying to take guns away from ordinary Americans. Most recently, the group’s leader, Wayne LaPierre, railed against the media in a post-election message where he claimed that “the disgraceful media attempted to manipulate” Trump supporters’ “emotions.” In another representative example of the NRA’s attacks on the press, LaPierre told attendees at a 2014 conservative gathering that the press is one of America’s “greatest threats” and said, “NRA members will never, and I mean never, submit or surrender to the national media.”

  • Trump Ally Alex Jones Doubles Down On Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theories

    Jones: “We’ve Sent Reporters Up There, Man, And That Place Is Like Children Of The Corn Or Something. … All I Know Is Something’s Going On And You Don’t Like Us Looking At It”

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Conspiracy theorist and radio host Alex Jones falsely claimed he never called the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School a hoax moments before pushing a barrage of conspiracy theories about the tragedy.

    Jones addressed the Sandy Hook shooting in response to a November 16 open letter to President-elect Donald Trump authored by Erica Lafferty, whose mother Dawn Hochsprung was the principal at Sandy Hook and was killed in the attack. In her letter, Lafferty asked Trump not to appear on Jones’ show because of the latter’s false claims about the Sandy Hook attack. (Jones has reported that Trump called him after the election to say that he would come on the show “in the next few weeks.”)

    Jones, a leading conspiracy theorist and self-proclaimed “founding father” of the 9/11 Truth movement (which claims that the U.S. government executed the terrorist attacks or allowed them to happen) was a key Trump media ally during the campaign, and Trump praised Jones as having an “amazing” reputation during an appearance on his show.

    On the November 17 broadcast of The Alex Jones Show, Jones claimed his past statements on Sandy Hook had been taken “out of context” and that he had never called the shooting a hoax. (In fact, he has done exactly that. PolitiFact rated as “true” the claim that Jones “said that the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre were child actors and no one was actually killed there,” citing numerous broadcasts where he made the claim, including one in which he said that the shooting was “a giant hoax.”)

    Moments after denying he had called the shooting a hoax, Jones pushed several of the most prominent conspiracy theories about the shooting, including the following claims:

    • CNN anchor Anderson Cooper reported on the shooting “using a green screen,” which you can tell because “his nose disappears”;

    • there is footage of “the kids going in circles back into the buildings” after the shooting;

    • the Sandy Hook school “was closed years before” the shooting;

    • “no emergency helicopters were launched” to respond to the shooting; and

    • “weird videos of reported parents of kids laughing and then all of a sudden they do the hyperventilating to cry to go on TV” reveal that the parents were actors.

    Jones added that “we’ve sent reporters up there, man, and that place is like Children of the Corn or something. I mean it is freaking weird.” He concluded by saying, “All I know is something’s going on and you don’t like us looking at it. You don’t like us questioning you”:
     
    ALEX JONES: And there were hundreds of articles yesterday, and CBS, and NBC, and ABC, and CNN, I can’t even watch them all. White House, you must -- Trump, you must break ties with Alex Jones the racist. No proof. And Alex Jones that says Sandy Hook didn’t happen. And they take a clip out of context where I’m war-gaming, that man the media lies so much I guess you could say no kids were killed and none of it happened and that it’s a whole total hoax because the media lies so much who knows what’s true. That was me responding to them saying I’m saying it never happened.
     
    I’m attacked by the folks that say nothing happened for saying yes, Anderson Cooper is using a green screen, his nose disappears. Yes, they have the kids going in circles back into the buildings. Yes, the building was closed years before. Yes, it was filthy. Yes, no emergency helicopters were launched. Yes, they’re sealing the death certificates and everything. Yes, I even know FBI agents that say they think it’s suspicious. But I can’t believe they’re that bold, and so no. They set it up like, you don’t think this mother is real? No, I’m sure she is. But were the polls fake on Election Night? Did they send the questions to Hillary beforehand? In the WikiLeaks is there talk of supplying kids to hot tubs for quote “entertainment” for people? I mean, look, folks. Did Hillary put jihadis in control all over the world? All I know is there is no level these people won’t stoop too. So they take it out of context and, look, he says no children ever died from mass shooting. I never said that. I said you use these events and then package them and don’t let a good crisis go to waste, bare minimum.
     

