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  • The far-right continues to spread the conspiracy theory that inspired the synagogue shooter

    The notion that Jews are behind a nefarious plot to engineer a migrant invasion is still circulating in right-wing media

    Blog ››› ››› TALIA LAVIN


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    In the month since a far-right gunman massacred 11 Jews at a Pittsburgh, PA, synagogue, seemingly driven by a conspiracy theory that Jews were orchestrating an invasion of the United States by migrants, this deadly false narrative has continued to spread as a talking point on right-wing platforms.

    The alleged gunman, Robert Bowers, used social media site Gab (a “haven for white nationalists”) to post a derogatory statement about Jewish refugee-resettlement organization HIAS. He accused the organization of bringing “invaders” into the U.S. before unleashing his deadly attack against those worshipping inside the Tree of Life synagogue. And when he was captured, he claimed Jews were “committing genocide” of his people. Since the deadly incident, rhetoric accusing Jews of committing so-called “white genocide” by supporting immigration into the United States seems to continue to proliferate unchecked.

    This week, a Twitter account called @InvasionPlot cropped up and began posting photos and names of Jewish scholars, journalists, student activists, and public officials, among others, and highlighting the individuals’ pro-immigrant and pro-refugee views. The Twitter bio says “this didn’t happen by accident,” and the account garnered thousands of followers before it was suspended.

    Sociologist Philip N. Cohen noted that after he was targeted by the account, his mentions were swamped with neo-Nazis and anti-Semites:

    The Twitter account’s emergence is far from an isolated incident. The false narrative that Jews are orchestrating an invasion of migrants to alter demographics is tightly linked to sensationalized news coverage of a caravan of migrants and asylum-seekers currently situated in Tijuana, Mexico. On the white supremacist message board Stormfront, a user postulated that immigration is a Jewish plot to murder “innocent White Children.”

    Posts on Gab, the forum the alleged synagogue shooter used, continue to assert that the migrant caravan is controlled by Jews and that Jews are orchestrating an “invasion of Europe” by Muslim immigrants.

    But the conspiracy theory has not remained confined to the extremist right, or to the fringes of the internet. On Gab, users have attempted to pin the purported plot behind the caravan on Jewish philanthropist George Soros.

    Similarly, on right-wing media, the same tactic has continued to spread, with President Donald Trump elevating this anti-Semitic conspiracy theory in October. On November 13, Ami Horowitz, a guest on Fox’s Tucker Carlson Tonight, speculated that “Soros is part” of the carvan, noting that this whole thing cost millions and millions of dollars.”

    And on November 16, NRATV correspondent Chuck Holton laid out the conspiracy theory in stark terms: “It didn’t take a whole lot ... to find a pretty direct link between George Soros money and the people in the caravan getting fed.”

    Despite clear evidence that this very conspiracy theory already inspired a massacre, the false notion that Jews are orchestrating an “invasion” of the United States doesn’t seem to be disappearing from right-wing media -- and it may inspire violence again.

  • NRA fundraises off of its ridiculous claim that “the mainstream media love mass shootings”

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    The National Rifle Association (NRA) is trying to raise money off of its idiotic claim that “the mainstream media love mass shootings.”

    Since the deadly February 14 shooting in Parkland, FL, the NRA and its affiliated personalities have repeatedly lied about guns; pushed the conspiracy theory that the school shooting survivors are so-called crisis actors (they obviously are not); and argued that more teachers should be armed in schools -- an idea that lacks any backing evidence but would surely serve to increase the profits of gun manufacturers who support the organization.

    The organization is also attempting to divert attention from its own role in the country's culture of gun violence by attacking the “mainstream media” for its purported “love” of mass shootings.

    The NRA’s media arm, NRATV, sent a February 23 email with the subject “Help Us Fight The Dangerous Media” and featuring the statement from NRA commentator Colion Noir that the media loves mass shootings. That claim is also part of a recent NRA ad, in which Noir says that “mass shootings have become [the media’s] Game of Thrones, their House of Cards, their Seinfeld, and their Friends, all wrapped into one.” The quote is superimposed over a composition of television screenshots and includes a “Donate Now” button:

    NRA national spokesperson Dana Loesch pushed the claim that "many in legacy media love mass shootings” while speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) yesterday. Reporters have responded to the NRA’s argument by noting their own “horrific” and “devastating” experiences covering mass shootings.

