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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.

  • NRATV host: Tell North Korea "Sacramento changed its name to Guam"

    Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    Grant Stinchfield, host of the National Rifle Association's news outlet NRATV, suggested telling North Korea that Sacramento, CA, has changed its name to Guam amid news reports that North Korea threatened to launch missiles at or near the U.S. island territory.

    Guam is currently preparing for a possible “imminent” missile strike. In an August 11 tweet, Stinchfield wrote, “Let’s send a note to North Korea that Sacramento changed its name to Guam!”

    [Twitter, 8/11/17]

    This tweet followed an August 10 statement from the NRATV host during his show Stinchfield that media criticizing President Donald Trump’s response to North Korea are “deceitful” and “anti-American,” and that they’re doing so “simply to tear our country apart.”

    UPDATE: Reached on the phone by the New York Daily News, Stinchfield apologized for suggesting that North Korea attack California and said, “It was meant as a joke and I regret it.”

  • 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.”

  • 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.

  • NRA’s news outlet smears Women's March as violent by equating it with a completely different and unrelated event

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    The National Rifle Association’s news outlet, NRATV, attempted to smear the Women’s March in Washington as “certainly not peaceful” by conflating it with an entirely different event from another day.

    While discussing the upcoming July 14 Women’s March on the NRA, guest host and NRATV commentator Bill Whittle said these “so-called peaceful left-wing marches” are “not exactly as they’re advertised” said and that he was hosting NRATV correspondent Chuck Holton to talk about “a story about a woman's march.”

    Holton then discussed people who damaged property in Washington D.C. on Inauguration Day as the NRATV feed played footage of windows being broken on January 20. According to CBS News, 217 protesters were arrested and six police officers received minor injuries.

    But the Women’s March, an entirely different event that took place on January 21, made headlines because it was peaceful and there were “exactly zero arrests” that day.

    From the July 7 edition of the NRATV’s hourly updates: 

    BILL WHITTLE (GUEST HOST): Chuck, you’re probably wondering why we’d bring a tough guy like you into a story about a woman's march, but what I find very interesting is that you have in fact been on some of these so-called peaceful left-wing marches and they’re not exactly as they’re advertised, are they?

    CHUCK HOLTON: Well, they’re certainly not peaceful. And they’re certainly not even protests. What they are is sort of temper tantrums by spoiled children, is the best way I can describe them. And when I was at the Inauguration Day protest in Washington, D.C., this is the thing that really struck me is that these people have no sense of irony. They have -- they don’t get that here they are protesting fascism and they’re using fascist tactics. When they were going around breaking windows and setting cars on fire, and then the police came and did what police do when you break windows and set cars on fire. That is start arresting people. They started chanting, “This is what a police state looks like.” Over and over again. “This is what a police state looks like.” And I kept thinking, no, this is what it looks like when you act like an idiot. This is not what a police state looks like, this is what it looks like when you burn cars and break windows. 

  • NRA spokesperson "proud" of controversial NRA ad that smeared anti-Trump resistance movement

    NRA’s Dana Loesch on video that conflated dissent against Trump with violence: “It’s a fantastic ad”

    Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch doubled down on her earlier video that characterized dissent against President Donald Trump as “the violence of lies” that needed to be countered with the “clenched fist of truth.” Loesch said she was “proud” of the video and “endorse[d]” it “personally.”

    In the ad, which was originally posted on the YouTube page of NRA’s news outlet NRATV in April 2017, Loesch claimed that in their opposition to Trump, left-wing Americans “scream racism, and sexism, and xenophobia, and homophobia, [and] bully and terrorize the law-abiding until the only option left is for the police to do their jobs and stop the madness.” She went on to say the only way to save “our country and our freedom” is with “the clenched fist of truth.”

    The video drew widespread criticism after NRATV reposted it on its Facebook page on June 28. In a June 29 article, Vox’s Zack Beauchamp called the video “chilling” and said it “comes this close to calling for a civil war against liberals.” The same day, ThinkProgress’ Aaron Rupar wrote a piece saying the video “stops just short of calling for violence against … progressives.”