    We’ve hosted debates by the journalists that say Sandy Hook is exactly like they say it happened against people that say it didn’t happen. And then we get attacked by both sides for quote “covering up.” The truth is they have had national polls where upwards of half of Americans don’t believe Sandy Hook, because they don’t believe a word the mainstream media says. We’ve sent reporters up there, man, and that place is like Children of the Corn or something. I mean it is freaking weird. And then the weird videos of reported parents of kids laughing and then all of a sudden they do the hyperventilating to cry to go on TV. All I know is something’s going on and you don’t like us looking at it. You don’t like us questioning you.

  • Ignoring All Evidence, NRA Decides Gun Policy Determined The 2016 Presidential Election

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    The National Rifle Association is claiming in a post-election message that the gun issue decided the election in favor of President-elect Donald Trump. But all available evidence indicates that voters actually showed a strong preference for gun safety measures and that the election was decided on other grounds.

    In a November 14 video released on NRATV, NRA executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre claimed “Hillary Clinton made her hatred for the Second Amendment a central issue of this campaign and as a result of that fatal mistake, she’s on permanent political vacation”:

    WAYNE LAPIERRE: On November 8th you, the five million men and women of the National Rifle Association of America, along with the tens of millions of gun owners all over this country who followed your lead, achieved a truly extraordinary, historic, even heroic accomplishment. In northern Florida and Pennsylvania, throughout Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan, in small towns and communities all across America, you were the special forces that swung this election and sent Donald Trump and Mike Pence to the White House. You did this. Don’t let anybody else tell you otherwise. In the wake of this historic event, the same disgraced group of so-called experts, talking heads, pundits, and pollsters that got everything wrong before the election are trying to deceive you again. So let me remove all doubt: Gun owners made this election happen. Hillary Clinton made her hatred for the Second Amendment a central issue of this campaign and as a result of that fatal mistake, she’s on permanent political vacation.   

    But the NRA’s framing of the election outcome doesn’t make sense, even assuming the election was decided on policy grounds (which it apparently wasn’t). The pro-gun safety presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, received substantially more votes than NRA-endorsed President-elect Donald Trump.

    Setting that aside, all available data indicates Democrat, Republican, and Independent voters overwhelmingly supported the types of gun safety measures that Clinton advocated for.

    According to polling released just before Election Day, measures including “expanding background checks on gun purchases; barring those convicted of a hate crime from buying a gun; and prohibiting those convicted of stalking or domestic abuse from buying guns” received widespread support among voters polled by Public Policy Polling in Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The Center for American Progress noted that the polling shows “anywhere from 80 percent to 93 percent of Democrats in these states support them, along with 58 percent to 86 percent of critical independent voters, and even 64 percent to 80 percent of Republicans.”

    There is no evidence in exit polling that the gun issue was determinative in the election outcome either, as the economy was clearly the top priority for voters. (And as The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza noted, Clinton actually won on the economy, suggesting “people weren't voting on issues. Like, at all.”)

    The results of several ballot initiative votes also debunk the NRA’s attempt to create a false narrative about the election. Three out of four ballot measures where issues of gun policy were directly decided by voters passed. Ballot initiatives in California (requiring background checks for ammunition purchases and banning high-capacity ammunition magazines, among other measures), Nevada (expanding background checks on gun purchases), and Washington (the creation of a legal mechanism to keep guns away from individuals who are a danger to themselves or others) were all victorious. A background check expansion ballot initiative in Maine was narrowly defeated.

    Gun safety advocates were also successful in the New Hampshire U.S. Senate race where, unlike other races, gun policy was a significant issue. Proponents of expanded background checks had consistently and loudly expressed their displeasure with Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) over her 2013 vote against background check legislation in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. As Politico reported in its recap of Democrat Maggie Hassan’s victory, the race had become “a referendum on gun control.”

    It’s apparent that these are facts the NRA does not want to grapple with. In his video message LaPierre said that anyone claiming that the election was not a rejection of gun safety proposals is trying to “deceive you.” But that’s just another half-baked conspiracy theory from LaPierre. The facts speak for themselves.

  • Daughter Of Slain Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal Writes Trump To Ask Him Not To Appear On Alex Jones’ Radio Show

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Erica Lafferty, whose mother Dawn Hochsprung was principal at Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed during the 2012 mass shooting at the school, has published an open letter to President-elect Donald Trump, urging him not to appear on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ radio show.

