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  • Defending her remarks about Botham Jean, NRA’s Dana Loesch blames Philando Castile for his death

    Loesch previously suggested that Jean, who was killed by a police officer in his own apartment, would still be alive if he owned a gun

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    National Rifle Association national spokesperson Dana Loesch smeared Philando Castile by telling a false account of Castile’s actions leading up to a police officer shooting him in order to make Castile seem responsible for his own death.

    Loesch discussed Castile during the September 11 broadcast of her radio show while defending herself over criticism of comments she made about Botham Jean, a Dallas, TX, man who was killed in his own apartment by a police officer who claims she mistakenly entered it thinking it was her own.

    During the September 10 edition of her NRATV program Relentless, Loesch suggested that Jean would still be alive if “he was a law abiding gun owner,” claiming that he could have used a firearm to defend himself, sparking widespread outrage and incredulity. The NRA, including NRATV, frequently speculate about what victims of shootings could have done to avoid being shot -- often suggesting they should have been armed themselves -- in effect shifting partial blame for the shooting onto the victims themselves.

    Additionally, given the NRA’s feckless response to the Castile shooting, it seems unlikely that the gun group would have championed Jean had he defended himself with a gun.

    Castile was fatally shot in 2016 during a traffic stop by St. Anthony Police Department officer Jeronimo Yanez after he informed Yanez he had a gun. Castile had a permit to carry a concealed weapon. His girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, captured the aftermath of the shooting on video and the entire incident was also recorded by a dashcam in a squad car parked behind Castile’s car.

    While calling the Castile shooting “awful,” during the broadcast of The Dana Show, Loesch started talking about the incident saying, “You can get mad about it. I mean it’s sad, you can get mad at me for telling you what is on the video. I’m not responsible for it, I’m just telling you what is there.”

    Loesch proceeded to make false claims about what the video showed, which are contradicted by the videos of the shooting, a second-by-second account of the shooting published by the Star Tribune, and forensic evidence presented at Yanez’s trial.

    Loesch said, “Castile didn’t say that he had a concealed carry permit, he just said he had a gun,” which, according to Loesch, is what “you’re supposed to [do] when you’re pulled over.” This comment is misleading at best. Under Minnesota law, Castile had no obligation to inform the officer he had a gun or a concealed carry permit. But Castile had told the police officer, “Sir, I have to tell you that I do have a firearm on me,” which suggests he was trying to proactively inform the officer.

    Loesch then told a story about how she had no issues when she was pulled over for a traffic violation and she had a gun in the car. Loesch said, “I told [the officer] immediately. What I didn’t do was say, ‘I have a gun’ and then keep reaching for my waistband 10 times after he told me not to. And that’s what happened in the video.”

    Loesch is lying about what the video of the shooting showed. The dashcam video that actually captured the shooting doesn’t show Castile reaching for his waistband 10 times, because it “does not show Yanez's point of view or the inside of Castile's car.” Reynolds’ video does show the inside of the car, but it only started after Castile was shot. The dashcam video does, however, have audio of the incident. Three seconds after Castile informed the officer he had a firearm, according to the Star Tribune account, the officer said, “Okay, don't reach for it, then ... don't pull it out,” to which Castile responded, “I’m not pulling it out.”

    Five seconds later he was shot multiple times. Just 38 seconds elapsed between when Yanez and Castile started talking and Yanez shooting Castile. Forensic evidence presented at Yanez’s manslaughter trial backed Reynolds’ account that Castile was trying to unbuckle his seatbelt in order to access his wallet when he was shot.  

    Loesch doubled down on her false characterization moments later, saying, “If I would have just told the cop that I had a gun and I was grabbing my waistband 10 times, I would have gotten shot too.” She also made other excuses for the shooting, saying Yanez was “nervous” because he was “new,” and was “stressed out” and saying, “It didn’t help after [when] it came out that he had pot in the car and all of this stuff.”

  • NRATV’s Dana Loesch Lashes Out After Calls For FedEx To End Its Business Relationship With The NRA

    Loesch: Use FedEx To Send Gun Safety Groups “A Bag Of Richards”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Conservative radio host and NRATV commentator Dana Loesch criticized members of the gun safety movement following the launch of a campaign asking shipping company FedEx to end its business relationship with the National Rifle Association.

