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  • NRA’s double standard on terror is on display following vehicle attacks in the US and Spain

    NRA’s live news show used Barcelona terror attacks to suggest “political correctness” could cause an attack in the U.S., but has had nothing to say about last week’s Charlottesville attack

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    The National Rifle Association’s live news show Stinchfield issued a “terror alert” following terrorist van attacks in Spain, in which ISIS supporters drove vans into crowds at two locations, killing 14 and injuring more than 100 people. But the show has yet to mention the events of August 12 in Charlottesville, VA, where a neo-Nazi plowed his car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters, killing activist Heather Heyer and wounding 19 others.

    Since the terror in Charlottesville, Stinchfield -- which consists of five daily updates at the top of the hour on weekdays starting at 9 a.m. EST -- has run 21 segments totalling approximately 210 minutes of airtime without mentioning the attack in Virginia.

    During its 9 a.m. update on August 18, Stinchfield used the tragedy in Spain to push right-wing talking points. During the broadcast, a “terror alert” appeared on the screen, which the NRA show has displayed after other attacks.

    Recounting the details of the attack, host Grant Stinchfield said to NRATV correspondent Chuck Holton, “All of this, though, reminds me, Chuck, of the lessons we can learn here in America, which is open borders are very dangerous, the terrorists will certainly exploit it. We have that situation going on in Europe with the open borders. And the other is political correctness.”

    He continued, “In Europe, they are so afraid to offend anyone when it comes to keeping people safe. And so you combine those two things together, and this is what’s going to happen in places like Europe, and I’m afraid, Chuck, in America as well.”

    During the segment, Holton criticized Spain’s gun laws (falsely claiming that “people are not allowed to have guns here”) and Stinchfield called on “patriotic Muslims” to “infiltrate” terror cells in the United States and in Europe.

    Stinchfield routinely uses terror attacks in Europe to push right-wing talking points and promote gun ownership. Following the bombing at Manchester Arena in May, Holton claimed that the U.K. “has had this coming for a long time” in part because of the country’s gun laws, and also blamed the attack on “gender-bending,” “multiculturalism,” and open borders for refugees. Following the March vehicle and knife attack at London Bridge, Stinchfield said, “This attack should serve as a reminder of how important our gun rights are here in America.”

    Beyond the double standard about what types of terror warrant mention on Stinchfield, the lack of coverage of Charlottesville stands out more within the context of the NRA being widely criticized earlier this year for releasing an ad that critics said encouraged violence against left-wing protesters.

    Both of these tragedies call for widespread media coverage, but Stinchfield is making a very conspicuous choice to only commentate on one.

  • With Charlottesville attack, NRATV confronted with terrorism it doesn’t want to hype

    NRATV produced the infamous “clenched fist of truth” ad critics recently said called for violence against protesters

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Every weekday morning starting at 9 a.m., the National Rifle Association’s news outlet NRATV begins its broadcast with a show -- Stinchfield, hosted by Texas radio personality Grant Stinchfield -- that “brings you live news updates and interviews” and “tackles the issues the mainstream media won't.”

    On Monday it quickly became apparent that there are some topics the mainstream media will cover, but NRATV still won’t. Throughout the morning, the show completely ignored a story that had shaken the nation. On Saturday a neo-Nazi rammed his car into a crowd demonstrating against white nationalists in Charlottesville, VA, killing activist Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others.

    The first hourly update of Monday’s show, the first to air since Saturday’s attack, covered gun violence in Baltimore. The 10 a.m. update covered the NRA’s upcoming “concealed carry” fashion show, the 11 a.m. hour featured discussion of the Czech Republic’s gun laws, and the noon update was about a police officer mistakenly asked not to bring his firearm into his doctor’s office. The last update of the day, at 1 p.m., talked about a case where a bureaucratic error caused a New York man to have his guns temporarily confiscated.

    (Later in the day NRATV’s talk radio-style program Cam & Company touched on Charlottesville in commentary that criticized right-wing and left-wing extremists.)

    The lack of coverage of Charlottesville on Stinchfield was conspicuous given that terrorism is typically a bread-and-butter topic for the NRA program.

    Consider Stinchfield’s coverage choices on June 5, two days after terrorists affiliated with ISIS used a car to run over pedestrians on London Bridge before attacking others with knives. All five segments that day were devoted to the attack, which was hyped during each update with a “terror alert” chyron:

    Programming that day used the attack to push the NRA’s conservative agenda, including calling for the surveillance of mosques and for more British citizens to be armed. Similarly, all five updates on May 23, following the Manchester Arena bombing, were devoted to pushing NRA talking points in light of the attack.

    Stinchfield also covered the June 19 terror attack in north London where a man drove a van into a crowd of civilians outside of a mosque. But in that case Stinchfield would only call it a “maybe attack” and said that “something just seems odd” about the incident that law enforcement said targeted Muslims.

    After a gunman in Fresno, CA, killed three people in April, updates on Stinchfield repeatedly labeled the shooting terrorism despite law enforcement’s insistence that the attack wasn’t terrorism, but instead a hate crime based on anti-white sentiment.

    Beyond the clear double standard NRATV employs when making coverage decisions about terrorism, Stinchfield’s silence on Charlottesville is even more significant given that NRATV released an enormously controversial ad earlier this year that critics recently called an incitement to violence against liberal protesters.

    The ad conflated isolated incidents of property damage during anti-Trump protests with the resistance movement at large, giving viewers the false impression that protests against Trump are often violent. The spot was narrated by NRATV commentator and NRA national spokesperson Dana Loesch, a daily guest on Stinchfield, who said “the only way we save our country and our freedom is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth.”

    Instead of talking about Charlottesville, renewed criticism of the ad, or what the NRA thinks about anti-racist protesters, Loesch devoted her Monday appearance to a week-old local interest story of little import.