    Jones, a leading conspiracy theorist, self-proclaimed founding father of the 9/11 Truth movement, and key Trump media ally during the 2016 race, has helped spread conspiracy theories that the Sandy Hook shooting, in which 20 children and six educators were killed, was a “hoax.”

    During a December 2015 appearance on The Alex Jones Show, Trump praised Jones as having an "amazing" reputation and promised, "I will not let you down." Following Trump’s victory, Jones said Trump called him to “thank” his audience and promised to appear on his show “in the next few weeks.”

    Although Jones has since tried to spin his past comments on the shooting, PolitiFact rated the claim that Jones “said that the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre were child actors and no one was actually killed there” to be “true.” PolitiFact noted that Jones has called the shooting “a giant hoax,” and said “Sandy Hook is a synthetic completely fake with actors, in my view, manufactured.”

    In her letter to Trump, Lafferty wrote, “radio host Alex Jones has fanned the flames of a hateful conspiracy theory claiming that the shooting that took my mother never happened. It’s unthinkable. It’s unacceptable. I’m asking you to denounce it immediately and cut ties with Alex Jones and anyone who subscribes to these dangerous ideas.” Lafferty’s full letter (emphasis original):

    Dear President-elect Trump,

    My mother was shot and killed at Sandy Hook School four years ago, along with five of her colleagues and twenty first-graders.

    Since then, radio host Alex Jones has fanned the flames of a hateful conspiracy theory claiming that the shooting that took my mother never happened.

    It’s unthinkable. It’s unacceptable. I’m asking you to denounce it immediately and cut ties with Alex Jones and anyone who subscribes to these dangerous ideas.

    You’ve appeared on Jones’ radio show, praised his “amazing” reputation and promised him that you “won’t let him down”. Now he’s claiming you’ve personally called to thank him after the election, and will be on his show again soon. That’s unacceptable.

    My life changed forever when I lost my mother, as do the lives of the 91 Americans shot and killed every single day. You’ve promised to be a president for all of us. Well, that includes victims of gun violence and their families, like me.

    I hope that you will not only refuse to go on his show, but that you will denounce the conspiracy theories that he spreads at the expense of gun violence survivors.

    -- Erica Lafferty, daughter of Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, shot and killed at Sandy Hook School

     
  • NRA TV Co-Host: President Obama Is A “Pussy”

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Chuck Holton, the co-host of a National Rifle Association web series, reacted to a picture of President-elect Trump and President Obama shaking hands by writing, “Photo finally surfaces of Trump grabbing a pussy.”

    Holton co-hosts the NRA TV series Frontlines alongside Iran-Contra figure and NRA board member Oliver North. According to the NRA, “their coverage ranges from how our military and law enforcement guard against radiological sabotage, counterfeiting and terrorism, to the threat of an unstable economy and cyber warfare.” (In promoting a Frontlines episode, Holton once raised the prospect of people on food stamps “eating each other in the streets” following an EMP attack by North Korea.)

    Holton’s attack on Obama came in response to a widely shared tweet authored by comedian and writer Travon Free where he wrote, “No better summation of being black in America. At the highest level having to be gracious to white people who do nothing but disrespect you.” Free’s tweet included an image of Trump and Obama shaking hands, leading Holton to respond, “Photo finally surfaces of Trump grabbing a pussy":

    Holton’s comment is a reference to a video that showed President-elect Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women. In the tape, which was released in October, Trump can be heard saying,“I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. … Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”

    Holton previously made racially charged attacks on the black community while appearing in August on the NRA’s radio show Cam & Company. During the August 19 broadcast, Holton talked about gangs, absent fathers, and welfare, before saying, “And you hear college students complain about white privilege. You know my definition of white privilege? It’s just simply the culture that we have created, that our fathers and grandfathers have worked hard to create.” Holton went on describe white privilege as “a culture of individual responsibility, where you take responsibility for your own actions, a culture that respects authority.” He also positively cited a video about “white privilege” released by “alt right” blogger Stefan Molyneux. The video, which was widely praised in white nationalist circles, pushed the myth of “Irish slavery,” a common white nationalist talking point.

  • NRA “Work Of Fiction” Predicts Syrian Refugees Will Establish “Islamic State In The United States” During Clinton’s First Term

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    A conspiratorial screed from the National Rifle Association imagines a future where the presidency of Hillary Clinton causes the rise of a new chapter of ISIS -- ISUS, the “Islamic State in The United States” -- culminating in a nuclear attack on U.S. soil.