    Gun safety group Guns Down is currently leading a campaign to ask FedEx to leave the NRA’s Business Alliance. As a member of the alliance, FedEx currently offers NRA members discounted shipping services.

    A petition issued by Guns Down calls for FedEx to “cease supporting a reckless organization that puts the public safety of Americans at risk in the name of corporate profits.” It says the NRA’s agenda includes accepting “millions of dollars from gun manufacturers every year to advance an extremist pro-gun agenda, including eliminating gun-free zones at schools and houses of worship, gutting criminal background checks for gun sales, and allowing open carrying of guns in all public places.” Media Matters joined other organizations in signing a letter Guns Down sent to FedEx asking the shipping company to drop the NRA.

    Loesch, who is an NRA employee, attacked the campaign during the December 21 broadcast of The Dana Show by insulting “those harpies from the Moms Demand Box Wine” (a reference to gun safety group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America). Loesch’s rant culminated in her suggesting that people use FedEx to send gummy penises to gun safety organizations.

    From the December 21 edition of The Dana Show:

    DANA LOESCH (HOST): The gun control lobby, they’re mad. Because FedEx offers NRA members a discount. A lot of people get discounts with FedEx, but NRA members get a discount with FedEx and it’s sort of just like how some of the gun control groups -- they can fundraise off Amazon. You know how you can do like a charity donation, or something with Amazon? They can do all of that. And so they’re ticked off because FedEx, which I’ve had all my stuff shipped with FedEx this Christmas, because they have an NRA discount. So the gun control lobby is freaking out over FedEx. If you’re online, give FedEx some love. Because they’ve got those harpies from the Moms Demand Box Wine and those pedophile moron members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. There were convicted members of that so try to bring that up. And then the folks over at Everytown, they’ve been slamming FedEx because NRA has a discount. But at the same time they’re telling everybody go shop at Amazon and use this to fundraise for Everytown. You don’t see me freaking out over that, do you? Of course, I have the courage of my convictions. They don’t. Oh, yeah, maybe we should FedEx them -- there’s some funny gummy things, bags of gummy things that you can FedEx people that I’m -- seriously.

    PRODUCER: Yeah, a whole bag of richards.

    LOESCH: A whole bag of richards. You can really send that, that’s great. Bag of richards, write that down, that’s another band name. Bag of richards, that is a great band name.

    Related:

    TELL FEDEX: STOP SUPPORTING THE NRA

    Previously:

    On The Kelly File, Dana Loesch Claims Banning The AR-15 "Is A War On Women"

    Dana Loesch's New Gun Book Botches Quotes From The Founding Fathers

  • The Extremism Of National Review's Trump Critics

    ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    The influential conservatives who penned essays for National Review urging voters not to cast their ballots for Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump have their own histories of extremism. They have called President Obama a "racist" with a "deep-seeded hatred for white people" and compared him to a "skinny, ghetto crackhead"; termed Supreme Court Justice David Souter a "goat fucking child molester"; reportedly "helped push" Sarah Palin onto the 2008 GOP presidential ticket; and offered inflammatory Islamophobic comments.

  • Clinton Cash Author Peter Schweizer And Dana Loesch Wonder If He'll Be Murdered By The Clintons

    Schweizer On If He'll "Be Vince Fostered": "We've Touched On A Major Nerve Within The Clinton Camp. They Are Very, Very Upset"

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Peter Schweizer and conservative radio host Dana Loesch speculated that Schweizer could be murdered by "the Clinton machine" over his new book Clinton Cash.

    During a May 4 appearance on The Dana Show, Loesch told Schweizer "there is always that concern for anyone who goes up against the Clinton machine that they could be Vince Fostered" and asked if he considered that possibility when "getting himself security." Schweizer replied: "Yeah, I mean look -- there are security concerns that arise in these kinds of situations."

    Schweizer added that the security decision was made by his group, the Government Accountability Institute, and the "reality is we've touched on a major nerve within the Clinton camp. They are very, very upset, and they are pulling out all the stops to attack me in an effort to kill this book off."

    Anti-Clinton pundits have for years pushed the deranged conspiracy theory that the Clintons had then-deputy White House counsel Vince Foster killed in 1993 and covered it up. Multiple investigations concluded that Foster actually died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Northern Virginia's Fort Marcy Park.