  • Alex Jones: Sandy Hook dad “needs to clarify” whether he actually held his son’s body and saw the bullet hole in his head

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones called on Neil Heslin, who lost his son during the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, to clarify whether he actually held his son’s body and observed a bullet hole in his head.

    Jones made the demand during the July 20 broadcast of The Alex Jones Show while complaining that he has come under attack for questioning official accounts of the December 2012 shooting, which claimed 26 lives.

    The statement that Jones wants Heslin to clarify was made during Megyn Kelly’s interview with Heslin as part of her June 18 profile of Jones for her NBC show Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly. Heslin rebutted conspiracy theories surrounding the shooting, telling Kelly, “I lost my son. I buried my son. I held my son with a bullet hole through his head.”

    Heslin’s son, Jesse Lewis, saved several classmates’ lives during the shooting by telling them to run when the gunman’s weapon jammed, according to investigators.

    During the July 20 broadcast, Jones played a June video report from Infowars reporter Owen Shroyer that claimed it was impossible for Heslin to have held his son.

    In the report, Shroyer said of Heslin, “The statement he made, fact-checkers on this have said cannot be accurate. He’s claiming that he held his son and saw the bullet hole in his head. That is his claim. Now according to a timeline of events and a coroner’s testimony, that is not possible.”

    As evidence of his claims, Shroyer played a video clip from shortly after the shooting where a coroner explained to press that the victims were identified by parents with photographs rather than in person. Shroyer ended his report by saying, “Will there be a clarification from Heslin or Megyn Kelly? I wouldn’t hold your breath. So now they’re fueling the conspiracy theory claims.”

    Shroyer’s report is easily debunked; according to news accounts, the bodies of the victims were released from the coroner and taken to funeral homes. Funerals where the children’s bodies were in the custody of their parents were widely reported on by the press.

    Jones vacillated on whether Heslin was lying about seeing his son’s body and called on him to “clarify” what happened during his July 20 broadcast.

    Before playing the Shroyer segment, Jones said, “Quite frankly, the father needs to clarify, NBC needs to clarify, because the coroner said none of the parents were allowed to touch the kids or see the kids and maybe meaning at the school. I’m sure later maybe the parents saw their children.”

    After showing the segment, Jones said he told Shroyer, “I could never find out. The stuff I found was they never let them see their bodies. That’s kind of what’s weird about this. But maybe they did. So I’m sure it’s all real. But for some reason they don’t want you to see [Shroyer’s segment].”

    Speaking more broadly about the shooting, Jones said, “Can I prove that New Haven (sic) didn’t happen? No. So I’ve said, for years, we’ve had debates about it, that I don’t know. But you can’t blame people for asking.”

    Jones is lying. In the years following the shooting, he definitively called the tragedy a hoax. For example, in December 2014, Jones said, “It took me about a year with Sandy Hook to come to grips with the fact that the whole thing was fake.”

    After Jones’ profile was raised by his close association with President Donald Trump, he was heavily criticized for these claims and has subsequently tried to sanitize them by saying he was merely asking questions or debating whether the shooting happened. The bottom line is that even this type of commentary casts doubt on the shooting and fuels conspiracy theories that are used to harass the victims’ family members.

  • Fox News is unusually focused on the nationality of the officer who shot Justine Damond (he's Somali-American)

    The network’s coverage mainstreams xenophobic narratives about immigrant crime

    Blog ››› ››› NINA MAST


    Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

    On July 17, developments emerged in two cases of fatal officer-involved shootings, but Fox News rushed to cover only one of them and focused disproportionately on the officer’s nationality in doing so.

    On the day Balch Springs, Texas, police officer Roy Oliver was indicted for the fatal shooting of Jordan Edwards, a black teenager, news broke of the July 15 shooting of an Australian woman by a Minneapolis, MN, police officer who was later identified as Mohamed Noor. Noor is Somali-American. While Fox News aired several segments about Noor, the network made not a single mention of the indictment of Oliver, who is white, continuing its disinterest in the case since Edwards was killed on April 29 in Dallas, TX.

    In the first three days of coverage following the shooting of Justine Ruszczyk (who went by the surname of her fiancé, Don Damond), Fox News covered the story in 11 segments, six of which mentioned that the officer was “Somali-American,” an "immigrant" from Somalia, the first Somali-American to patrol that precinct, or that Minneapolis boasts a “very significant Somali population.” A Fox News article online began both its headline and body with Noor’s Somali background. In the same period, MSNBC and CNN both dedicated seven and 14 segments, respectively, to the story. CNN reporters did mention his Somali-American identity twice when prompted by hosts for more details about his background. MSNBC did not mention that he is Somali-American.

    Fox News’ Tucker Carlson went so far as to claim the mainstream media is engaged in a deliberate cover-up of the officer’s nationality. On the July 18 edition of his show, Carlson said, "Mohamed Noor was an immigrant from Somalia. Is that a relevant fact? We don't know. But it's being treated as one by many news organizations. How do you know that? Because they're not reporting it."

    Carlson was wrong to claim news organizations didn’t mention that the officer is Somali-American. His rival network CNN mentioned it that same day, and while The Washington Post -- which Carlson referenced -- did publish an early article on the story that did not mention his name or nationality (officials had not yet confirmed the identity of the officer), the paper also published a piece the next morning entirely focused on Noor and reactions in the Somali community of Minneapolis, which is bracing for backlash in the wake of the shooting. Moreover, Minnesota state officials did not publicly release the identities of the two officers involved in the shooting until Tuesday night (July 18), meaning three of Fox’s reports on Noor’s Somali identity were seemingly based on early reporting by the Star Tribune that had not yet been confirmed by police.

    Carlson was also misguided in his implication that other outlets’ omission of Noor’s nationality is evidence that it’s relevant. While many questions about the incident remain, and there are legitimate grievances being voiced by Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, Damond’s family, and the Australian government over the police department’s lack of transparency in the case, none of them are focused on Noor’s identity. In fact, Damond’s hometown newspaper in Australia ran a front-page headline reading “AMERICAN NIGHTMARE” in reference to what Australians quoted in the piece see as a country “infested” with guns and a “very risky place in terms of gun violence.” Damond’s family, which just suffered a tragic loss at the hands of police, hasn't focused on Noor’s identity as particularly relevant in reports. Fox News is the exception, not the norm.

