Author Page | Media Matters for America

Cydney Hargis

Author ››› Cydney Hargis
  • NRATV correspondent compares a black waiter to President Obama, says that job "meets his qualifications" 

    Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    NRATV correspondent Chuck Holton tweeted a picture of himself with a black waiter on April 16, writing that he “ran into Barack Obama” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, who finally has “a job which meets his qualifications.” 

    Holton appears daily as a commentator on NRATV’s news-of-the-day show Stinchfield and has guest hosted the program when the show's host Grant Stinchfield is out. He also co-hosts NRATV international affairs program Frontlines with Oliver North.

    Holton has a history of making disparaging and sometimes racially charged comments about the former president. In November 2016, Holton commented that a picture of President Donald Trump shaking Obama’s hand was a photo of “Trump grabbing a pussy.” Two days after Trump’s inauguration in 2017, Holton made a reference towards Obama’s race when he tweeted, “Let’s get busy scrubbing Obama’s mocacchino stain off of America!”

    In August 2016, Holton called into the NRA’s talk radio show Cam & Co. to say that white privilege is just “a culture of responsibility,” and told black Americans, “You’re welcome to come. All you have to do is join us in respecting authority and taking responsibility for your own actions.” During a July 2017 appearance on Stinchfield, Holton warned of the prospect of Black Lives Matter protesters committing mass rape and murder against white people.  

    He also frequently retweets Stefan Molyneux, a far-right commentator known for promoting scientific racism, eugenics, and white supremacy on his YouTube channel.

  • NRATV and Dana Loesch to host pro-gun pundit who called Parkland students "silly little immature ‘media prosti-tots’”

    Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    NRATV, the National Rifle Association’s media outlet, announced on April 6 it would be hosting gun activist Mark Robinson during that evening’s broadcast of NRA national spokesperson Dana Loesch’s show Relentless. Robinson, who recently went viral after making pro-gun comments during a town hall in Greensboro, NC, has a lengthy history of bigoted statements.

    Robinson previously appeared on Fox News’ Fox & Friends after his town hall comment demanding politicians “start standing up for” gun owners who have never shot anybody gained nationwide attention on social media.

    As first reported by Shareblue’s Oliver Willis, who previously worked for Media Matters, Robinson has made a litany of bigoted and offensive comments on his Facebook account. The gun activist has called LGBTQ people “devil worshiping child molesters,” referred to some black Democrats as “slaves,” called the Parkland survivors “silly little immature ‘media prosti-tots’” and used a male pronoun to describe Michelle Obama.

    Robinson also appeared on the April 6 broadcast of NRATV's talk radio program Cam & Company.

  • NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch’s new NRATV show will be an hour-long attack on the press

    ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    The National Rifle Association’s media outlet NRATV has announced that spokesperson Dana Loesch will take on the “lying” media in a new hour-long show debuting March 26. Commentators are increasingly realizing that the NRA -- which has a history of making bad-faith attacks on media -- uses the national press as a boogeyman to deflect criticism while the group continues to oppose reforms to gun laws amid an ongoing American gun violence epidemic.

  • Breitbart and other right-wing outlets push claims that compare Parkland survivor David Hogg to a Nazi

    Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    Right-wing media outlets amplified claims that Parkland survivor David Hogg made a Nazi salute after his speech at the March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C. But the gesture Hogg made was clearly a raised fist, not the Seig Heil salute.

    The march in D.C. and sister marches around the country drew massive crowds calling for stronger gun safety regulations after the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, left 17 dead. Hogg was one of multiple survivors who spoke during the march, calling for an end to “thoughts and prayers with no action” and pledging to “get rid of these public servants that only serve the gun lobby.”

    Hogg ended his speech by thrusting his fist in the air, and right-wing media outlets quickly spotlighted people comparing it to a Sieg Heil Nazi salute.

