As protests mounted following the sexual assault reports against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, NRATV went to bat for President Donald Trump’s pick by mischaracterizing these peaceful demonstrations as “violent” actions by “radical thugs.”
Protests initially began the first day of Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, and they continued to gain momentum after two women came forward to report Kavanaugh for sexual misconduct when they were in high school and college. On September 24, NRATV released a video featuring the organization’s president and disgraced Iran-Contra figure, Oliver North, who accused Democrats of coordinating “violent protests to smear a father and run his children out of the room.” While Kavanaugh’s family did leave the hearings, sources told CNN, “That was always the plan.” And the footage of “violent protests” shown in the NRATV video actually featured peaceful protesters being escorted out by police.
During one of NRATV’s hourly 10-minute updates, Stinchfield, which aired at 9 a.m. on September 25, host Grant Stinchfield aired a video of a crowd of protesters confronting Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in a restaurant chanting, “We believe survivors” and said, “The violent left is at it again.” Stinchfield also claimed he had “gotten word” that there are “busloads of people headed for D.C., leftists willing to enact in actions just like that one” and to “disrupt the next round of hearings for Brett Kavanaugh.”
Two hours later, Stinchfield called the protesters “a bunch of radical thugs who see nothing wrong with mob rule” and demanded their behavior be “stamped out”:
GRANT STINCHFIELD (HOST): A bunch of radical thugs who see nothing wrong with mob rule went at a United States senator last night.
So that threatening mob surrounded Sen. Ted Cruz at a restaurant last night. Their speech is disgusting -- we had to clean it up. These threatening and violent thugs are the new face of the liberal left. These people pack houses and crowds and they say they’ll resist at all costs. And they say that they will do that. They’re dangerous and extremism should be called out, but it’s not. The liberal leaders encourage it, work it into their plans and call for more of it. I wish the mainstream media would wake up and stop supporting these violent thugs. This behavior should be stamped out. There is no place in it in a civil society.
During the September 26 edition of his show, Stinchfield again warned the capital should “prepare for an onslaught of violent, left wing disruptors. … Many busloads of anti-gun, anti-freedom, anti-American chaos creators are headed to D.C. to unleash havoc on the next phase of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings.” He claimed this strategy is “straight out of their anarchist playbook” and that protesters “think nothing about forcing those they target to live in fear, and they think nothing about ultimately turning to violence to get their way or make their point.”
NRATV previously aired footage of Antifa members causing property damage on Inauguration Day, falsely identifying the footage as from the Women’s March, which took place the next day.
NRATV has long been a propaganda outlet for Trump, particularly during the special counsel investigation into Russian election interference. This isn’t the first time NRATV has run defense in Kavanaugh’s support. The network’s hosts have worked to discredit the sexual assault reports against Kavanaugh since they surfaced, and the NRA itself followed suit by launching an ad campaign in support of his nomination.