    In the cases of police brutality against Jordan Edwards, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, and many others, all of whom were black, Fox News assigned no particular relevance to the nationalities of the officers involved. But the network did, in various cases, invite guests to defend the officers’ actions, criticize the victims of the shooting, or use the incident to promote questionable or problematic policing tactics. The disproportionate attention Fox News paid to Noor’s immigrant background and its resistance to defend him elucidates the limits of its pro-police posture.

    And the network’s coverage, while an outlier for mainstream reporting on the story, is essentially a more sanitized version of stories with headlines like “First Somali-Muslim police officer in Minnesota KILLS blonde yoga instructor in cold blood” and “Unarmed White Woman Murdered In Minnesota, Dems SILENT After Shooter's ID Revealed…”. There are many more. Noor’s religion has not been obsessed upon outside of far-right blogs and Twitter.

    Minnesota’s Somali immigrant community has been a strangely popular target for Fox News and other right-wing media outlets. The network has previously fearmongered about Somali immigrants, called the area “ground zero” for ISIS recruitment, and attacked the Minneapolis mayor for giving her State of the City address in a mosque. Fringe media websites and fake news purveyors recently targeted Minneapolis in response to the city’s announcement that it was launching a hate crimes reporting hotline, claiming the move amounted to “fascism.”

    In its hyperfocus on Noor’s nationality, Fox News served to validate the racism, xenophobia, and debunked associations between immigration and crime espoused by pro-Trump fake news purveyors, conspiracy theorists, white nationalists, and notorious Islamophobes alike. Noor's background is only as relevant as it is in any officer-involved shooting, and if it's being touted as more than that, we should be asking why.

    Methodology:

    Media Matters searched SnapStream between 5 a.m. and midnight on both July 17 and 18 and between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m on July 19 for mentions of “Roy” or “Oliver,” “Edward” or “Jordan,” and “Somali,” "Noor," "Minneapolis," “Minnesota,” "Damond," "Ruszcyzk," and “Australia.” Teaser segments were excluded.

  • Alex Jones won't start the next American civil war, but he is ready to finish it

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Alex Jones is now frequently claiming that the United States is on the verge of a bloody second civil war and often indicating his willingness to personally take up arms if such a conflict arises.

    Jones, America’s leading conspiracy theorist, is the self-described “founding father” of the 9/11 truth movement claiming that the government perpetrated the terrorist attacks. He has pushed numerous other toxic conspiracy theories, including claiming the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre and other mass shootings and bombings were "false flag" operations or hoaxes.

    He is also a major ally of President Donald Trump. In December 2015, Trump appeared on The Alex Jones Show and praised Jones’ “amazing” reputation. Jones says that he communicates regularly with Trump and has claimed that Trump calls him to see if Jones is “happy” with his performance as president.

    Jones’ strident defenses of Trump increasingly include characterizing dissent against the president as Democrats’ attempt to start a civil war with the goal of executing a coup d’etat against Trump. During the last six months, Jones has posted at least 15 videos on YouTube with a reference to civil war in the title. But in the absence of any real plot to violently overthrow the president or a war divided along party lines, Jones’ rhetoric is only inflaming political tensions.

    Jones has blamed various groups for supposedly inciting a civil war, including “liberals,” “the left,” “the democrats,” “leftists,” and “globalists.” Sometimes Jones does not specify the forces he say are plotting a war, i.e. merely referencing “you people.” He has also been inconsistent on whether civil war has already begun, is imminent, or if we are the in-between state of a “soft civil war.”

    Jones is consistent, however, in stating that any violence carried out by the right would be self-defense in response to the other side starting the war. This is a rhetorical device that allows him to discuss the prospect of violence while denying that he has threatened anyone. In one typical iteration, Jones said during his June 15 show, “I’m not the one that’s calling for violence; you’re going to get wrecked bad. There are a lot of people like Santa Claus been making a list, been checking it twice about who's been naughty and nice. And you kick off Civil War 2, baby, you’ll think Lexington and Concord was a cakewalk.”

    While raising the idea of a second civil war, Jones frequently talks about personally participating in armed conflict and his prowess with firearms. During his June 15 broadcast, in which Jones discussed the prospect of a civil war with “the Democrats,” he said, “I can shoot bull’s-eye at 400 yards.” A month earlier while discussing a “physical war,” Jones had said, “I mean, I could take on 100 trendies and I’m not even warrior class compared to the warrior class.” Beyond talking about participating in fighting if a war was to break out, Jones has volunteered to take part in mass arrests and personally hang convicted traitors.

    Jones’ civil war narrative is coupled with a second disturbing narrative in which he has often urged Trump to arrest his political opponents or even direct the military to take action against his domestic opponents. Jones has called for the arrest or indictment of former President Barack Obama, former Democratic president nominee Hillary Clinton, former FBI Director James Comey, and former national security advisor Susan Rice. He has also urged Trump to have the military physically confront Americans, saying in June, “I'd support the president right now moving against these people physically. Let's be honest. We're in a war. I would support the president making a military move on them right now. The country is that big a crisis. We need to go ahead and move.”

    Below are examples from the last several months of Jones repeatedly fantasizing about civil war, calling on Trump to take authoritarian actions against political opponents, and threatening violence against people and groups.