    In a March 25 article, Breitbart writer AWR Hawkins positively highlighted several Twitter accounts that claimed Hogg made a Nazi salute, although the image used to illustrate the article debunked the claim:

    Writing for conservative pundit Ben Shapiro’s The Daily Wire, Ryan Saavedra wrote that Hogg “threw up a salute that sent Twitter into a frenzy.” Saavedra claimed it’s “not clear what Hogg meant by his hand gesture” but went on to include nine tweets that called the gesture, among other things, “Hitler-esque.”

    In a March 24 blog post, Alex Jones’ pro-Trump outlet Infowars called the march “the ‘Hitler Youth” invasion of Washington D.C.” and referred to the speakers as “young fascists-in-training,” specifically calling Hogg “the propagandist-in-chief”:

    Echoing the madness of the Third Reich, the propagandist-in-chief of today’s lunatic Left anti-gun movement is David Hogg, a profanity-laced, foulmouthed student who is seething with anger and seems forever on the verge of outright calling for all gun owners to be exterminated by the government.

    [...]

    David Hogg physically resembles Adolf Hitler in fist-pounding salutes, angry speech patterns and more

    In today’s rally, David Hogg became a full-fledged propaganda politician-in-training, reading from an obviously scripted speech, full of flowery words and high ideals that covered over his real goal: The complete disarmament of all law-abiding Americans.

    Hogg is actually calling for a “revolution” against gun owners, reports ABC News.

    What kind of revolution? A violent revolution, of course. “Hogg ended his his speech with the black power salute,” reports The Gateway Pundit.

    During the March 25 edition of The Alex Jones Show, Jones claimed that “Hogg now wears a purple armband like the Nazis.”

    This is just the latest in a string of attacks against the Parkland survivors, who have been maligned by conservative outlets and the National Rifle Association over their calls for stronger gun laws.

  • NRATV taunts Parkland students over their dead classmates

    Colion Noir to Parkland survivors: If an armed guard had stopped the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, “your classmates would still be alive, and no one would know your names.”

    Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    NRATV host Colion Noir taunted the survivors of the Parkland, FL, school shooting who have been speaking out against gun violence, telling them he wished an armed officer had been there to stop the attack because then “no one would know your names.”

    The season-seven premiere of NRATV’s Noir comes amid repeated calls for stronger gun safety regulations after the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and just days before the student-led March For Our Lives event in Washington, D.C.

    During the March 22 episode, Noir brought up the recent Great Mills High School shooting in Maryland and told Parkland survivors he wishes an armed guard had stopped the shooting at their school because “your classmates would still be alive, and no one would know your names”:

    COLION NOIR (NRATV host): To all the kids from Parkland getting ready to use your First Amendment to attack everyone else’s Second Amendment at your march on Saturday, I wish a hero like [Great Mills High School resource officer] Blaine [Gaskill] had been at Marjory Douglas High School last month, because your classmates would still be alive, and no one would know your names. Because the media would have completely and utterly ignored your story the way they ignored his.

    There was an armed police guard at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, but he did not attempt to confront the shooter, contrary to what police are trained to do in an active shooter situation. Hours after NRATV published the Noir episode, 16-year-old Jaelynn Willey, a victim of the Maryland school shooting, died from her injuries.

    During the episode, Noir also slammed the upcoming March For Our Lives as “one-sided, logic-deprived, and intellectually dishonest” and called it a “festival masquerading as a march.” Noir went on to question what the students are marching for, claiming that it “looks like a march to burn the Constitution and rewrite the parts that you all like in crayon.”

    In a March 19 teaser for his newest season, Noir used the Parkland shooting to suggest that school staff should be armed with assault weapons, asking, “What if the football coach who heroically sacrificed his life” during the Parkland shooting “had an AR-15 instead of empty hands?”

    Noir has a history of attacking people who speak out after being impacted by gun violence. These latest videos follow Noir’s 2015 warning to the parents of slain Virginia journalist Alison Parker to not become “so emotional” that they turn their child’s murder “into a gun control dog-and-pony show minutes after the shooting because you can’t make sense of what happened.”

    And in a video on his personal YouTube page, Noir criticized Kim Kardashian West’s support for National Gun Violence Awareness day by baselessly suggesting she has “severe mental illnesses” including “PTSD” after being robbed at gunpoint in Paris.

