NRA spokeswoman accused of anti-Semitism over 2010 tweet
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NRA spokeswoman accused of anti-Semitism over 2010 tweet

Dana Loesch says her comment was mocking the bigoted statements of a dismissed television host

Spokesperson for the National Rifle Association (NRA) Dana Loesch speaks during the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland on February 22, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON)
Spokesperson for the National Rifle Association (NRA) Dana Loesch speaks during the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland on February 22, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON)

National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch is under fire for a 2010 tweet that some on social media have said was anti-Semitic. Loesch says her comment was mocking the bigoted statements of a television host.

The October 1, 2010 tweet refers to current Fox News contributor and former CNN anchor Rick Sanchez, who was fired from the network that day after implying on a radio program that Jews controlled CNN and the media in general.

In response to his dismissal, Loesch wrote in a now-deleted tweet: “I bet Rick Sanchez was fired by a Jew.”

A 2010 tweet by NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch (screenshot)

Social media users were quick to point to the tweet as proof that Loesch, who has made headlines with controversial statements in the wake of this month’s Florida school shooting, was herself bigoted.

Jewish comedian Sarah Silverman drew widespread attention to it when she said it looked “super duper no bones about it anti-Semitic.”

But Loesch responded that she was merely making a tongue-in-cheek reference to the “poetic justice” of a “garbage person anti-Semite” being “fired by someone whom he loathed.”

She then lashed out at users who accused her of anti-Semitism, the Daily Dot noted, responding to multiple critical tweets with: “So you support Sanchez’s antisemitism. Got it.”

Silverman herself appeared to accept Loesch’s explanation, saying the NRA spokeswoman “was making a joke about Rick Sanchez saying the Jews run the media. It was out of context and that’s the true context.”

She did however offer some advice to Loesch, suggesting that “when you yourself refer to a Jewish person you call them a Jewish person and not ‘a Jew’ [because] that might come off harsh from a non-Jew. (It’s one of those things.)”

In the aftermath of the February 14 shooting deaths of 17 people, mostly students, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Loesch has become the NRA’s main messenger.

Even before taking over as NRA spokeswoman last year, Loesch had a robust conservative following, cultivated on social media — she has 765,000 Twitter followers — and through years of television and radio appearances, including on her own radio program, “The Dana Show.”

Last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference near Washington, Loesch defiantly defended the NRA’s 5 million members, who she said “will not be gaslighted into thinking that we’re responsible for a tragedy that we had nothing to do with.”

And, she claimed journalists from the mainstream media “love mass shootings” because “crying white mothers are ratings gold.”

And in an NRA video last summer she attacked The New York Times in a way that some on the right and the left feared could incite violence. In the video, Loesch said NRA members had “had it” with the newspaper’s “fake news” and warned: “Consider this the shot across your proverbial bow. … In short? We’re coming for you.”

During a 2012 radio show, Loesch said she didn’t have a problem with Marines who urinated on dead Taliban soldiers, declaring: “I’d drop trou and do it, too.”

AP contributed to this report.

 

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