A trade group that represents several big-name media outlets like The New York Times and USA Today told the National Rifle Association on Tuesday that it is encouraging violence against journalists in its most recent member recruitment video.
The trade group sent a letter to the NRA Tuesday, criticizing the advocacy group’s most recent aggressive video that appears to threaten the New York Times.
The letter was signed by Digital Content Next’s Senior Vice President Chris Pedigo, who called out the hypocrisy of disrespecting the First Amendment when the NRA was founded to staunchly defend the Second Amendment.
Pedigo said it’s the role of the press to “afflict the powerful,” including large organizations like the NRA.
“Knowledge is gained through healthy debate. That’s why it’s your equal right to express your disagreement with viewpoints expressed by The New York Times or any other news organizations. The Constitution and its amendments are not ripe for cherry picking,” Pedigo wrote in the letter shared with TPM. “However, when you use such incendiary language as ‘we’re coming for you,’ it is our right to suggest in the strongest terms that your behavior is blatantly irresponsible as it may incite violence against journalists.”
He said it is “un-American” to threaten journalists and even invited NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch — to whom the letter was addressed — to a press freedom event at the Newseum this month so “you can reacquaint yourself with the importance of a free press as well as the real threats faced by journalists.”
“Clearly, our Founding Fathers understood the value of a free press and sought to shield journalists from political pressure. As such, we encourage you to focus on defending the Second Amendment. We’ll take care of protecting the First,” he said.
The letter comes after the NRA published its second aggressive video last month.
The most recent video criticized the New York Times for its “pretentious, tone deaf assertion that you are, in any way, truth- or fact-based journalism,” Loesch said in the video. She said the NRA was going to “fisk” the newspaper and declared: “We’re coming for you.”
In June, the NRA released another video in which Loesch seemingly advocated for fighting the left and its “violence of lies with a clenched fist of truth.”
Civil rights groups as well as propaganda experts viewed the video as —at worst — a call for actual violence against Democrats and, at best, the use of violent rhetoric to recruit new members.
Read the full letter below: