Video ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
Loading the player reg...
Loading the player reg...
The National Rifle Association’s NRATV defended attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) against allegations of racial bias by offering a bogus history of a controversial criminal case Sessions prosecuted when he was a U.S. Attorney.
The NRA has endorsed Sessions for attorney general. During the first day of Sessions’ hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, longstanding allegations of racial bias resurfaced during questioning. (In 1986, the Judiciary Committee rejected Sessions’ nomination to the federal bench amid testimony that he directed racially derogatory language toward a subordinate and allegations that Sessions used his position as a prosecutor to unfairly target minorities.)
During the January 10 broadcast of NRATV, host Grant Stinchfield defended Sessions by claiming that “when the left doesn’t agree with you, what they do is they throw out the race card and they accuse everybody of being a racist.”
NRATV commentator and conservative talk radio host Dana Loesch agreed and said she is “pretty damn tired of these racial accusations.” She claimed that critics of Sessions are “mad because he busted one group in Alabama who was engaged in voter fraud.” But in fact, the group in question was not engaged in voter fraud. Instead, Loesch was mischaracterizing the 1985 voter fraud investigation in Alabama, led by Sessions after civil rights activist and Martin Luther King Jr. adviser Albert Turner tried to help African-Americans vote using protections secured by the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The defendants were acquitted on all charges, and Sessions’ handling of the case was later cited as the primary reason the Senate considered him unfit to serve as a federal judge in 1986.
Here is what actually happened: Turner and two other activists formed the Perry County Civic League, aimed at helping African-Americans in their county register to vote. Like other organizations at the time, the Perry County Civic League helped people register to vote absentee. (At the time, polls in Perry County were only open for four hours on Election Day.) After a number of black candidates won in the 1982 elections, Sessions, who was then a U.S. attorney, headed up an investigation for voter fraud that culminated in a 29-count indictment against Turner and two other civil rights workers alleging mail fraud, conspiracy to commit voting fraud and voting more than once.
Sessions’ case was incredibly weak, giving rise to the accusation that he was motivated by racial animus. According to The New York Times, “During the trial, the prosecution adopted an exceptionally broad theory, arguing that it was a crime for a voter to sign a ballot that someone else filled out for him.” As a result, “The judge ruled that this theory was contrary to election law and the Constitution, and at the close of trial, threw out many of the counts against the Turners and Hogue. They were acquitted of the rest by the jury.”
The NRA’s scrubbing of Sessions’ 1985 prosecution isn’t surprising, given that the organization has campaigned for his “swift” confirmation. NRATV previously grossly exaggerated the number of murders that occur in Chicago in arguing that Sessions should be confirmed as attorney general.
From the January 10 edition of NRATV’s Live Updates with Grant Stinchfield:
GRANT STINCHFIELD (HOST): Any surprises so far during the hearing?
DANA LOESCH: No, Grant. I’m not surprised at all. This is what happens when a dying ideology and grievance-mongers lose the election. They have to whine like crybabies about it for weeks after. Al Sharpton has promised a season of civil disobedience. I would love to see Al Sharpton demonstrate just a week of common sense before he really attempts to go that far with it. Look, I am not shocked by any of this. Jeff Sessions is a threat to a politicized Department of Justice. The DOJ has been weaponized, and has been used to go after individuals. We all remember how the DOJ went after the press, how they went after -- I told you this yesterday, Associated Press reporters, a number of other individuals, how they allowed for voter fraud and inflated fraud to take place on voter rolls across the country. How they wouldn’t prosecute a lot of cases that really deserved the DOJ’s attention. Jeff Sessions is a threat to this. Also, Jeff Sessions upholds that recognition. He did it as AG of Alabama, he’ll do it as AG here of the United States of America, as [NRA top lobbyist] Chris Cox said. He’s going to uphold that recognition, the federal recognition that our right to bear arms doesn’t just stop at a state line and this is something that goes across all of the United States, which is why I’m happy to see national reciprocity. And I’m going to tell you too, Grant. I’m getting pretty damn tired of these racial accusations going up against Jeff Sessions because Democrats right now are repeating discredited arguments that have been discredited since 1986. When you have Thomas Figures, who was indicted on bribery -- he was one of two accusers who tried to make up some accusation that Jeff Sessions was a racist. The other was Gerald Herbert, who was publicly put down by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals because he acted with impropriety. These are the two completely ineligible for consideration people that Democrats are relying on for the whole of their racial argument about Jeff Sessions. And I’ll end with this, Grant. A number of associates with Jeff Sessions, black and white, have defended his character, they’ve defended his integrity, they’ve defended his record, and that’s why they’re coming together. And that’s why, from some of these Democrat senators, you’re seeing such soft questioning, because they’ve been there shoulder to shoulder with Jeff Sessions and they know he’s the DOJ America needs.
STINCHFIELD: Well you and I both know, Dana, that when the left doesn’t agree with you, what they do is they throw out the race card and they accuse everybody of being a racist. What really gets me is they look at Jeff Sessions as such a threat simply for one reason: He has vowed to uphold the law on the books already. That’s it, it's that simple. It’s how you change America around, it's how you make America safe again.
LOESCH: Well they’re mad because he busted one group in Alabama who was engaged in voter fraud. I don’t like how there are groups that exist and they try to hide behind the guise of calling themselves a civil rights group. ACORN did it.
Grant Stinchfield, the host of the National Rifle Association’s NRATV, compared former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s gun violence prevention efforts to the work of the Gestapo, the state secret police in Nazi Germany.
During the January 3 broadcast of NRATV, Stinchfield lauded Donald Trump’s election as the National Rifle Association’s “biggest victory,” before cheering that “nearly every candidate supported by Michael Bloomberg and his anti-gun Gestapo lost” (emphasis added):
GRANT STINCHFIELD (NRATV HOST): 2016 actually shaped up pretty well for the Second Amendment -- take a look. In Texas and Ohio, campus carry was victorious, making students and faculty on campus safer in those states on public universities. In Idaho and Mississippi, voters took the Second Amendment word for word and passed a permitless carry bill, making it every law-abiding citizen’s right in those states to carry a firearm without government intrusion. Florida reduced the cost of getting a concealed carry license, and Texas is set to take up similar legislation. In Maine we fought back and beat billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s quest for expanded background checks, and in Kansas, Governor Sam Brownback signed a bill offering protections for public employees to carry firearms while at work. We did suffer some setbacks. Washington and Oregon are planning to join California to establish a “west coast wall” against bogusly named assault weapons. That, after California continued its own assault on the Second Amendment, banning the AR-15 and severely limiting how gun owners can buy ammunition. And with all of that, the members of the NRA can claim their biggest victory with the election of Donald Trump. But remember, nearly every candidate supported by Michael Bloomberg and his anti-gun Gestapo lost. And that, too, is something we can smile about.
Not only does Stinchfield compare Bloomberg, who is Jewish, to a Nazi, but his claim about Bloomberg’s election spending is false. According to Open Secrets, Bloomberg’s Independence USA spent $11,067,492 on federal races where the PAC’s preferred candidate won versus $788,926 on a race where the PAC’s preferred candidate lost. Bloomberg also spent substantial money backing the winners of gubernatorial races in Oregon and North Carolina.
NRATV has served as a pro-Trump attack dog against the media since its launch in October, several weeks before the presidential election. As a rebranding of NRA News, it has the stated mission of providing “the most comprehensive video coverage of Second Amendment issues, events and culture anywhere in the world.” The show’s host, Stinchfield, interjects live hourly updates into a 24-hour video feed featuring archived material and other live programing.