    In a November 7 article in its online magazine America’s 1st Freedom, the NRA published “a work of fiction” about what America will look like in 2020 after four years of President Clinton, noting in a disclaimer at the top, “It isn’t true ... yet. But 2020 is only four years away”:

    In the NRA’s imagining, Clinton’s presidency will be filled with “tragedy and turmoil” including Syrian refugees causing the rise of ISIS within the United States and the “9/12 terrorist attacks” involving “cesium-137 bombings”:

    Indeed, much of the criticism leveled against Clinton throughout the campaign has centered on the tragedy and turmoil of the past four years, including the flood of refugees from Syria that some have blamed for the emergence of the Islamic State in the United States (ISUS); skyrocketing violent crime over the past two years that critics say is a direct result of Clinton’s policy of “ending the prison-industrial complex in America”; and, of course, last year’s 9/12 terrorist attacks at the Department of Energy’s Pantex Plant and Hanford facilities, and the cesium-137 bombings that followed.  

    Cesium-137 is a radioactive isotope that has been associated with the prospect of a “dirty bomb” attack that spreads radioactive material.  

    The NRA article then approvingly quotes “University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabatico,” an apparent reference to real-life political scientist Larry Sabato, who calls Clinton’s first term “the most harrowing and nationally tragic presidential term since Lincoln’s first.”

    The NRA article imagines an NRA-led march of gun owners on the National Mall to warn that a second Clinton term “could spell the end of the Second Amendment-protected rights that have kept us free and safe since our nation’s birth.”

    Interestingly, in 2008, the NRA predicted that President Obama would destroy the Second Amendment during his first term. When that didn’t happen, the NRA predicted Obama would destroy the Second Amendment during his second term. When that didn’t happen, the NRA pivoted to Clinton and is now predicting that she will destroy the Second Amendment in her first term. For the NRA, baseless fearmongering about Democrats’ threat to the Second Amendment appears to be standard campaign rhetoric, even in their works of fiction.

    The NRA article also casts frequent NRA boogeymen in elevated roles during a Clinton first term, with President Obama serving as chief justice of the Supreme Court, former Attorney General Eric Holder serving as head of the FBI, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg serving as U.N. ambassador, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) serving on the Federal Elections Commission.  

  • All The Times (We Know Of) When Trump Surrogate Ted Nugent Used "The N-Word”

    After Fox News And The Trump Campaign Repeatedly Criticized Jay Z's Lyrics, Trump Campaigned With Nugent

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Conservative media and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign breathlessly condemned rapper Jay Z for  “drop[pping] the n-word” in lyrics during a campaign concert for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on Friday, but they had nothing to say about Trump surrogate Ted Nugent, who repeatedly says “nigger” in contexts that are racist. 

    Following Jay Z’s Friday performance at a Clinton campaign rally, conservative media lost their minds because Jay Z used “the N-word many, many, many times”:

    Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway criticized Clinton for appearing with Jay Z, citing the rapper’s use of “the n-word” in his performance:

    Trump also complained about Jay Z’s performance, saying at a November 5 rally, “He used every word in the book last night. He used language last night that was so bad and then Hillary said, 'I did not like Donald Trump's lewd language.' My lewd language. I tell you what, I've never said what he said in my life.”

    But then the next day, the Trump campaign invited Nugent, a National Rifle Association board member who has appeared in a Trump campaign video, to perform and speak at a Michigan rally. Nugent has a troubling history of making racist commentary, including using “nigger” as a slur.

    In a March 31 post on his Facebook page, Nugent promoted a meme popular on racist websites depicting a fake moving company called “2 niggers and a stolen truck.” The image included racial caricatures of black people:

    In 2015, Nugent devoted his June 24 column at conspiracy website WorldNetDaily to praising the word “nigger,” and defended its use as a racial slur. Citing himself as someone who "continue[s] to use the word nigger at one time or another," Nugent praised the use of the word by several well-known people not bound by “political correctness,” including former Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detective and current Fox News contributor Mark Fuhrman. (Fuhrman was a detective on the O.J. Simpson murder case. During Simpson's trial, the defense produced tapes of Fuhrman saying “nigger” more than 40 times over a 10-year period. According to the tapes, in his capacity with the LAPD, Fuhrman said things to African-Americans like, "You do what you're told, understand, nigger?")