    Alex Jones often claims civil war is imminent and fantasizes about participating in the ensuing bloodshed

    Alex Jones has called on Trump to arrest his political opponents or use the military against them

    Alex Jones has threatened and encouraged violence

    Alex Jones often claims civil war is imminent and fantasizes about participating in the ensuing bloodshed

    Jones: “I don’t need some coming-of-age deal to kill a bunch of liberals,” but “we have to start getting ready for insurrection and civil war because they’re really pushing it.” While claiming he didn’t want to “kill a bunch of liberals,” Jones nonetheless urged people during his June 23 broadcast to get ready for civil war:

    ALEX JONES (HOST): Did you see the video of President Trump speaking to a crowd and as soon as he says let’s have a moment of silence for [Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA)] and the cops that got shot and others, they start booing and hissing and screaming, and I saw a top Democratic strategist on Fox News defending #HuntRepublicans. I don’t want to have this be violent. We just won, election-wise. We just saw Karen Handel win. We’ve just won four upset special elections despite the biggest Democratic spending ever. We’re winning the old-fashioned American way with ideas. I don’t want a war. I don’t need some coming-of-age deal to kill a bunch of liberals, I just -- but I also feel like I’m in dereliction as a citizen of my duty not saying we have to start getting ready for insurrection and civil war because they’re really pushing it. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 6/23/17]

    Jones volunteered to personally hang convicted traitors following a civil war. Talking about a prospect of “the left” starting a civil war, Jones offered to execute convicted traitors because, he said, “I’m not going to sit here and just call for stuff without actually being part of it.” During his June 23 broadcast he also said if a war starts, there is a “big Christmas list” of leftists:

    ALEX JONES (HOST): We’re holding back, we don’t want to be violent, we’re winning. Letting them shoot congressmen and stuff, we tried to stop it but -- they’re clearly, the left is building up for a bigger tantrum, a bigger confrontation. How long do we take this, though, until Trump moves against them? I think the folks over in Bzezinski land on Morning Joe, they’re saying, “Oh, watch out, Trump’s about to become a dictator.” No, he got elected. But if we have to move in a very serious way against people openly wanting to murder everybody, that’s called your duty. I don’t want to have a big shooting war, I don’t want to have to arrest 10,000 of these people and have trials and hang their asses. But if it’s done by a jury, and we need to, I’ll be there and pull the switch. I’m not going to sit here and just call for stuff without actually being part of it. How long can they keep pushing for this?

    [...]

    JONES: If a civil war starts, there is a big Christmas list of these leftists. So I hope every one of them that wants violence and war knows this: I’m not going to talk about what people are planning in defense of this. But you just know this: This is a two way street. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 6/23/17]

    Jones: “I’m not the one that’s calling for violence,” but “you kick off Civil War 2, baby, you’ll think Lexington and Concord was a cakewalk.” Jones fantasized about “Civil War 2” on his show after Scalise was shot. During the show, Jones also raised the prospect of someone shooting CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, saying, “What happens, Wolf Blitzer, when somebody pumps rounds into your little pumpkin head and says, ‘It’s just political’?” From the June 15 episode of The Alex Jones Show (emphasis added):

    ALEX JONES (HOST): Wolf Blitzer has a guest on: “So, this man wasn’t a monster, he was just tired of things.” Wolf Blitzer: “OK, thanks for your view. Hmm, very interesting.” What happens, Wolf Blitzer, when somebody pumps rounds into your little pumpkin head and says, “It’s just political”? Ha. You people. You guys better have some helicopter jump jets and be ready to get out of here real quick if the actual civil war kicks off. I mean, I’m not the one that’s calling for violence; you’re going to get wrecked bad. There are a lot of people like Santa Claus, been making a list, been checking it twice about who's been naughty and nice. And you kick off Civil War 2, baby, you’ll think Lexington and Concord was a cakewalk. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 6/15/17]

    Jones' warning to “the Democrats” who want civil war: “I can shoot bull’s-eye at 400 yards, dumbass.” Following the Scalise shooting, Jones claimed that “the Democrats” were celebrating the shooting and threatening him, saying, “They all hate guns, they don’t know how to use them. But I can shoot bull's-eye at 400 yards, dumbass. They have no idea who they’re messing with.” Jones also said to those who would start a war: “You understand we are killing machines, you fools.” From the June 14 broadcast of Jones’ show:

    ALEX JONES (HOST): I’m saying, don’t you people get it? You’re trying to start a civil war with people. You’re taking our kindness for weakness. Do you understand the American people will kill all of you? You understand? We are killing machines, you fools.

    [...]

    JONES: The Democrats -- the tweets are all over Infowars.com, they’re tweeting at me going, “We’re going to get you next, you bastard.” I mean, they’re celebrating this. But they all hate guns, they don’t know how to use them. But I can shoot bull’s-eye at 400 yards, dumbass. I mean, they have no idea who they’re messing with. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 6/14/17]

    Jones: Leftists want a war, so “cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war.” Jones described “leftists” as “mentally ill people, losers, scum” and, while fantasizing about the prospect of war, claimed they “hope for violence” and they “want total conquering”:

    ALEX JONES (HOST): The leftists are mentally ill people, losers, scum, and sociopathic and psychopathic elites. They want total conquering. They see as as schmucks that want open free societies. They see us as jokes that actually care about free market and actually care about people’s freedoms. They are allied with authoritarianism because they worship at the dark idol of tyranny. This is a historic fact. But they want a war? Cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war. They want to kill our republic? Well the ghost of our king, Jesus, is now ravenously walking the battlefields of the mind and they have sown the wind. They are now reaping the whirlwind politically. They hope for violence because they are intellectually losing the war of ideas with us. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 5/31/17]

    Jones to “chicken necks” who “want some physical war”: “I could take on 100 trendies and I’m not even warrior class compared to the warrior class.” Jones raised the prospect of a “physical war” with globalists and others during his May 18 show, saying, “I hope all the chicken necks, and cowards out there that want some physical war, I hope you know how stupid you are trying to start a fight with everybody who knows how to actually fight. You’re idiots. You are morons. I could take on 100 trendies and I’m not even warrior class compared to the warrior class.” From the May 18 edition of The Alex Jones Show (emphasis added):