The NRA has a long history of comparing political opponents to Nazis. During a 2013 keynote speech to the National Rifle Association's annual convention, conservative radio host Glenn Beck criticized Michael Bloomberg and showed an image depicting the former New York mayor with his arm raised in a Nazi salute and wearing an armband. Jewish groups condemned Beck, with then-Anti-Defamation League leader Abraham Foxman calling for him to “stop trivializing the history of the Holocaust to score partisan political points.”
In July 2014, NRA lobbyist Brian Judy attacked Seattle businessman Nick Hanauer's support of an expanded background check initiative by emphasizing Hanauer's Jewish background. Calling Hanauer "stupid," Judy argued that "he's put half-a-million dollars toward this policy, the same policy that led to his family getting run out of Germany by the Nazis." Members of the NRA’s board of directors have routinely invoked Nazi Germany to attack gun safety efforts.
Ostensibly a news organization, the National Rifle Association’s NRATV is actually a pro-Trump propaganda effort that routinely labels protected-speech reporting on the president-elect as a plot to destroy the United States, “anti-patriotic,” and an “assault against freedom and the Constitution.”
In fact, the opposite is true. Freedom of the press is enshrined in the First Amendment, which reads in part, “Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”
The protections afforded to the press by the First Amendment are, of course, not absolute. The publication of defamatory material can have legal repercussions. But the type of press activity NRATV describes as oppositional to the U.S. Constitution is actually accurate and sourced reporting on important matters of public interest.
NRATV, a rebranding of NRA News, launched in October with the stated mission of providing “the most comprehensive video coverage of Second Amendment issues, events and culture anywhere in the world.” It brought on conservative radio's Grant Stinchfield to serve as a host, interjecting live hourly updates into a 24-hour video feed featuring archived material and other live programing. His initial updates, which signaled the NRA’s efforts to elect Trump as president, quickly took on an anti-democratic tone.
During an October 26 broadcast, Stinchfield warned viewers about “the mainstream media’s assault against freedom and the Constitution” that “played out every night on the airwaves of America.”
Just how was the “mainstream media” assaulting the Constitution? According to NRATV, it was by reporting on numerous allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Trump instead of “important topics we need to be talking about, like save the Second Amendment.” As Stinchfield -- citing a report by Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly on allegations against Trump -- explained, “Overwhelmingly biased attacks against Donald Trump” were being “cloaked as real news”:
GRANT STINCHFIELD (HOST): The mainstream media’s assault against freedom and the Constitution has played out every night on the airwaves of America. The overwhelmingly biased attacks against Donald Trump are usually cloaked as real news, when in reality it’s a diversion from the important topics we need to be talking about, like save the Second Amendment. Megyn Kelly performed this sleight-of-hand magic trick last night while she was interviewing former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. She only wanted to talk about the sexual allegations leveled against Donald Trump, but the speaker fought back.
Reporting on allegations of sexual assault against a presidential candidate -- often while quoting victims on the record and confirming that they spoke of the alleged incidents contemporaneously with others -- is not an assault on the U.S. Constitution, but rather an exercise of freedom of the press.
Following Donald Trump’s victory, NRATV has adopted an even more authoritarian tone. During a November 29 broadcast about the “dishonest and downright dirty” mainstream media, Stinchfield argued that it is “anti-patriotic” to report on Trump and his transition team if those reports raise critical questions. Claiming that “the media needs to get on board,” Stinchfield said, “They talk about being anti-patriotic; when you call into question every single thing that this president-elect does and his transition team does, it’s the media that is trying to destroy our republic. They are trying to tear it down piece by piece by sending you false information.”
There is nothing “anti-patriotic” about the press or others raising questions about the actions of the president-elect or his transition team. And calling for the media “to get on board” with Trump is dangerous rhetoric that discounts the crucial role of dissent in democracy.
NRATV has suggested that its programming can serve as a replacement for traditional media. Stinchfield has claimed that mainstream media outlets “stoop to levels so low it’s time the American people find new sources of information,” before saying, “We here at NRATV are clearly filling a much-needed void.”