    Promoting his column on Facebook, Nugent wrote, “When I play my Motown guitar, I niggerup”:

    In April 2015, Nugent wrote a post on Facebook referring to civil rights leader Al Sharpton as a “mongrel.” In the comment section, Nugent “liked” a post where somebody wrote, “Isn't 'mongrel' better than 'nigger'? Can't please some people.”

    In a 1990 interview unearthed by Media Matters in 2014, Nugent told Detroit Free Press Magazine, “I use the word nigger a lot because I hang around with a lot of niggers, and they use the word nigger, and I tend to use words that communicate.” In the same interview, Nugent defended Apartheid in South Africa, arguing that black South Africans are “a different breed of man” because they “still put bones in their noses, they still walk around naked, they wipe their butts with their hands.”

    In a 1995 interview with Bob Mack of Grand Royal Magazine, Nugent claimed that “real America” is populated by “working hard, playing hard, white motherfucking shit kickers, who are independent and get up in the morning.” When Mack asked Nugent, “Aren't there any blacks?” Nugent responded, “Show me one. Show me one.” Moments later Nugent called James Brown and Wilson Pickett “niggers … spirited, genuine African Americans,” while labeling black rap artists “big uneducated greasy black mongrels”:

    There is strong evidence that Nugent’s use of “nigger” is tied to his racism against blacks. While Nugent notably called President Obama a “subhuman mongrel,” he has also repeatedly attacked the black community at large.

    An example of these attacks was seen in Nugent’s ongoing reaction to the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman on charges that he murdered African-American Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. Following the acquittal, Nugent called Martin a "dope-smoking, racist gangsta wannabe." Then in the following weeks Nugent claimed that people should profile African-Americans in the same way members of a community might profile a breed of dog that was biting children, that African-Americans could solve “the black problem" if they were more honest and law-abiding, and that the African-American community has a "mindless tendency to violence" and an inability to "read or speak clearly."

    Nugent has also offered inflammatory commentary on Clinton during the presidential campaign, including calling for her to be hanged for treason and promoting a fake video of Clinton being shot.

  • NRA: “Terrorists Want You To Elect” Hillary Clinton

    In Fact, There Is Widespread Agreement Among Experts That ISIS Wants Trump To Win

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    A commentary video released by the National Rifle Association claims that “terrorists want you to elect” Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton because of her policies on immigration and guns. In fact, numerous experts agree that ISIS prefers Trump as president.

    In a November 3 NRA News commentary, NRA commentator and former Navy SEAL Dom Raso claimed, “The threat this country faces is real and it will only become worse with the weakened policies Hillary plans to enact. The terrorists want you to elect her. They want weaker immigration and more gun-free zones”:

    DOM RASO: I didn’t put my life on the line God knows how many times, and my brothers didn’t fight and die so a career politician, who has been defended by guns her entire life, could take that fundamental right away from everybody else. The threat this country faces is real and it will only become worse with the weakened policies Hillary plans to enact. The terrorists want you to elect her. They want weaker immigration and more gun-free zones. They want everybody to be caught off guard, just like 9/11. A plane being used as a missile was something that couldn’t happen, and it did.

    Widespread reporting indicates that Trump is the candidate of choice for ISIS:

    • Matt Olsen, the former head of the National Counterterrorism Center, wrote at Time that “interviews with ISIS members and analysis of social media” indicate the terrorist organization wants Trump to win because “Trump’s anti-Muslim proposals are likely to inspire and radicalize more violent jihadists in the U.S. and Europe.”
    • Foreign Affairs: “Analysis of ISIS chatter on social media and conversations with 12 current and former supporters of the group do indicate that ISIS strongly prefers Trump over the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.”
    • An ISIS defector told Talking Points Memo that ISIS prefers Trump because he is the “perfect enemy.” TPM quoted a counterterrorism analyst who said, “It’s clear they find his comments, they find his demeanor, they find his approach, in some way serving the goals of ISIS in some manner, whether it be in having a ground war in Syria or weakening the United States."
    • Richard Clarke, a counterterrorism expert who served in Democratic and Republican presidential administrations, wrote that “for ISIS, the election of Trump would help them to validate the group’s contention that the U.S. is at war with Islam. That narrative has been a powerful tool for ISIS in recruiting people to join its ranks and commit terrorist attacks.”