    There are over 20 errors, fabrications, and distortions in Clinton Cash, which is being released on May 5. Schweizer is a Republican activist and consultant who has worked for Republican politicians like George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, and Bobby Jindal.

    From the May 4 edition of KFTK's The Dana Show

    LOESCH: We're going to have more on the terror attack in Garland, Texas, last night. I'm glad that they had security, well-thought-out security for that event. And I was reading an article just the other day where author Peter Schweizer, whose new book Clinton Cash -- and this book is just, is really making a lot of people uncomfortable -- Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich. I was reading the other day that Peter Schweizer who, the author who joins us by phone right now, was very smart and ended up getting himself security. And I know that Peter, first off, thanks so much for joining me. I know you don't want to talk too much about it, but there is that, there is always that concern for anyone who goes up against the Clinton machine that they could be Vince Fostered, and I'm sure that that was something that you took into consideration.

    SCHWEIZER: Well, Dana, first of all thanks for having me on the show. I always love doing it. Yeah, I mean look -- there are security concerns that arise in these kinds of situations. You know, you don't like to go into too much detail, there were some things that were going on that we felt needed to be addressed. The decision on security wasn't actually made by me, it was made by board members of Government Accountability Institute, and you know, it's I think showing an abundance of caution. The reality is we've touched on a major nerve within the Clinton camp. They are very, very upset, and they are pulling out all the stops to attack me in an effort to kill this book off.

  • CNN Vs. CNN: Loesch Backs Muslim Brotherhood Conspiracy That Cooper, Blitzer Call "McCarthy-Like"

    Blog ››› ››› CHELSEA RUDMAN

    Last week, CNN contributor Dana Loesch claimed a State Department official has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood -- even as her CNN co-workers Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper dismissed such charges as "McCarthy-like."

    On her July 19 radio show, Loesch was discussing charges initially brought by Rep. Michele Bachmann, who in June sent a series of letters to federal agencies claiming that "individuals and organizations associated with the Muslim Brotherhood" are influencing State Department policies. Bachmann singled out Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin -- who is also married to former Rep. Anthony Weiner -- and claimed that Abedin's family has connections to the Muslim Brotherhood; she later openly wondered how Abedin "was able to avoid being disqualified for a security clearance."

    Loesch discussed Bachmann's Brotherhood infiltration theory with anti-Islam activist Brigitte Gabriel. When Gabriel said that it was "about time our government begins an investigation into the infiltration of the Muslim Brotherhood into our government," Loesch agreed, saying, "Absolutely," then added:

    LOESCH: Looking especially at how some of our foreign policy has been handled, Hillary Clinton essentially siding with the Muslim Brotherhood candidate in Egypt, and then it was discovered that her top aide -- Huma Abedin -- is essentially a member of the female version of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Muslim Sisterhood. All of this -- it seems enough to me to pose questions as to why our government is becoming so close with a group that has been so hostile to the United States, has fought against the United States, has sided with terrorists, and is a very oppressive regime that believes in Sharia law.

    Bachmann's letters have received bipartisan condemnation -- Sen. John McCain even blasted the accusations from the floor of the Senate -- for failing to support her charges with concrete evidence. Indeed, Loesch's colleagues at CNN also criticized Bachmann's charges.

    On his July 17 show, host Anderson Cooper said that Bachmann's evidence was "questionable at best." He laid out her guilt-by-association claims in a graphic and said:

    COOPER: So that's how many degrees of separation Bachmann's claim is based on. Huma Abedin's deceased father, who started an organization decades ago, had the support of a guy who had another organization that might have had the support of another organization, the Muslim Brotherhood. And because of that, Huma Abedin might be some sort of spy or infiltrator and deserves to be investigated.

    Wolf Blitzer also dismissed Bachmann's claims, calling her charges "McCarthy-like" on the July 19 broadcast of his show. After a heated back-and-forth with Democratic lobbyist Hilary Rosen about Bachmann and her letters, Blitzer finally said, "It's an outrageous, McCarthy-like charge, to be sure, and she does owe Huma -- who I know well -- an apology."

    This is not the first time Loesch has been at odds with her CNN colleagues -- in January, a number of CNN journalists criticized Loesch for praising U.S. Marines who allegedly urinated on the dead bodies of Taliban members.

    Research intern Ausan Al-Eryani contributed to this item.