    After the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, FL, Noir attacked calls for stronger gun laws by writing on Twitter, “Even children aren't short sighted enough to think gun control is a rational response to terrorism. They say make the monster go away.”

  • NRATV’s resident sexist attacks “sexy” female MSNBC host on International Women’s Day

    Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    NRATV commentator Colion Noir added to his history of misogynistic comments when he criticized “sexy” MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski for being part of the “largest gun conversation this country has ever had.”

    The National Rifle Association media platform’s newest commentator video comes amid repeated calls for stronger gun safety regulation after a February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, left 17 dead.

    In the video posted on International Women’s Day, Noir claimed Brzezinski’s “entire knowledge on guns is based on the … Google search she did while standing in a Starbucks line.” Noir went on to say that despite this supposed lack of knowledge, Brzezinski “gets to be part of the conversation” while he “can’t be.” From the March 8 edition of NRATV’s Commentators:

    COLION NOIR (NRATV HOST): Right now America is having the largest gun conversation this country has ever had, and no one bothered to actually invite the gun owners. Sure, they talk about gun owners, but they don't actually want them part of the conversation. Unless they need a bad guy to verbally accost, that is. They treat the conversation on guns like a line outside of a night club. And the asshole bouncer is our mainstream media. Sexy cable news anchor whose entire knowledge on guns is based on the "what is an assault weapons" Google search she did while standing in a Starbucks line this morning before work -- she gets to be part of the conversation. Sycophantic Democratic politician who believes we lose 93 million Americans a day to gun violence -- he gets to be part of the conversation. Anti-gun groups financed by anti-gun megalomaniac billionaire, outed for lying and falsifying stats on guns -- they get to be part of the conversation. Journalist who, in an attempt to prove how easy it is to buy a gun in America, tries to buy a gun only to fail the background check because of his history with alcohol abuse and domestic battery charge -- he gets to be part of the conversation. But 34-year-old attorney with 11 years of gun advocacy documented online, in print, and video, who is also an NRA commentator, gets invited to ask the current president a Second Amendment question only to have the White House say sorry, we're going to focus on other topics and are going to find another participant in place of the gun topic. And then watch in confusion as they talk about guns. No, he can't be a part of the conversation. That's a true story, by the way, circa 2013, but I digress.

    The NRATV commentator’s latest video adds to a long list of sexist comments he’s made, including referring to former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as “THOT” (which means “that ho over there”) in a tweet because of her support for stronger gun laws and comparing paying taxes on a firearm purchase to rape in another tweet. (He later apologized for the latter claim.)

    During previous NRA videos, Noir also often intertwined his commentary on guns with commentary on women. In one instance, the video opened with a scene of a stylishly dressed woman standing in an alley. Doing a voice-over, Noir appeared to describe the woman, ranging from her clothing ("Her Jimmy Choos can't be comfortable, but you'd never know it"), to her intellect ("Chess, yeah it's a men's game, but when she plays, men pay"), to her actions ("Flirts more than you can handle, too. She's the kind to tell the bartender how to make her drink"). But in the final shot, the woman was seen holding a Heckler & Koch MR556 assault weapon and Noir revealed he was talking about the firearm the whole time (however nonsensically).

  • Cable news covered the Baltimore school walkout for less than a minute

    Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    On March 6, Baltimore high school students staged a walkout for gun safety weeks after the Parkland, FL, school shooting left 17 dead. Cable media outlets all but ignored the walkout, spending less than a minute in total on the story on March 6.

    Hundreds of students from both public and private schools across Baltimore came together on March 6 and marched to City Hall to protest gun violence. (There have been 18 shootings at schools this year alone.) The students had a list of gun safety demands, including “more frequent active shooter drills and comprehensive follow-up investigations into allegations of school police misconduct.” They also demanded social work and counseling services in schools “to prevent the culture of gun violence.” The walkout is the latest in several calls for more gun safety regulations.