    The NRA’s claim about Clinton’s position on “gun-free zones” is equally unfounded.

    There is no evidence that places that do not allow guns are more dangerous than places that do, or that mass killers choose their targets depending on whether guns can be carried. Mother Jones reported that a new study from Johns Hopkins University found “From 1966 to 2015, only 12 percent of 111 high-fatality mass shootings in the United States -- at college campuses or elsewhere -- took place in ‘gun free’ zones, and only 5 percent took place in ‘gun restricted’ zones, where security guards were armed but civilians were banned from carrying weapons.” The study also found that civilians carrying concealed weapons have not been an effective deterrent in stopping mass shootings.

    Terrorists, however, have called on supporters to exploit loopholes in weak U.S. gun laws to obtain firearms. In a 2011 video, American-born al-Qaeda propagandist Adam Gadahn urged al-Qaeda's followers to go to gun shows in order to buy guns without undergoing a background check, asking his audience, "So what are you waiting for?" The NRA staunchly opposes closing loopholes that allow firearms to be purchased without background checks.

  • Poll: NRA Campaign Spending Makes Voters Less Likely To Vote For NRA’s Preferred Candidate

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    New polling from Public Policy Polling (PPP) indicates that in three key Senate races where the National Rifle Association has spent millions of dollars, the NRA’s efforts have made voters less likely to support the NRA-endorsed candidate.

    In a November 3 polling memo, PPP noted that “voters are uncomfortable with the efforts of the gun lobby - especially in Missouri, Nevada, and North Carolina - to try to influence the results of the election this fall on behalf of the candidates they support.”

    PPP found that “voters say by a 20 point spread in each of those states that gun groups’ efforts actually make them less likely to support the Republican candidate”:

    The largest spread, where voters were less likely to vote for the NRA’s candidate by a 25-point margin, occurred in North Carolina. The NRA has spent more than $6 million in the U.S. Senate race in that state, which is more than the group has spent on any other congressional race.

    Approximately 90 percent of NRA spending in that race has been on attack ads against Democratic candidate Deborah Ross, who is challenging incumbent Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC). One NRA attack ad smeared Ross as an opponent of self-defense by distorting a vote she made against an omnibus pro-gun bill that included provisions to make it easier for domestic abusers to access guns.

    In Missouri, where the NRA has a negative-21-point spread on its campaign spending, guns have become a significant issue in the race since the NRA released attack ads against Democratic candidate Jason Kander -- a combat veteran who served in Afghanistan -- that distorted his voting record on the gun issue.

    After Republican incumbent Sen. Roy Blunt attacked Kander’s record on guns, Kander’s campaign released an ad showing him assembling a firearm with a blindfold on while he talked about his experiences in Afghanistan and about keeping guns away from terrorists. After assembling the gun, Kander said, “I'd like to see Sen. Blunt do this.” The spot has been called “the best ad of the election so far” and “remarkable.” The NRA has spent over $2.5 million opposing Kander and nearly $500,000 supporting Blunt.

  • Donald Trump’s “Second Amendment Coalition" Includes NRA Board Member Who Compared Gun Safety Push To The Holocaust

    Coalition Also Includes Reality Star And Gunmaker Jesse James, Who Likes To Dress Up As A Nazi And Give The Hitler Salute

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s newly announced “Second Amendment Coalition” is filled with National Rifle Association board members and gun industry executives and includes an NRA board member who predicted the “death of millions” while comparing gun violence prevention laws to the Holocaust.

    Breitbart News reported on the launch of the 64-member coalition, writing, “On November 3 Donald Trump launched the ‘Second Amendment Coalition,’ featuring pro-gun U.S. Congressmen, the [National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action’s] Chris Cox, and gun manufacturers like Jesse James and Daniel Defense’s Marty Daniel.”

    The list reported by Breitbart News includes NRA board member Ronnie Barrett, the inventor and manufacturer of the controversial .50-caliber sniper rifle.

    During the debate over gun laws following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Barrett appeared on an NRA News program to compare the push for stronger gun laws to the Nazi movement in Germany.

    Asked by NRA News host Cam Edwards about gun safety proposals in New York, Colorado, and Maryland, Barrett said during a March 1, 2013, broadcast, “In all of history when this kind of stuff has happened before, it's bad news. You know and I hate to be one of these doomsday guys, but in past things like this result in the death of millions.”