Based on NRATV's coverage of Trump’s candidacy and his first weeks as president-elect, its leadership apparently thinks a more appropriate way for media outlets to cover Trump and his administration is through blatant cheerleading -- like when Stinchfield guaranteed that “you will be safer” under President Trump -- and spreading misinformation about his adversaries. For months, NRATV (and the NRA itself, through massive amounts of advertising) openly campaigned on behalf of Trump.
An example of NRATV’s desperate attempts to help Trump get elected is an Election Day segment in which Stinchfield presented an article clearly marked as “fiction” as real news in order to attack Hillary Clinton.
During NRATV’s November 8 broadcast, Stinchfield said that “America’s 1st Freedom magazine published an eye-opening piece about what the country would look like in 2020 if Hillary Clinton is elected president today” that included the “projections” such as that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg would be appointed U.N. ambassador and that he would use his position to “limit our ability to purchase guns here in the United States.”
According to Stinchfield, “That alone should be enough motivation to head to the polls right now. It is our last chance to stop Hillary Clinton.”
America’s 1st Freedom is an NRA publication. The article in question did not include any reporting supporting its suggestion that Bloomberg was likely to be picked by Clinton. In addition, the article included a “disclaimer” labeling the piece “a work of fiction.” (At the time of its publication, Media Matters highlighted other fantastical predictions contained within the article, including the prospect of Syrian refugees establishing an “Islamic State in the United States” culminating in a nuclear attack on U.S. soil.)
While the America’s 1st Freedom article was comically overwrought, the NRA at least labeled it as “fiction.” But the NRATV broadcast presented it as some type of “eye-opening” analysis, and raised Bloomberg’s possible appointment as a legitimate reason to vote against Clinton.
Trump has made attacks on the press, including calls for curtailment of press freedoms, a hallmark of his campaign and transition period. And following his victory, NRATV has egged him on, telling the president-elect to “not stop holding the media accountable” and to not “stop his tough straight talk about the dishonesty of the media.”
As Trump’s inauguration rapidly approaches, one thing is clear: If, as president, Trump attempts to tamp down on First Amendment protections for the press, he will have the organization that purports to defend another part of the Bill of Rights -- the Second Amendment -- firmly at his side.
Loesch: Use FedEx To Send Gun Safety Groups “A Bag Of Richards”
Conservative radio host and NRATV commentator Dana Loesch criticized members of the gun safety movement following the launch of a campaign asking shipping company FedEx to end its business relationship with the National Rifle Association.
Gun safety group Guns Down is currently leading a campaign to ask FedEx to leave the NRA’s Business Alliance. As a member of the alliance, FedEx currently offers NRA members discounted shipping services.
A petition issued by Guns Down calls for FedEx to “cease supporting a reckless organization that puts the public safety of Americans at risk in the name of corporate profits.” It says the NRA’s agenda includes accepting “millions of dollars from gun manufacturers every year to advance an extremist pro-gun agenda, including eliminating gun-free zones at schools and houses of worship, gutting criminal background checks for gun sales, and allowing open carrying of guns in all public places.” Media Matters joined other organizations in signing a letter Guns Down sent to FedEx asking the shipping company to drop the NRA.
Loesch, who is an NRA employee, attacked the campaign during the December 21 broadcast of The Dana Show by insulting “those harpies from the Moms Demand Box Wine” (a reference to gun safety group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America). Loesch’s rant culminated in her suggesting that people use FedEx to send gummy penises to gun safety organizations.