    CNN reporter Brian Stelter wrote in a February 23 piece: "Some analysts have speculated that the NRA has ramped up its anti-media messaging to motivate existing members and to recruit new ones. In the absence of a Democratic president in power to focus their attacks, the NRA has taken to criticizing media outlets instead. Condemning the news media doubles as a way to market the NRA's own publications and TV shows." 

    The email also claims, among other things, that the “NRA took on the socialist wave at CPAC” and has been “fighting the dangerous media’s violent lies.” It adds: “At NRATV, We're Not Members of the Media. We're Members of the NRA. And Our Ultimate Weapon Is Truth.”

  • Video: How conspiracy theories and attacks on the Parkland shooting survivors spread across the internet and right-wing media

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


    Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

    Survivors of the Parkland, FL, mass shooting, in which 17 people lost their lives, are speaking out and demanding action on gun violence. In response, right-wing media figures are spreading conspiracy theories and attacking these students, and online platforms, like YouTube and Facebook, are enabling the spread of these lies. (Videos spreading these conspiracy theories have gone viral, with one video even trending No.1 on YouTube.)

    These are some of the conspiracy theories and attacks the right-wing media figures have launched against the students:

    • Infowars' Alex Jones, a conspiracy theorist and host of The Alex Jones Show, called the attack "the perfect false flag." (He also claimed that "there's a cover-up going on.")

    • CNN political commentator Jack Kingston doubled down on his earlier tweet that the “left-wing gun control activists” are setting up the Parkland high school students for political reasons. Kingston said on CNN that he doubted these students could plan a rally without “being hijacked” by pro-gun control groups.

    • A Twitter account that regularly peddles in "The Storm" conspiracy theory, accused the students of being “crisis actors” who should be “charged and sent to jail.” (The tweet has since been deleted.)

    • Discredited author Dinesh D’Souza mocked students on Twitter for speaking out.

    • Lucian Wintrich, The Gateway Pundit’s White House correspondent, called the students “little pricks” who are “completely entitled” and are “milking the deaths of their peers for careers.”

    • Tucker Carlson, while interviewing NRATV’s Dan Bongino, claimed anti-gun groups are using the students as “a kind of moral blackmail, where you are not allowed to disagree or you are attacking the child.”

    • TruePartisan, a fringe right-wing site, claimed that student survivor David Hogg, who spoke out about ending gun violence, was a plant because his father formerly worked at the FBI. (Donald Trump Jr. promoted this conspiracy theory.)

    • NRA board member Ted Nugent shared an article on Facebook that claimed David Hogg was “coached by cameraman.” (The post has since been deleted.)

    These attacks are nothing new. Whenever there is a mass shooting, right-wing and far-right figures and outlets spread conspiracy theories to avoid talking about the real problem: the need for gun reform. Students are tired of “thoughts and prayers.” They demand an end to gun violence. They want action, and they won’t stop until they get it.

  • 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:

  • How The NRA Is Using The Opioid Epidemic To Distract From Gun Violence

    Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    NRATV host Cam Edwards has repeatedly highlighted the country’s raging opioid epidemic while arguing that gun violence gets too much media attention by comparison. While both crises require major media attention and public health resources, Edwards’ commentary on the issue serves the the NRA’s interest in downplaying the toll of gun violence.

    NRATV Host Frequently Uses Opioid Epidemic To Downplay Gun Violence

    During his three-hour weekday NRATV show Cam & Company, Edwards regularly discusses the opioid epidemic that “is hitting Americans all across the country” and points out the increase in deaths from opioid overdose from 2014 to 2016 in states including Ohio, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and West Virginia. At the end of his monologues, however, Edwards often uses the drug overdose epidemic to downplay pervasive gun violence in the United States.

    During the March 15 edition of Cam & Company, Edwards alleged that gun violence prevention activists, organizations, and the media are “much more interested in researching reasons why we should go after the Second Amendment rights of Americans” than in fighting the opioid epidemic.

    CAM EDWARDS (HOST): The media, the anti-gun activists out there, deep-pocketed billionaires like Michael Bloomberg -- Bloomberg has his own school of public health at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. And they seem sadly much more interested in researching reasons why we should go after the Second Amendment rights of Americans than they do in fighting this epidemic.

    During another broadcast the next week, Edwards read a list of opioid overdose rates compared to homicide rates in several states. He then claimed that the “mainstream media tries to tell us that we need to be more concerned about things like The Hearing Protection Act or national right to carry reciprocity,” both NRA legislative priorities that would weaken gun laws nationally. Edwards went on to emphasize the opioid overdose epidemic, saying that is “what we need to be concerned about. … Not bills that are out there respecting and restoring and strengthening our constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”

    During another March broadcast of his show, Edwards complained that the national media is “not talking much about … the staggering spike in overdose deaths” and that the gun violence epidemic “gets more attention.”

