Partnership with BlazeTV Comes Less than One Year After the NRA Shut Down NRATV and Called it “Distasteful and Racist”
NRA Associates Have Mirrored BlazeTV’s Rhetoric Throughout Coronavirus, Furthering the Racist “Chinese Virus” Narrative, Spreading Conspiracy Theories, and Dismissing the Pandemic
NEW YORK — Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, the grassroots arm of Everytown, denounced the NRA for partnering with BlazeTV, part of Blaze Media –– a media company that features “coronavirus doubters” as well as transphobic, homophobic, racist, sexist, and conspiracy driven content. Throughout the coronavirus crisis, NRA associates and board members have mirrored BlazeTV’s rhetoric––including furthering the racist “Chinese virus” narrative, spreading conspiracy theories, and dismissing the seriousness of the pandemic.
The partnership comes less than a year after the NRA shut down NRATV, and claimed that it did so because, as the organization itself put it, NRATV aired content that “some NRA leaders found distasteful and racist” and was little more than a “dystopian cultural rant that deterred membership growth.” The NRA is engaged in litigation with Ackerman McQueen, it’s longtime ad firm which produced NRATV, and cancelled its contract for the production of NRATV during the course of litigation.
“You can judge an organization by the company it keeps, so it’s fitting that the NRA just teamed up with an outlet that’s famous for peddling conspiracy theories, hate, and fear in the name of profit,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “This partnership reminds us that, even in a time when Americans are dying by the thousands, the NRA cares most about one thing: scaring people into buying guns.”
“In 2019, the NRA shuttered NRATV, an incendiary and dangerous media platform that the group’s own leaders later admitted featured ‘distasteful and racist’ content. Now, one year later, the NRA is partnering with BlazeTV, which is just NRATV 2.0,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “This partnership is proof that the NRA is still the same organization that put KKK hoods on cartoon characters.”
According to The Trace, the partnership was announced in the latest edition of the American Rifleman, the NRA’s flagship magazine, with a spokesperson saying, “We need cold hard facts that we can share with friends, family and co-workers — unfiltered and uncensored by the fake news media and extremist gun-control candidates. That’s why NRA has partnered with BlazeTV.” The NRA also encouraged members to “sign up for a free 30-day trial and offered $10 off a one-year subscription to BlazeTV.”
BlazeTV content includes:
- Coronavirus Dismissals:
- According to The Trace, BlazeTV’s Steve Deace said “that America was risking another Great Depression ‘over a virus that, the more we learn about it, the less lethal it becomes.’ He described a “cultural Pearl Harbor” in which leftists and pagans are using hysteria over the virus as ‘their weapon of mass destruction to deliver the last kill shot” to America.’”
- Another BlazeTV figure, Steven Crowder tweeted, ‘How do I feel about the #COVID19 panic? I’m not participating. Carry on.’” Later, on his BlazeTV show, Crowder said, “It’s not as dire as the media want you to believe. They create this hysteria without any context … so that they can pin the virus and the negative economic impact on Donald Trump.”
- Racism: BlazeTV personality Glenn Beck called asylum seekers from Central America an “invasion” and suggested “the migrant invasion force was organized… by the leftist party.” Another BlazeTV personality said that “people” like Parasite Director Bong Joon-Ho are the “destruction of America” after the director delivered his Oscar acceptance speech in Korean.
- Homophobia: “Glenn Beck says Pete Buttigieg can’t make Christian criticisms of Trump because they stone gay people in the Bible”
- Transphobia: “Glenn Beck Suggests that ‘the Prince of Darkness’ created the trans movement to ‘destroy people’”
- Sexism: “Steven Crowder: Christine Blasey Ford is a ‘lying whore’”Conspiracies: “The Blaze Imagines That Marriage Equality Will Lead To Criminalization Of Anti-Gay Speech”
This content not only mirrors the rhetoric of NRA associates during coronavirus––it is reminiscent of the shuttered NRATV as well. Some NRATV lowlights, from its hosts and from its video programming, include:
- Dana Loesch’s now-infamous “Clenched Fist of Truth” ad, which a former CIA analyst said fuels American extremism;
- Colion Noir suggesting Parkland survivors might actually be actors and part of a grand hoax or conspiracy, and Chuck Holton describing a teenaged Parkland survivor as an idiot;
- Dana Loesch and Grant Stinchfield claiming that ISIS is secretly trying to trick Americans into passing gun safety legislation;
- Hosting a contributor to a white nationalist publication 32 times;
- NRATV personalities echoing President Donald Trump’s claim that “both sides” were to blame after Charlottesville;
- And Dana Loesch putting a KKK hood on Thomas the Tank Engine.