    On the day of the walkout, CNN and Fox News ignored the story completely, while MSNBC gave it less than a minute of coverage during its 1 p.m. hour:

    CRAIG MELVIN (ANCHOR): Right now in Baltimore, Maryland, I believe we have a live look there in Baltimore, there it is. Students marching to City Hall in a walkout. They're bringing attention to school safety there in Baltimore. They're calling it the “guns down, grades up” walkout. They are demanding better school security measures. The mayor of Baltimore joined the students as they marched. We’re keeping a very close eye on the situation there in Baltimore We’ll keep you updated throughout the hour.

    Methodology:

    Media Matters searched SnapStream for mentions of “student" and "Baltimore" within the same 20-second clip that also mentioned “school,” “gun,” “shooting,” “violence,” “safety,” “walk out,” “protest,” or “march,” on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News on March 6 between 6 a.m. and midnight.

  • A guide to NRATV: NRA's news outlet is a hybrid of Breitbart and Infowars

    ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    Launched in late 2016, NRATV serves as the news outlet for the National Rifle Association, regularly defending President Donald Trump, slamming mainstream media outlets as “dishonest rags,” and viciously criticizing any politician or activist who speaks out against the president and his policies. While some of the outlet’s coverage focuses on gun policy, the newest developments in firearms technology, and tactical shooting, the programming has largely become a platform for far-right conservative talking points that are often unrelated to gun policy. As NRATV strayed away from gun coverage, it sparked a number of controversies and drew widespread criticism during its inaugural year. After the February 2018 school shooting in Parkland, FL, there were numerous calls for companies to end their business relationship with NRATV. 

  • NRATV spotlights ex-sheriff who said Parkland survivors sound like Hitler

    Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    NRATV host Grant Stinchfield highlighted former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack, who now teaches high school and ran unsuccessfully for Congress, as a teacher who supports having educators carrying guns in schools in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, FL. Mack has recently compared Parkland survivors’ calls for gun control to the commentary of Hitler, Lenin, and Stalin, and he has long-standing ties to a far-right faction of the pro-gun movement.

    Asked about the student-led protests following the Parkland shooting during an interview with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Mack said the students, politicians, and media were using “the exact same kind of language” as “some of the rhetoric from Hitler and Stalin and Lenin,” who he said claimed “that gun control will make you safer.” SPLC reported that Mack does “like the idea of teachers being armed” after the Parkland shooting, though he said it’s not the “only answer.” (There’s no evidence that arming school teachers would prevent school shootings.)

    On February 27, Stinchfield praised Mack for “his desire to protect his kids” before playing his interview with NRATV. After the clip, Stinchfield noted, “You better believe he’s right”:

    GRANT STINCHFIELD (HOST): A former sheriff in Arizona is an economics teacher now at a local high school. He wants to be armed. His name is Richard Mack. I interviewed him this week at CPAC. Why does he want to be armed? Because he knows his kids will be safer. Now, his desire to protect his kids is what this is all about. It’s a story the mainstream media refuses to tell. Instead, they want you to believe that somehow teachers don’t want the responsibility. Here’s Richard Mack.

    [BEGIN VIDEO]

    RICHARD MACK: I teach school now. I’m a high school teacher. Why wouldn’t I be armed? And we have Dr. Mike, who’s former special ops, he’s better trained than I am. I spent 20 years in law enforcement training for this sort of thing. The school students say the same thing. They go, “Sheriff” -- they have to call me sheriff -- they say, “Sheriff, why aren’t you armed? Why aren’t you protecting us? We don’t want to be piled up in a corner waiting to get shot.”

    [END VIDEO]

    STINCHFIELD: Well, you better believe he’s right. No teacher does, no American does, nobody wants to be piled up in a corner waiting to be shot.

    Mack received an endorsement in his campaign to represent Arizona's 8th congressional district from NRA board member Ted Nugent, who has recently come under fire for spreading a conspiracy theory about Parkland shooting survivors. Mack also has well-documented and long-standing ties to a far-right faction of the pro-gun movement.

    Correction: This post originally stated that Mack "is running" for Congress. In fact, he lost the Republican primary race last night, in between when the NRATV segment aired and this piece was published.