    ALEX JONES (HOST): Let me just briefly stop here for a moment because I can sit here and put on an act that I’m not angry. But I am angry -- I mean, I’m pissed. These are evil people who really have it out to bankrupt us, make us poor. They attack Christians, they attack families. You just see what the globalists are up to. I wouldn’t be risking my life fighting some Boss Hog corruption. I would be speaking out against it, but I wouldn’t be hair-on-fire, wild-eyed if I didn’t know the people we’re up against run the gambit from devil worshippers, pedophiles, psychopaths. I mean, they’re just the worst people on earth, OK? And I’m done. Everything they say is a lie. Everything they say is a fraud. And we’re so honest we’re up here admitting we’re thinking about dirty tricks. That’s how honest we are. And I’m not going to do it. There’s a lot of people that are desperate at this point. And it’s just -- I hope all the chicken necks and cowards out there that want some physical war, I hope you know how stupid you are trying to start a fight with everybody that knows how to actually fight. I mean, you’re idiots. You are morons. I mean, I could take on 100 trendies and I’m not even warrior class compared to the warrior class. I mean, you guys are so far removed from men, I don’t even know what you call yourselves. Now let’s just stop right there. I need funding to prosecute a war. I -- with your help and the crew -- we have devastated the globalists. And we sell game-changing supplements, game-changing shirts where you meet like-minded people, game-changing, high-quality, non-GMO heirloom seeds, high quality, non-fluoride toothpaste with colloidal silver and iodine. It’s all there. InfowarsLife.com, InfowarsStore.com. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 5/18/17]

    Jones: If supporters don’t take the actions he recommends, “we’re going to lose the information war and then we don’t have any recourse but to defend ourselves.” Claiming that Trump is “a dead man,” Jones said that if supporters fail to take nonviolent political actions such as buying billboards spaces and calling C-SPAN, “we’re going to lose the information war and then we don’t have any recourse but to defend ourselves.” Jones went on to rant about what he called “Bolshevik” elements in the United States who he said will rape and murder American families. From Jones’ May 17 broadcast (emphasis added):

    ALEX JONES (HOST): Let me just give you a basic summation here. In the last four or five months, I’ve told you, since he was president-elect, this is a deep state coup d’etat operation to undermine him, to destroy him in the public eye first, and then they’re not going to let Trump go to prison or even step down. They know he won’t. They’re going to kill him. And the best minds agree with me. They’re going to kill him at the peak of the investigation. Donald Trump is a dead man. He’s a dead man. He’s dead. He’s walking dead right now unless with counter this.

    Because I’m not just going to lay out where we’ve been, where we are, where we’re going. We can change where we’re going if we admit how much trouble we are in. And let me say something else to everybody. A lot of you claim you want to fight tyranny. A lot of you claim you wanted free market. A lot of you claim you want to be American. Our forebearers (sic) had to fight bloody wars for what we’ve got. If you won’t fight information war, if you won’t spend money in this fight, if you won’t buy time on local radio, if you won’t call C-SPAN, if you won’t put billboards up, if you won’t go talk to your state House, if you won’t talk to your congress people in D.C. and get them by the hand and tell them you know what’s going on, and if they go along with this takeover of America, they’re going to be held accountable. If you don’t do that, we’re going to lose the information war and then we don’t have any recourse but to defend ourselves.

    Because let me tell you something. These people, these globalists, they want us -- they have said they want to snuff us out once and for all. This is an existential war you are in. The very same Bolsheviks that came out of New York and London and Paris and major German cities like Berlin that took over Russia and exterminated the Christians en masse, that same disease is in America and plans a hot Bolshevik war. David Horowitz was brought up in New York City by parents that came out of this and he’ll warn you all day, they want to kill everybody. And I’m just telling you right now, they mean business. They will line you and your family up, and they’ll shoot you in the head, and they’ll rape your daughters, and they’ll kill your sons, and they’ll make your wife work in a field until she dies. So, you want to understand where we’re at? We’ve got the Bolshevik revolution 2.0 with a crazy Nazi collaborator, George Soros, who you know is making money. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 5/17/17]

    Jones said he hopes the “deep state” makes a “bloody” coup attempt against Trump because “it will ensure our victory long term.” Jones fantasized about a violent coup attempt against Trump during his May 17 broadcast and said, “If you want a real war, a 1776 -- I've already done my stuff, telling the truth, I've already set the groundwork and already got the whole infowar ready, I've already go the battle space ready. I've looked at it real careful -- you guys are going to lose 90 percent.” From the May 17 edition of the show (emphasis added):

    ALEX JONES (HOST): I want to tell the criminals in the deep state, because there’s two different deep states, probably three or four, but two big ones. You’ve been identified. Globalism is un-elected, it's unaccountable, it's anti-human, it's anti-God, it's anti-Christ, it's pro-Islam. You're never going to get away with this. And a sick part of me, a Machiavellian part of me, actually hopes they bring down Trump because it's going to be bloody, and it's going to be bad, and it's going to be hard, but it will ensure our victory long term. Because if Trump just kind of stalemates and fixes a few things but he gets stagnated then it will just kind of permeate, and “Oh did patriotism fail, did free market fail?” But if you want a real war, a 1776 -- I've already done my stuff, telling the truth, I've already set the groundwork and already got the whole infowar ready, I've already got the battle space ready. I've looked at it real careful -- you guys are going to lose 90 percent. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 5/17/17]

    Jones fantasized about what would happen to Keith Olbermann during a civil war while suggesting Olbermann should be put to death for treason. Jones claimed that Democrats are “organizing a military-attempted coup” during his May 12 broadcast and criticized journalist Keith Olbermann for Olbermann’s statement that foreign intelligence agencies should release information about Trump. Jones claimed that Olbermann’s comments were punishable by death, saying, “Sixty years ago, he would be in front of a firing squad in about a month.” He also said, “Hey jackass, you better pray that there’s not a civil war because I guarantee you, you’re the one calling for all of this, I guarantee you son. Sonny boy. Sonny boy. Sonny boy. Don’t open that door. You have no idea what’s on the other side of that door, you little chicken, you little wimp, you little nelly punk. You open that gate, you have no idea”:

