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NRA Leaders by Ties

NRA Leaders' Links To Fox News

The following is a list of controversial statements and actions of NRA leaders regarding their ties to Fox News. NRA leaders are listed alphabetically by last name.

Roy Innis (Board Member)

On January 25, 2011, Innis rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange “to highlight the 25th anniversary of the observance of the Martin Luther King holiday.” Innis was joined by FOX Business News Anchor Charles Payne.

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

In a June 12, 2012 interview with Fox News, LaPierre stated, “You know, I don’t know the facts in this whole Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case, and I’ve learned to hold my tongue until I do.” LaPierre was referencing the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by concealed carry permit holder George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida on February 26, 2012—an event which generated national controversy. LaPierre also spoke about Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which the NRA helped to author and promoted aggressively in the state legislature: “But what I do know the facts on, and that’s the Florida law. And there’s a shocking ignorance of the law, what it says in Florida. Or it’s being done for political purposes to seek political advantage. All that law says in Florida is, if you’re in your home, and your glass breaks in the middle of the night, there is a presumption that that person is there to cause you imminent fear of death or bodily harm. If you’re in your car and someone assaults you and tries to pull you out there’s a presumption that that person is there to cause you imminent fear of death or bodily harm. If you are on the street in Florida it is a completely different section of the law. It’s [Florida statute section] 776.012 as opposed to 776.013. And if you’re on the street in Florida, what the law says is if someone assaults you or you’re attacked, you can meet force with force. The law even says ‘not deadly’ in parentheses.” In fact, “Stand Your Ground” expressly allows an individual on the street to meet force with deadly force. The law states, “A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.” LaPierre continued, “But, gosh there’s been so much distortion as to what this law says, with ‘shoot first’ and everything else completely misinforming the American public … I think a lot of it is by some these politicians who want to impose a duty to retreat on the American public, where if your glass breaks in the middle of the night and there’s some criminal coming into your house, they want to impose a duty to retreat on the crime victim with a long complicated checklist rather than do what’s natural at the most terrifying moment of that person’s life when they’re in a state of overwhelming reactive panic which is to protect your life and your family from those who would destroy it. And they want to impose that duty to retreat all over the country and it’s mainly politicians and newspapers…that really don’t want the American public protecting themselves… so they’re willing to distort this to assert their political agenda.” When asked if the request of Sybrina Fulton [Trayvon Martin’s mother] for state lawmakers to amend or review “Stand Your Ground” laws was reasonable, LaPierre responded, “You know it’s a tragedy, and our heart goes out to the family, but have you ever been threatened? I mean you talk to crime victims in the country, and I’m not talking about this case, but you talk to crime victims; it’s the most terrifying moment of their life. They really are in a state of overwhelming reactive panic, instinctively they’ll do anything at that point to save themselves. They’ve done nothing wrong, they’re going about their business and yet someone is trying to destroy their whole life. And the whole idea that you’re gonna twist this Florida case into some national movement to try to impose a duty to retreat on the American public at their most terrifying moment of their life rather than let them protect themself and save themself. And then open the crime victim up to civil lawsuits by a criminal that will bankrupt them is crazy. This duty to retreat may sound fine at an Ivy League cocktail party, it doesn’t work very well in the real world.”

Grover Norquist (Board Member)

In 1997, Norquist founded Janus-Merritt Strategies, a lobbying firm, along with David Safavian. Safavian was later convicted on felony obstruction of justice charges in relation to the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. The Janus-Merritt clientele included:

Chuck Norris (Celebrity Spokesperson)

During a November 2009 appearance on Fox News, when Norris was asked by host Sean Hannity about running for political office, he responded, “I’d be sitting here with my opponent debating, and then he would start attacking my character. And I’d jump over there and choke him unconscious.” When Hannity told Norris, “You have more control than that,” Norris responded, “I don’t. I don’t. I don’t. That’s the problem, I have a thin skin. And it was really tough in the film world. And believe me, in the political world I’d be killing half the people.” He concluded that the only way to get anything done in Washington would be to “choke out all the Democrats.”

Oliver North (Board Member)

On June 6, 2012, the Washington Post published an article reporting that Oliver North may have plagiarized a part of his May 18, 2012 Memorial Day op-ed at a Fox News website. In the piece, North claimed that he turned to a “dear friend”—an Army vet and Medal of Honor recipient named Sammy L. Davis—to explain why it is important for veterans to travel to Washington to honor those who died in the Vietnam War. Davis, responded, according to North, by stating, “Comrades gather because they long to be with the men who once acted their best, men who suffered and sacrificed, who were stripped raw, right down to their humanity … I did not pick these men. They were delivered by fate. But I know them in a way I know no other men. I have never given anyone such trust. They were willing to guard something more precious than my life. They would have carried my reputation, the memory of me. It was part of the bargain we all made, the reason we were so willing to die for one another.” These words appear verbatim in “These Good Men: Friendships Forged in War,” a 1990 memoir written by Michael Norman, a Vietnam War veteran. Davis told Norman that North never asked him for the comment, and though Davis emailed Norman’s quote to North, he never intended for North to publish it. After a reporter brought the issue to Fox News’ attention, the op-ed was removed and re-posted without the passage. An appended editor’s note was included that mentioned, without explanation, that the paragraphs had been removed and that North had included them “through no fault of his own.” Later, the column was removed from Fox’s website altogether.

North appeared on “Hannity” on March 21, 2011 and expressed his belief that it is “beyond” President Barack Obama to serve as Commander and Chief. “[He] has done nothing but apologize for America” since becoming President, North said of Obama.

North alluded to the potential repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy In a June 2010 opinion piece for Fox News, writing, “The present commander-in-chief has decided to treat the young men and women of our military like lab rats in a radical social-engineering experiment.”

Ted Nugent (Board Member)

On September 10, 2010, the Washington Times published an op-ed written by Nugent entitled “A Salute to Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, et al.” In the piece Nugent praised the entire Fox News team for their “sensible, courageous and reasonable voices.”

During an appearance on the Fox News show Hannity and Colmes in 2000, Nugent described homosexuality as a “despicable act” performed by “guys that have sex with each other's anal cavities.”

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