From the December 21 edition of The Dana Show:
DANA LOESCH (HOST): The gun control lobby, they’re mad. Because FedEx offers NRA members a discount. A lot of people get discounts with FedEx, but NRA members get a discount with FedEx and it’s sort of just like how some of the gun control groups -- they can fundraise off Amazon. You know how you can do like a charity donation, or something with Amazon? They can do all of that. And so they’re ticked off because FedEx, which I’ve had all my stuff shipped with FedEx this Christmas, because they have an NRA discount. So the gun control lobby is freaking out over FedEx. If you’re online, give FedEx some love. Because they’ve got those harpies from the Moms Demand Box Wine and those pedophile moron members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. There were convicted members of that so try to bring that up. And then the folks over at Everytown, they’ve been slamming FedEx because NRA has a discount. But at the same time they’re telling everybody go shop at Amazon and use this to fundraise for Everytown. You don’t see me freaking out over that, do you? Of course, I have the courage of my convictions. They don’t. Oh, yeah, maybe we should FedEx them -- there’s some funny gummy things, bags of gummy things that you can FedEx people that I’m -- seriously.
PRODUCER: Yeah, a whole bag of richards.
LOESCH: A whole bag of richards. You can really send that, that’s great. Bag of richards, write that down, that’s another band name. Bag of richards, that is a great band name.
NRATV Host: “Imagine You Have Little Mental Capacity, You Can’t Do Anything But Sweep The Floor. To A Business You Are Not Worth Eight, 10, Or Certainly Not $15 An Hour”
The National Rifle Association’s NRATV defended President-elect Donald Trump’s pick of fast food CEO Andy Puzder for labor secretary by claiming that “minimum wage is the most discriminatory regulation ever enacted.”
Puzder, who heads Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, has attacked calls for a higher minimum wage and claimed low-wage employees would turn down promotions because they "don't want to lose the free stuff from the government.”
The December 15 broadcast of NRATV took things even further with host Grant Stinchfield defending Trump’s selection by calling for the total elimination of the minimum wage in the name of “freedom,” arguing that imposing a minimum wage amounted to discrimination against “low-level workers.” Stinchfield claimed, “Now imagine you have little mental capacity, you can’t do anything but sweep the floor. To a business you are not worth eight, ten, or certainly not $15 an hour”:
GRANT STINCHFIELD (NRATV HOST): As the media continues to freak out over the election of Donald Trump, it continues to spew negative stories about him none of which are based in fact. As The Wall Street Journal points out, we are being told that we can’t trust any of Trump’s cabinet picks. Mainstream reporters tell us they are all a threat to our nation. Take the pick of Andy Puzder for labor secretary. They say he’s unacceptable to the left because he is against the minimum wage hike. But the left fails to realize the minimum wage is the most discriminatory regulation ever enacted. You see, we at NRATV are all about freedom. That includes freedom to make decisions and deals for yourself. Now imagine you have little mental capacity, you can’t do anything but sweep the floor. To a business you are not worth eight, 10, or certainly not $15 an hour. Now that might sound harsh, but the minimum wage is harsher. With it, the government just barred you from working. Even if someone wants to pay you five dollars an hour, they can’t. Meaning the minimum wage leaves millions of low-level workers on the sidelines. Do away with the minimum wage and you put millions of Americans back to work tomorrow. Now that’s freedom. It’s also something the left refuses to acknowledge, just as it can’t acknowledge gun ownership equals freedom too.
In a December 8 video clip released by NRATV, Noir reacted to Graham’s piece, stating that it was an example of “exploitation of racial tension” and terming Graham’s argument a “negro pity party.”
Graham wrote about minority gun ownership and police violence in a December 4 column addressing news reports that minorities are buying more guns in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory. Graham cautioned, “Here's what's also unfortunate: More people of color with guns will likely result in more people of color dead or in prison,” and continued:
Minnesota's open carry law did not save Philando Castile. He informed the officer who stopped his car that he was carrying a licensed gun, but was still shot to death in front of his girlfriend and her young daughter in July. In 2014, Ohio's open-carry law did not spare the life of 12-year-old Tamir Rice , shot dead by a cop while playing with a toy gun. This past week, officials declined to charge a police officer in the shooting death of Keith Scott who may have had a gun in his possession but was not holding it when he was killed in Charlotte earlier this year. North Carolina is also an open-carry state.