    ALEX JONES (HOST): Keith Olbermann has said we’re at war with Russia, that Russia is scum, that Russia stole our election. Now he has come out, with no proof of course of that, and said foreign governments including Russia, help us overthrow Trump -- you mean overthrow our government. And don’t worry, the Democrats are in major newspapers, major magazines like The New Yorker, saying they’re organizing a military-attempted coup, grabbing Trump, putting him in a paddy wagon. All this craziness because he dare turn our economy back on, put three-and-a-half trillion dollars into the stock market, secure our borders again, kill Obamacare, and everything else. It’s a giant screw job. And then Olbermann now calls on foreign powers to come in and overthrow our president. Do you understand? If he was a crazy on guy on the street corner the cops wouldn’t do anything.

    The FBI, everybody, has to do something. This is clear, clear, absolute organized crime, treason, espionage. Calling on foreign powers for a coup is high treason. It’s punishable by being hung by the neck until dead -- it’s how the army still does it -- or firing squad, I guess he can pick either one. And I’m serious, man. If I was calling for foreign governments to come overthrow our government, I deserve a firing squad. Let me tell you something. Sixty years ago, he would be in front of a firing squad in about a month. I’m serious.

    [...]

    JONES: So they’re trying to sell the idea of a violent overthrow and a civil war. Hey jackass, you better pray that there’s not a civil war because I guarantee you, you’re the one calling for all of this, I guarantee you, son. Sonny boy. Sonny boy. Sonny boy. Don’t open that door. You have no idea what’s on the other side of that door, you little chicken, you little wimp, you little nelly punk. You open that gate, you have no idea. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 5/12/17]

    Jones routinely posts videos suggesting civil war is imminent or has already begun. Over the past six months, Jones has posted videos to his YouTube channel with titles including “Get Ready For CIVIL WAR!” “First Shots Fired In Second US Civil War! What Will You Do?” “Trump's Duty Is To Stop Democrat Civil War Plan,” “LEFT Preparing To Plunge America Into 2nd Civil War,” “Is Civil War Imminent In America?” “The Left Wants a Civil War: What Will Happen?” “America On The Brink Of Bloody Civil War,” “MSM Celebrates Congressional Shooting, Prepares Open Civil War To Destroy America,” “Why Is The Left Pushing For Civil War,” “Leftist Suicide Gene Leads Them To Spark Civil War With Conservatives,” “Report: Obama Planning Civil War To Stop Trump!” “Democrats Call For Civil War To Stop Trump,” “Hollywood Anti-American Scum Will Pay For Promoting Civil War,” “Soros Funds Radical Groups In US To Spark Civil War,” and “Will Trump Stop Democrats' Plan For Violent Civil War?” [YouTube, The Alex Jones Channel, accessed 7/13/17]

    Alex Jones has called on Trump to arrest his political opponents or use the military against them

    Jones called for James Comey, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton to be indicted. During his July 12 broadcast, Jones said, “It’s time to indict Comey. He had classified info and lied to Congress. It’s time to indict Obama. It’s time to indict Hillary. Indict. Indict. Indict. Go on the offense with this scum.” [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 7/12/17]

    Jones called on Trump to move “physically” and make a “military move” against his enemies. Claiming that “outside forces” are attempting to overthrow the Trump presidency, Jones said during his June 12 broadcast, “I'd support the president right now moving against these people physically. I mean, let's be honest. We're in a war. I would support the president making a military move on them right now. The country is in that big a crisis. We need to go ahead and move”:

    ALEX JONES (HOST): What should Trump do? I mean, he needs to get aggressive. Call them out. [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions needs to start indicting some of these people.

    JEROME CORSI: Well, the presidency has enormous power, and Trump better start using it -- better start realizing that in Washington, all these people are his enemies. He's got to fire [White House chief of staff Reince] Priebus. Don't wait until the end of June, as he says he is going to give him more time -- just fire him. Get rid of all the people in the administration who have been there from Clinton and from Obama, get rid of them, and start using the Department of Justice and the FBI to investigate [former FBI director James] Comey, Clinton and the others. Fight back, counterattack.

    JONES: Absolutely. Look, this is such sedition against the country and the attempted overthrow of our republic by clear outside forces. I'd support the president right now moving against these people physically. I mean, let's be honest. We're in a war. I would support the president making a military move on them right now. The country is in that big a crisis. We need to go ahead and move. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 6/12/17]

    Jones said Trump should “move quickly” to indict Hillary Clinton. During his May 10 broadcast, Jones said Trump’s “got to move quickly and just come out and say here's the evidence, Hillary, Podesta, communist Chinese, Russia, grand jury, start indicting them”:

    CALLER: Now we have to find out who the leakers are. We have to look at Susan Rice, Sally Yates, Barack Obama -- it's a whack-a-mole. Who is the leaker? Now Trump can sic his attack dogs on them and let it loose. Next year is going to be really fun to watch.

    ALEX JONES (HOST): No, I agree. He's got to move quickly and just come out and say here's the evidence, Hillary, Podesta, communist Chinese, Russia, grand jury, start indicting them. And go, “Oh I'm Nixonian? No, I'm one hundred times worse.” Nixon didn't do anything. Nixon got set up by the deep state to be removed so they could run everything. We've basically had kept presidents ever since. That's all about to end. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 5/10/17]

    Jones: “We’re about to have nuclear war, folks; it’s time to arrest Hillary Clinton.” Jones called for Clinton and others to be arrested during his April 5 broadcast, saying, “I’ve never talked like this in 20 years. Folks, these people all must be rounded up. I’m sorry”:

    DOUG HAGMANN: I would expect the next 72 hours to be critical in terms of the information that’ll be coming out. And I’m going to be very interested to see -- and Alex I’m wondering what your thoughts are -- will we see [former National Security Advisor] Susan Rice testify under oath in front of a Senate committee or will it just be --?