    Barrett then referenced a false version of history often repeated by gun activists that claims gun confiscation paved the way for the Holocaust:

    BARRETT: World War II hasn't been 700 years ago, it's only been 70 years ago. And if people don't think that these things don't happen to modern, progressive, Christian nations like Germany was, they're wrong, brother. I mean we're sitting here just nearly repeating the same past of that, the disarming of the citizenry not based on any facts but based on cynical emotions that are put in and rushed through in the middle of the night before anybody has a chance to study the true facts, before their citizenry even knows what's going on. I mean holy smokes, what kind of state government was that? I can't believe that's one of the members of the Union here, one of the members of our republic. It's just unimaginable.

    During a February 5 appearance on NRA News that year, Barrett referenced the Holocaust again, suggesting that gun owners can prevent "socialism" and make it so "you can't round up hoards of armed free people and put them in cattle cars."

    The Anti-Defamation League has repeatedly condemned comparisons between proposals to strengthen gun laws and the Holocaust, calling such claims “historically inaccurate and offensive,” and noting that “gun control did not cause the Holocaust; Nazism and anti-Semitism did.”

    In addition, the .50-caliber sniper rifle Barrett manufactures -- “among the most destructive weapons legally available to civilians” -- has raised public safety concerns, and some have attempted to ban the sale of the weapon to civilians. (In most states, the sniper rifle is presently no more regulated than a standard hunting rifle.) Law enforcement has linked the .50-caliber sniper rifle to “terrorism, outlaw motorcycle gangs, international and domestic drug trafficking, and violent crime.” After suspected drug cartel members fired a .50-caliber sniper rifle at U.S. Border Patrol agents in 2014, even Fox News ran multiple segments detailing the danger the “battlefield weapon” poses to law enforcement, with one host noting, “The slugs a .50-caliber weapon fires are so big that body armor really won't do you much good.”

    Other NRA board members joining Trump’s coalition include Jim Gilmore, Dave Butz, Richard Childress, Alan Cors, Carolyn Meadows, Craig Morgan, and Linda Walker. Gun industry executives on the list include Marty Daniel; George Kollitides, who owns the company that made the Sandy Hook massacre gun; and reality TV star-turned-gunmaker Jesse James.

    James, who has endorsed Trump and rose to notoriety for his reality TV show about building custom motorcycles, has been photographed multiple times over the past decade wearing Nazi uniforms and giving the Sieg Heil Nazi salute.

  • Days After He Talked About Gun Owners Shooting Hillary Clinton, NRA Cuts Ad For Sen. Richard Burr

    NRA Has Spent More On NC Senate Race -- $6 Million -- Than Any Other Congressional Contest

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Days after CNN obtained audio of Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) talking about gun owners shooting Hillary Clinton, the National Rifle Association (NRA) released an ad claiming that the only way to “save the Second Amendment” is to reelect Burr and other Republican senators.

    According to an October 31 CNN report, Burr, while speaking to campaign volunteers, said that “nothing made me feel better” than to see a gun magazine with a picture of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s face on the cover. Burr added, “I was a little bit shocked at that -- it didn't have a bullseye on it,” drawing laughter from his audience. Burr, who has since apologized for his remarks, was apparently referencing NRA magazine American Rifleman:

    Burr’s remark, which recalled Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s claim that “Second Amendment people” could do something about Clinton if she is elected president, was condemned by gun safety groups and addressed by President Barack Obama, who said, “You don’t talk about violence against public officials, even in a joke.”

    The NRA’s November 3 ad touting Burr falsely claims that “if Hillary Clinton is president your right to keep a gun in your home for self-defense will be in jeopardy like never before.” PolitiFact previously rated the NRA’s claim Clinton “doesn’t believe in your right to keep a gun at home for self-defense” as “False.”

    It is unclear how much the NRA will spend to air the ad on television. FEC filings can be delayed for several days and the latest NRA filing for spending in the U.S. Senate race in North Carolina was submitted on October 31. The NRA has spent more on the North Carolina senate race than any other congressional race, spending $5,586,930 against Democratic challenger Deborah Ross and $663,765 in favor of Burr.

    By comparison, the NRA has spent $3.1 million on its next-biggest target, the Florida U.S. Senate race. The bulk of NRA election spending is focused on electing Trump as president. The NRA has spent nearly $30 million on that race.