NEW YORK — Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action released the following statements today in response to reports that the NRA has shut down future production at NRATV and ended its business relationship with the longtime public relations firm that operates NRATV, Ackerman McQueen:
“NRATV wasn’t just morally bankrupt—it was also financially bankrupting the NRA, which is the biggest reason why it got cancelled,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “But the NRA can’t cancel its way out of crisis—that will require pulling the plug on its dangerous and extreme agenda.”
“The demise of NRATV isn’t just a win for the gun safety movement – it’s a win for common decency,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “The NRA used its platform to smear its enemies while spotlighting the worst society has to offer, including white supremacists. The NRA should have learned long ago that its hate mongering is making its brand toxic, but the only reason NRATV was cancelled is because the NRA can’t afford to keep it.”
In a court filing last week in Virginia, Ackerman McQueen claimed that if the NRA did not pay a past due invoice or extend a $3 million line of credit, it would be forced to shut down NRATV. The NRATV shutdown follows weeks of dueling lawsuits between the NRA and Ackerman McQueen, as the NRA finds itself engulfed by widespread allegations of self-dealing and financial mismanagement, and faces an investigation by the New York Attorney General’s Office.
New York Times reports:
“While NRATV may continue to air past content, its live broadcasting will end and its on-air personalities — Ackerman employees who included Dana Loesch — will no longer be the public faces of the N.R.A. It remained unclear whether the N.R.A. might try to hire some of those employees, but there was no indication it was negotiating to do so.
“The move comes amid a flurry of lawsuits between the N.R.A. and Ackerman, and increasing acrimony that surfaced after two prominent N.R.A. board members first criticized NRATV in an article in The Times in March. The separation had become inevitable: The two sides said last month that they were ending their three-decade-plus partnership.
“’Many members expressed concern about the messaging on NRATV becoming too far removed from our core mission: defending the Second Amendment,’ Wayne LaPierre, the N.R.A.’s longtime chief executive, wrote in a message to members that was expected to be sent out by Wednesday. ‘So, after careful consideration, I am announcing that starting today, we are undergoing a significant change in our communications strategy. We are no longer airing ‘live TV’ programming.’”
Since its inception, the NRA used NRATV to attack survivors of gun violence, peddle outrageous conspiracy theories and defend President Donald Trump’s agenda, including on issues having nothing to do with guns or the Second Amendment. In recent years, under NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre’s leadership, NRATV had grown to become the face and voice of the NRA.
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.
- NRATV personalities echoing President Donald Trump’s claim that “both sides” were to blame after Charlottesville.
- Dana Loesch putting a KKK hood on Thomas the Tank Engine.