    ALEX JONES (HOST): She should be hauled in front of it and she should be indicted immediately. She clearly committed crimes, they lied to the public and said they didn’t do this. I mean, arrest them all.

    HAGMANN: Exactly. What I’m hearing is --

    JONES: We’re about to have nuclear war, folks; it’s time to arrest Hillary Clinton. We’ve got to save the country. The world’s never been in more danger. They’re the ones that made everything radical. Kim Jong-un, Hillary, all these other scumbags, [President of the European Commission Jean-Claude] Juncker, all of them need to be arrested. They’re all calling for war. They’re all involved in criminal activity. Arrest all of them. I’m serious.

    HAGMANN: Yeah, no I -- 100 percent behind you. And I think that while Americans don’t have --

    JONES: We can’t wait. The world is in too much danger. We have to stop these people. And I’ve never talked like this in 20 years. Folks, these people all must be rounded up. I’m sorry. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 4/5/17]

    Jones urged Trump to use violence to protect the president’s family. In a video suggesting a coup attempt was underway against Trump, Jones addressed Trump directly to say: “You must go on the offense. This is war. You think George Washington kicked the Redcoats' ass just with information? No.” From the March 5 edition of The Alex Jones Show (emphasis added):

    ALEX JONES: But you need a set time every day that you go live. They try to say as the president, you shouldn't have a Twitter. Hell, next you shouldn't have blood flowing through your veins. I mean, God, everybody knows you can't talk to foreign leaders as president, and God knows you can't breathe oxygen, and God knows you can't have a Twitter. They want to isolate you, they want to lie about you, and they're not going to stop. You put your family, your treasure on the line, they're going to destroy your family if you don't win.

    And let your family know this. I know they're smart. I know your sons are strong. But let the people in your family know there’s no coming back from this. This is total war. They're not going to let your family roll over, even if you're destroyed. Oh, they will let them roll over at first and then destroy them as well. They're going to destroy you, they're going to destroy Barron, they're going to destroy Eric, they're going to destroy Donald Jr., they're going to destroy me, they're going to destroy Matt Drudge, they're going to destroy Ron Paul, they're going to destroy anybody, like [White House senior adviser] Stephen Bannon, that actually stood up for the little people, because that example can't be allowed. Because if you let one ant stand up, they might all stand up, and those little ants outnumber the parasites a thousand  to one. If they want a war, let's let them have it. Now, they're getting their ass kicked in the economy. Your approval ratings are going up. Sir, they don't care. They're going to intimidate and pay off and roll people in your second-level operation to try to burn you. You must go on the offense. This is war. You think George Washington kicked the Redcoats' ass just with information? No. We tried to start this country peacefully; they wouldn't let us. And the rebirth of this country -- and I want peaceful resistance in the info war -- but through your office and through the attorney general they're already trying to broke-back and hamstring. These criminals are all on the Communist Chinese and Russian payroll. They're the ones who sold us out to every foreign interest -- that's what globalism is. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 3/5/17]

    Alex Jones has threatened and encouraged violence

    Jones said he was prepared to shoot minorities during a race war. Claiming that “globalists” are fomenting a race war in the United States, Jones said if a “big hoard of people are coming down the street for me and my family shooting guns off in the air and burning buildings, I’m going to light up whoever I’ve got to to defend my family. But it doesn’t mean I’m going to enjoy it”:

    ALEX JONES (HOST): The point is George Soros and the globalists know there is a rebellion against the corrupt government. They know there is a mass awakening. They want to short-circuit it with a bunch of race baiting, race fighting, and everybody killing each other. It’s in the WikiLeaks: They’re trying to start a race war.

    [...]

    JONES: I’ve got security, I’ve got firearms, I live defended, behind a gate, behind walls. If there was a race war in this country, it’s going to be the minorities that share the main brunt of the slaughterhouse. And that’s not a threat -- that’s a fact. But why would I feel good if you got killed? I’m trying to keep you from aborting your children.

    [...]

    JONES: A lot of folks say, “Shut up, Alex. Let Gates do this, let the U.N. do it. Hey I’m not racist, but they’re coming after us. Why are you exposing all of this?” Because I have to tell the truth, and I have to tell you what’s going on. Doesn’t mean Black Lives Matter is going to listen. Doesn’t mean MEChA and La Raza are going to listen. And it doesn’t mean if down the road we fail to stop this race war, big hoard of people are coming down the street for me and my family shooting guns off in the air and burning buildings, I’m going to light up whoever I’ve got to to defend my family. But it doesn’t mean I’m going to enjoy it. I’ll do what has to be done, just like I’ve done in the information war. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 7/10/17]

    Jones threatened to “beat” “cocksucker” congressman’s “goddamn ass.” Jones ranted about Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) in a March 30 video posted to his YouTube channel, using several anti-LGBT slurs to attack Schiff including “cocksucker” and “fairy.” Angered by Schiff’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and Jones’ claim Schiff said he was involved, Jones said, “You want to sit here and say that I’m a goddamn, fucking Russian. You get in my face with that I’ll beat your goddamn ass, you son of a bitch. You piece of shit.” During his rant, Jones said to Schiff, “Fill your hand,” a reference to picking up a gun. From the March 30 edition of Genesis Communications Network’s The Alex Jones Show (emphasis added):

    ALEX JONES: Let me say this right now. Let me tell -- I’m not against gay people. OK. I love them, they’re great folks. But [Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)] looks like the archetypal cocksucker with those little deer-in-the-headlight eyes and all his stuff. And there’s something about this fairy, hopping around, bossing everybody around, trying to intimidate people like me and you. I want to tell Congressman Schiff and all the rest of them, “Hey listen. asshole, quit saying Roger and I” -- and I’ve never used cussing in 22 years, but the gloves are off -- “listen you son of a bitch, what the fuck’s your problem? You want to sit here and say that I’m a goddamn, fucking Russian. You get in my face with that I’ll beat your goddamn ass, you son of a bitch. You piece of shit. You fucking goddamn fucker. Listen fuckhead, you have fucking crossed a line. Get that through your goddamn fucking head. Stop pushing your shit. You’re the people that have fucked this country over and gang raped the shit out of it and lost an election. So stop shooting your mouth off claiming I’m the enemy. You got that, you goddamn son of a bitch? Fill your hand.” I’m sorry, but I’m done. You start calling me a foreign agent -- those are fucking fighting words. Excuse me.