    In addition to these examples, Media Matters' regular monitoring of Edwards’ programming and writing has identified commentary that uses the opioid epidemic to downplay gun violence as an emerging talking point for the NRA.

    For example, in a March 15 article titled “The Real Epidemic” on the online edition of NRA’s magazine America’s 1st Freedom, Edwards compared West Virginia’s opioid overdose death rate to Chicago’s homicide rate and claimed that the media is too busy pushing stronger gun laws to “pay more than scattered attention to the unfolding devastation caused by opioid overdoses.”

    He also claimed that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg “has his own Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, but they seem to be much more interested in doing research on why we supposedly need more gun control laws than in finding solutions to the soaring overdose death rates.”

    Contrary to Edwards’ claims, Bloomberg has taken significant steps to battle the opioid epidemic. While serving as mayor, Bloomberg created the Mayor’s Task Force on Prescription Painkiller Abuse to address a six-fold increase in overdoses in New York City between 2004 and 2010. In September 2016, The Wall Street Journal reported that Bloomberg “is donating $300 million to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore to finance an ambitious effort to target opioid addiction, gun violence and other issues that are shortening lives and disrupting communities across the U.S.” 

    Both Guns And Opioids Are Creating Serious Epidemics

    The opioid epidemic is undoubtedly a growing problem that is devastating communities nationwide. But it is unfair for the NRA to use one epidemic to downplay another.

    In February 2013, the National Physicians Alliance declared gun violence to be “a public health issue that has reached epidemic proportions.” In a December 2015 opinion piece for U.S. News & World Report, the chief medical officer of the New York State Office of Mental Health Dr. Lloyd Sederer called gun violence “a deadly infectious disease” which “know[s] few boundaries.”

    On average, roughly 100,000 people are shot annually in the United States, and this figure does not include incidents that don’t result in physical injury, such as using a gun to threaten or intimidate someone. In 2016, according to the Gun Violence Archive, there were 385 mass shootings, and 672 children ages 11 or under were killed or injured by guns.

    The NRA Is In Lockstep With Donald Trump, Whose Health Care Bill Would Have Worsened The Opioid Crisis

    NRATV has effectively served as a propaganda arm for President Donald Trump since he was elected. In a January video, NRA leader Wayne LaPierre declared that his group was “Donald Trump’s strongest, most unflinching, ally.”

    As a consequence, the NRA threw in its lot with Trump as he led congressional Republicans in an effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, despite evidence that doing so would actually make the opioid epidemic much worse. According to Vox, the ACA expanded health care coverage to about “2.8 million Americans with drug use disorders,” and repealing the legislation could leave millions of addicts “stranded without potentially lifesaving care. If the Republicans’ attempt to replace the ACA had been successful, it would have “flatly reduce[d] coverage” and “water[ed] down coverage requirements for addiction treatment.” But that is something you aren’t likely to hear about on NRATV. 

  • NRATV Blames Trump's Russia Scandal On Plot By "Obama Loyalists" To "Destroy America From The Inside"

    Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    The National Rifle Association’s news program blamed the Trump administration’s growing Russia scandal on a “concerted effort with Obama loyalists” aiming to “undermine the president every step of the way” and “destroy America from the inside.”

    The New York Times reported on February 14 that according to four current and former U.S. officials, members of Trump’s presidential campaign “had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials,” and that “American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee.” The Times report came on the heels of a Washington Post article reporting that “national security adviser Michael Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials.”

    That the NRA responded to the growing scandal with a baseless conspiracy theory is the latest evidence that the gun group is using its media arm as a pro-Trump propaganda tool.

    During the February 15 edition of NRATV’s Live Updates with Grant Stinchfield, host Grant Stinchfield claimed that the leaks are a “concerted effort with Obama loyalists” who are “trying to destroy America from the inside.” He went on to suggest that Congress should identify and purge the supposed Obama loyalists from government":

    GRANT STINCHFIELD (HOST): You know there’s a big issue in Washington now, all this discussion over what's been going on with Russia, the Trump administration, Michael Flynn, the national security adviser, who is now out. You've made a career of being able to communicate with people, many times being able to communicate with criminals. I believe what is going on in Washington is you have a concerted effort with Obama loyalists inside these bureaucratic agencies, from the Justice Department to the intelligence community, trying to undermine the president every step of the way. Is there anything Congress can do to root out those loyalists who are really, I believe, trying to destroy America from the inside?

