Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Mainstream Media, the Culture War, and the NRA

There are a couple of good articles on National Review Online about the NRA.  First is this one by Jim Geraghty on how the media associating the NRA's reported troubles with a greater taste among the public for gun control.  Geraghty starts off by sharing a quote from a CNN story by Jil Filipovic where, referring to the NY AG's investigation of the NRA, she says that losing the non-profit tax breaks would be bad but they should be more worried about the public's "distaste for people being murdered in houses of worship, concerts, movie theaters and kindergarten classrooms."  Geraghty notes that this "is what happens when you send a gun-control advocate to analyze a story about financial improprieties."  He points out that if the New York AG found sufficient cause and evidence that the NRA was violating rules and regulations governing nonprofits, she could attempt to dissolve the organization. That would not be easy as a court battle would ensue, and "galvanize" members to come to the organization's defense by pouring in donations and renewed memberships.  The more likely scenario is that Democrats want to tie up the attention of the NRA and reduce their effectiveness in the 2020 election.  Read Geraghty's entire article.

The second one is by Jonah Goldberg and posits the question "Will the Culture War Kill the NRA?"  He runs through what has occurred over the last two or three decades related to how special interest groups have pretty much taken over the responsibilities of branding political parties.  He also notes that gun rights used to be a bipartisan issue but is now pretty much the purview of the GOP while Democrats are for gun restrictions. With political parties no longer managing their own brands, this has caused a blurring of the things for which the NRA stands.
NRA folks today inveigh against “the socialists” with the same vehemence they used to reserve for gun-grabbers. UCLA law professor Adam Winkler, author of Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America, observes that NRATV, the online media outlet of the NRA, has strayed far from the gun lane. “Now it’s focused on immigration, race, health care,” he told The New Republic. Dana Loesch, an NRA spokeswoman, has called the mainstream news media “the rat bastards of the earth” who deserve to be “curb-stomped.”
Read Goldberg's full article.

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