After Castile, who had a permit to carry a concealed gun, was shot and killed, the NRA was conspicuously silent, generating outrage from those who saw a double standard for how the NRA reacts to high-profile victims of gun violence. Following intense criticism, the NRA eventually released a perfunctory statement that did not even include Castile’s name. The NRA also had nothing to say about board member Ted Nugent, who promoted a fake news story that falsely identified Castile as a suspect in a robbery and wrote on social media that Castile did not have "enuf brainmatter (sic)" to avoid being shot. The police officer who shot Castile has since been charged with manslaughter.
COLION NOIR: The Boston Globe printed a piece this week called “More Guns, More Risk for People of Color.” Here’s a quote. “More people of color with guns will likely result in more people of color dead or in prison.” They actually printed this. And you see, the exploitation of racial tension is a big business in this country now-a-days. When you only give a platform to the far extremes, i.e. the covert, overt racists and those who believe everything is racist you only get deeper racial division. Telling me I’m a victim every chance you get doesn’t empower me, it facilitates feelings of inferiority, self-pity, hopelessness, an unhealthy dependency on a group of people who only see me as a human stepping stool to facilitate their need to bask in their own self-righteousness. This negro pity party is getting old. And if you really want to help black gun owners, how about you start changing the narrative and glorify the countless positive images of black gun owners and the non-black gun owners who embrace them and stop force feeding us inferiority. I’m not a stray dog, I don’t need you to save me so you can put a collar around my neck and then say you own me. Either power my self-sufficiency or leave me be, because I will not let you continue to make a victim out of me.
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.
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.
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.
After Fox News And The Trump Campaign Repeatedly Criticized Jay Z's Lyrics, Trump Campaigned With Nugent
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 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.
A Week After Calling Clinton A “Devilbitch,” Nugent Will Appear At A Trump Rally
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will campaign tonight with National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent, a racist who earlier this year called for Clinton to be hanged for treason and recently described her as a “devilbitch.”
Nugent will reportedly join Trump at a rally in Michigan tonight.
As Media Matters has documented:
Nugent has a long history of making racist and other inflammatory commentary. In 2016 alone, Nugent has promoted anti-Semitic content, used a racial slur against a Latino critic, promoted misogynist reasons why guns are better than women, shared a racist meme advertising the fake moving company “2 niggers and a stolen truck,” and smeared Minnesota police shooting victim Philando Castile as a criminal. In 2015, Nugent devoted an entire column to praising the use of the word “nigger,” even in a racist context.
Nugent, who has endorsed Trump for president, this year has called for Clinton to be hanged for treason and promoted a fake video of her being shot. In an August post on his Facebook page calling for people to vote for Trump, Nugent termed Clinton a “lying hypocrite bitch.” He has also called the former secretary of state a “toxic cunt.” In a viral 2007 concert video, an assault-rifle-wielding Nugent called Clinton a “worthless bitch” and said that she should ride on his machine gun.
In August, Bud Light pulled sponsorship of a Nugent concert following reporting from Media Matters about the beer company's association with Nugent. Nugent caused a national controversy in 2014 by campaigning with Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott. Abbott was slammed -- including by fellow Republicans -- for the association after Nugent called President Obama a "subhuman mongrel."
In an October 31 Facebook Live video, Nugent exhorted viewers to “be sure you’re members of the National Rifle Association, and by God, get everybody in your lives to vote for Donald Trump in eight days, or the devilbitch will continue the fundamental transformation of the Barack ‘I Hate America’ Obama suicide death march for America. And if you have a problem with that terminology, move to Cuba, because Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s policies are already in play in Cuba.”
In Fact, There Is Widespread Agreement Among Experts That ISIS Wants Trump To Win
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:
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.
Coalition Also Includes Reality Star And Gunmaker Jesse James, Who Likes To Dress Up As A Nazi And Give The Hitler Salute
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.
NRA Has Spent More On NC Senate Race -- $6 Million -- Than Any Other Congressional Contest
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.