    [...]

    STINCHFIELD: All right, so that brings us to the same Americans disrupting service -- many are still operating inside government. Is there a way to get -- to root those out? Especially these ones who are issuing these leaks to The New York Times, no less. How do you root them out?

    Stinchfield previously claimed that President Obama accomplished his secret plan to “inflict harm on America.”

    NRATV, a rebranding of NRA News that 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,” has repeatedly gone to extreme lengths, including pushing blatant falsehoods, to defend President Trump and his actions. The outlet frequently attacks the press on behalf of Trump, even going so far as to label protected speech reporting on the president as a plot to destroy the United States, “anti-patriotic,” and an “assault against freedom and the Constitution.”

  • NRATV: Martin Luther King Jr. "Would Be Ashamed Of John Lewis"

    NRATV Employees Use MLK Day To Bash Lewis As “Anti-American,” “Unpatriotic,” And “A Threat To Democracy”

    Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, NRATV host Grant Stinchfield accused Georgia congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis of “race-bait[ing]” and claimed King “would be ashamed” of him after Rep. Lewis (D-GA) said he would not attend President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.

    Lewis said he plans to skip the inauguration, explaining that he believes Russian interference helped get Trump elected and that he is not a “legitimate president.” Two days before MLK Day, Trump wrote a series of tweets attacking the congressman, suggesting he “focus on the burning and crime infested inner cities of the U.S.” and calling him “all talk, talk, talk -- no actions or results.” Lewis, who marched with King in Selma, AL, and led the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s, is largely revered as a civil rights hero.

    During the January 16 edition of the National Rifle Association’s NRATV Live Updates with Grant Stinchfield, Stinchfield claimed that in “the decades since Lewis” marched with the civil rights leader, he has “forgotten what Dr. King stood for.” Stinchfield questioned why the congressman continues to “divide this nation” and said that is not what “Martin Luther King was about”:  

    GRANT STINCHFIELD: (HOST): Today, on Martin Luther King Day, I believe Dr. King would be ashamed of John Lewis. I’m saddened to say that because Lewis marched with Dr. King. But apparently the decades since Lewis has marched with Dr. King, he’s forgotten what Dr. King stood for: freedom. Freedom for all Americans, even Americans you disagree with.

    [...]

    STINCHFIELD: You want to talk about freedom? We had freedom to elect the leader that we wanted, to serve America, to lead our military, to fight for what we believe in. Things that maybe he doesn’t believe in. But I ask you this, John Lewis, why do you call Donald Trump a racist? Why do you race-bait? Why do you follow the lead of Barack Obama and continue to divide this nation? That is not what Martin Luther King was about.

    During an interview with NRATV commentator Dana Loesch that same day, Stinchfield admitted that Lewis is a “civil rights hero,” but he called his refusal to attend the inauguration “anti-American,” “unpatriotic,” and “sad.” Loesch agreed that Lewis is a civil rights “icon,” but she called his comments “unfortunate” and “a threat to democracy”:

    GRANT STINCHFIELD (HOST): Yesterday on Meet the Press, John Lewis, the congressman who really is a civil rights hero, comes out and he says that Donald Trump’s presidency is illegitimate. He is doing this to delegitimize Trump’s entire presidency, I think it's anti-American, it's unpatriotic, and it's sad coming from a guy -- especially today, it's Martin Luther King Day, Lewis is a guy who marched with Martin Luther King. I think it's sad.

    DANA LOESCH (NRATV COMMENTATOR): I think it is as well, and while I believe that Lewis is a civil rights icon, it's unfortunate that he chose to behave in this particular manner.

    [...]

    LOESCH: John Lewis, by his actions is -- he is posing to be a threat to democracy by refusing to acknowledge the results of this election, by refusing to acknowledge the results of the Electoral College. The individuals spoke, and it's not their fault if they refused to vote as John Lewis would have had them voted.

    During the January 17 edition of Live Updates, Stinchfield added he was “very glad” to see that Trump had met with King’s son, Martin Luther King III, “at a time when so-called black leaders are coming out and doing everything they can to derail Donald Trump’s presidency before he even takes office.”

    This is not the first time the NRA has attacked Rep. Lewis; NRA radio host Cam Edwards compared participants in last summer’s U.S. House of Representatives sit-in to protest GOP inaction on gun violence, led by Lewis, to “criminals and terrorists” because he said that, like terrorists, the representatives were not following the rules. 

  • NRATV Compares Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg To Nazi Germany's Secret Police

    Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    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.

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

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

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

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

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

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

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