    STONE: Yeah, I don’t think I have ever been in a campaign in which we disparage the patriotism of our opponents. Now, I’m not going to go there. But I think Adam Schiff has acted irresponsibly and I think he needs to be confronted with his exact words.

    JONES: He’s sucking globalist dick. [YouTube, The Alex Jones Channel, 4/4/17; Time, 5/20/17]

    Jones spoke of his desire to break Alec Baldwin’s neck because Baldwin parodied Trump on Saturday Night Live. Jones accused Baldwin of defaming Trump and challenged him to a “bare knuckle” charity fight, where, Jones said, “I will break your jaw, I will knock your teeth out, I will break your nose, and I will break your neck”:

    ALEX JONES: Alec Baldwin thinks he is a tough guy, I challenge him a million dollars to the charity he wants to get in the ring with me, bare knuckle. I will. I'll do it right now. I'll get in the ring with you and I will break your jaw, I will knock your teeth out, I will break your nose, and I will break your neck. You coward, you think you're tough guy, messing with little cameramen people.

    You want to sit there and defame me and the president? Get in the ring with me. I will break your jaw in seconds. I will smash your nose into a bloody pulp, and I will whack your teeth out. My fists are going to bleeding with your teeth marks all over them. You frickin' bully, you coward. I hate you, my listeners hate you and remember that, scumbag, forever. [Laughter] We're going to defeat this anti-human scum. We're going to wreck their world. When I come back, we’ll look at the coward at Homeland. [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 3/13/17]

    Jones suggested Bernie Sanders supporters "need to have your jaws broken." Jones addressed supporters of Sanders by stating, "You need to have your jaws broken." He attacked Sanders supporters as "pathetic scum" who think they're "sexy with their hammer and sickle on." Jones added they'll eventually "burn in the camps later wishing [they'd] done something." Following criticism, Jones claimed he was speaking “figuratively.” [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 2/5/16, via Right Wing Watch; Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show, 2/10/16]

  • Here is the NRA's latest in a laundry list of attacks against the First Amendment

    Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    The National Rifle Association’s broadcast platform NRATV has launched its latest attack against freedom of the press, this time targeting The Washington Post, calling the newspaper a “fake news outlet” and claiming it is where “journalism dies.”

    On July 11, the Post published an article calling an NRATV video about political unrest in the U.S. “dark.” The article noted that the video condemned “Democratic politicians, the media and activists as the catalysts for political upheaval” in this country, “with one glaring omission: firearms.” According to the article, the video focused on “political discussions” around public safety during civil unrest, “with less clear connections to Second Amendment rights.”

    On July 17, NRATV released a response video featuring NRATV host Grant Stinchfield, who called out the Post reporter by name and slammed him for “tell[ing] us we can’t have an opinion unless it’s about guns.”

    The video also accused the Post of “spreading lies about those who disagree with their radical agenda” and said the newspaper is pushing “organized anarchy” that is “destroying our country.” Stinchfield went on to claim, “You people do more to damage our country with a keyboard than every NRA member combined has ever done with a firearm.”

    Less than one day after the video’s release, The New York Times’ Max Fisher tweeted that the video is “edging right up to the line of endorsing violence against journalists,” while HuffPost called it “disturbing.”

    Despite the mounting criticism, Stinchfield doubled down on his video during the noon edition of NRATV’s Stinchfield on July 18, claiming the newspaper uses its “keyboards as weapons of destruction”:

    GRANT STINCHFIELD: The Washington Post is out of line. They claim to uphold the standards of journalism when, in fact, they use their keyboards as weapons of destruction as they try to tear apart the Trump administration in an effort not just to destroy him, but to destroy America, and it is wrong.

    This video is just the latest in a growing number of attacks the NRA has launched against both the press and freedom of the press since Donald Trump won the Republican nomination for president and was ultimately elected. During an October 26, 2016, broadcast, Stinchfield characterized dissent against Trump as an “assault against … the Constitution.” A month later, during a November 29 broadcast, Stinchfield called “mainstream” media “dishonest and downright dirty,” suggesting that it is “anti-patriotic” to report critically on Trump and his transition team, and said that the media instead “needs to get on board.”

    After The New York Times ran an advertisement during this year’s Oscar awards about the importance of journalism, the NRA fired back with its own 75-second ad claiming Americans have “stopped looking to The New York Times for the truth.” And in April, the NRA announced a “series of messages” against the newspaper, which the organization claims has “gone on the offensive to take away your liberties.”

  • The Women’s March organized a protest at the NRA’s headquarters

    Blog ››› ››› MILES LE & DAYANITA RAMESH


    Miles Le / Media Matters

    The Women’s March group gathered at the headquarters of the National Rifle Association (NRA) in Fairfax, VA on July 14 to denounce the organization’s recent incendiary, hateful video and its silence around the death of Philando Castile. Media Matters was there and spoke to activists and protesters.

    Here's what they had to say about the NRA, gun violence, and the media:

  • A timeline of the NRA's divisive actions ahead of Friday’s Women's March

    ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    Following widespread criticism over an inflammatory video from the National Rifle Association that called on supporters to use the “clenched fist of truth” against critics of President Donald Trump, the organization has repeatedly doubled down and issued more statements that falsely conflate dissent against Trump with violence. The organization proceeded to lob smears against Women’s March participants and co-founders after they announced an 18-mile march to protest the NRA on July 14.