A trade group representing publishers including The New York Times, The Associated Press, 21st Century Fox, and dozens of other major news outlets sent a letter to the National Rifle Association (NRA), slamming the gun organization’s “incendiary language” against the media and calling their actions “un-American.”
Through its online news outlet NRATV, the gun group has launched a series of attacks against the New York Times in recent months with videos featuring NRA national spokesperson Dana Loesch and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. In the video, which was released in April but resurfaced in recent weeks and caused controversy, Loesch said to the Times staff: “Consider this the shot across your proverbial bow. We are going to fisk the The New York Times and find out just what ‘deep and rich’ means to this old gray hag, this untrustworthy, dishonest rag that has subsisted on the welfare of mediocrity for one, two, three, more decades. We're going to laser-focus on your so-called ‘honest pursuit of truth.’ In short, we're coming for you.”
On September 5, Digital Content Next called out the NRA's videos in a letter addressed to Loesch, stating that while it is her right to express “disagreement” with the Times and other publications, “it is our right to suggest in the strongest terms that your behavior is blatantly irresponsible” and that it is “un-American to threaten journalists.” A CNN.com article about the letter noted that the NRA “has increasingly criticized media outlets” and that experts believe this is being done “to motivate existing members and recruit new members”:
A trade group that represents The New York Times, the Associated Press and other major publishers is calling out the NRA, accusing the gun rights group of crossing a line and threatening journalists.
“We were taken aback by your recent criticism of The New York Times,” the group Digital Content Next wrote in a letter to NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch on Tuesday.
In a viral video last month, Loesch harshly attacked the Times as an “untrustworthy, dishonest rag.” She said her video was a “shot across your proverbial bow.”
“We're going to laser-focus on your so-called honest pursuit of truth,” Loesch said. “In short: We're coming for you.”
The video received ample attention in conservative media circles. Fox News said the NRA was “targeting” the Times.
Without a Democratic president in power to be a focus of its messaging, the NRA has increasingly criticized media outlets like The Times. Analysts have speculated that the group is doing so to motivate existing members and recruit new members.
Michael Luo, editor of NewYorker.com, wrote last month that Loesch's web videos are “strikingly bellicose even by the standards of the association.”
In July, NRATV host Grant Stinchfield released a video accusing The Washington Post of playing a “role in the organized anarchy of the violent left,” and claimed the Post's reporting has done “more damage to our country with a keyboard than every NRA member combined has ever done with a firearm.”
In previous comments on his NRATV show, Stinchfield has called critical reporting on Trump and his transition team “anti-patriotic” and a plot by the media to “destroy our republic” and claimed that reporting on allegations of sexual assault against Trump was part of “the mainstream media’s assault against freedom and the Constitution.”
Loesch also caused controversy this summer for narrating another video released on NRATV in which she claimed the left uses the media “to assassinate real news” and that “the only way we save our country and our freedom is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth.” Vox.com called the video “chilling” and the Washington Post called it “an ad designed to provoke fear, if not incite violence.”