    During the noon edition of NRATV’s program Stinchfield, which provides live updates at the top of the hour from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST, Loesch, who is also an NRATV commentator, doubled down on the spot, calling it a “fantastic ad” that “holds up a mirror to the violent aspects of the left.” Loesch denied that she was inciting violence in the ad, saying that she meant “meeting that violence with simple truth and simple peaceful ideas”: 

    GRANT STINCHFIELD (HOST): Dana, this video is like two and a half months old. I’m glad it's getting attention, it got some attention before. More people to watch it, the better in my book.

    DANA LOESCH: Absolutely, and Grant, I want to make one thing perfectly clear, I am proud of this ad and I endorse personally the message of this ad. It’s a fantastic ad and it holds up a mirror to the violent aspects of the left. And, Grant, we have seen this time and time again. We saw this violence in Chicago during the campaign for the general election. We saw this violence in the streets of Washington, D.C., during the inauguration -- where there were not just a few, mind you, but a number of a very far leftists who thought that breaking store windows, arson, property damage, physical assault, setting fires in the middle of the street, et cetera, et cetera -- that these were all forms of protected speech and that they were generally acceptable forms of dissent to a fair election. And then of course, Grant, we have seen time and time again on college campuses, individuals react so physically, hostilely to a simple difference of opinion. And so they set fire on their college campuses and once again we see arson, and we see property destruction, and we see physical assault over and over again. I know, Grant, that I don't have to remind you or anyone else of what happened sadly just two weeks ago when a leftist went to a ballfield with a list of Republican congressmen and decided to open fire on GOP congressional members because they were simply Republicans. Now with this ad, Grant, when I say the clenched fists of truth, I mean the clenched fists of truth. And this is where I get the inspiration for that line. Everybody knows what this is, right? Everybody can recognize this? It’s the symbol of the resistance movement. It’s the symbol of the movement that by and large has sanctioned the violence of which I speak. It has sanctioned the arson, and the property destruction, and it has sanctioned the physical assault. So, I didn’t say meet fist with fist. And I didn’t even mention anywhere in this ad to go and purchase a firearm. I specifically, Grant, said clenched fist, not of physical altercation like they promote, but of truth. Meeting in the battleground of ideas, meeting that violence with simple truth and simple, peaceful ideas. That is what we have always been about, and even in the face of continued aggression and violence and destruction from the left, that is what we will continue to be about. 

  • NRATV calls London attack on Muslims a "maybe attack"

    Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    Hours after police called an attack on pedestrians outside a Finsbury Park mosque in north London an act of terrorism, the National Rifle Association’s news outlet, NRATV, attempted to cast doubt on that determination. During the 10 am edition of his June 19 show, host Grant Stinchfield claimed that “something just seems odd” about the attack and referred to the violent incident as a “maybe attack.” London Metropolitan Police declared that the attack was an act of terrorism eight minutes after a 48 year-old-man drove a van into a crowd of people outside a mosque, killing one and injuring ten. Despite this, Stinchfield said that he would “like to get more information about what really happened there.” From the June 19 edition of NRATV’s Stinchfield

    GRANT STINCHFIELD (HOST): I was going to first ask you about the maybe attack in London, where again we had a van drive through folks it appears, in front of a mosque. What do you make of early this morning's events?

    DAN PERKINS: Well it's interesting, it’s 180 degrees from the last one. This attack was civilians on the Muslims. They ran into, right outside of a mosque as people were coming out from the worship services for Ramadan. And the guy was shouting, basically he was saying, "it's our turn, this is for the people [that] you killed earlier.” So he was specifically out after Muslims, not after British citizens, per say. But in retaliation for the recent attacks in London. One guy decided he was going to do something about it, and he ran his van, he killed one person and injured a bunch of others. But it was at a mosque in London.

    STINCHFIELD: Alright, so we see an escalating number of attacks, as that is still under investigation. And I would like to get more information about what really happened there, as it’s still very early in this investigation. But something just seems odd about the whole thing to me.

    Immediately after two previous attacks in London, in March and in June, Stinchfield used the violent events to advocate for increased gun ownership both in the U.S. and in the U.K. -- going so far as to calling unarmed victims “sheep.”