A National Rifle Association ad that resurfaced last week sent people scrambling for their dictionaries.
In the video, first posted in April but resurrected for some reason by the group, NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch says the NRA is “going to fisk The New York Times.”
But “fisk” was not the word some people heard.
They misheard that the NRA intends to “fist” the newspaper, which sent Twitter into a viral tizzy.
Here’s what fisk means: “To refute or criticize (a journalistic article or blog) point by point,” according to Dictionary.com.
It’s not a word that pops up in everyday conversations. Or should it?
Shame, shame, if you don’t know it, Loesch scolded.
In the 54-second NRA TV commercial aimed at the Times, the conservative commentator begins by angrily declaring that “we the people have had it. We’ve had it with your narratives, your propaganda, your fake news.
“We’ve had it with your constant protection of your Democrat overlords, your refusal to acknowledge any truth that upsets the fragile construct that you believe is real life.
“And we’ve had it with your pretentious tone-deaf assertion that you are, in any way, truth- or fact-based journalism.
“Consider this the shot across your proverbial bow.
“We’re going to fisk The New York Times and just what deep, rich means to this old gray hag, this untrustworthy, dishonest rag that has subsisted on the welfare of mediocrity for one, two, three more decades.
“We’re going to laser focus on your so-called honest pursuit of truth. In short, we’re coming for you.”
Business Insider notes that the group reposted the video on Thursday, but it went largely unnoticed until Friday afternoon.
The provocative ad, which did not call out any specific Times stories, sparked sharp and divided reactions from both ends of the political spectrum.
NRA supporters applauded the tone and message of Loesch’s warning.
Slate noted how the NRA attacked the Washington Post last month in a similar video, made with conservative talk show host Grant Stinchfield, that accused the newspaper of using “keyboards” to attack Americans’ gun rights.
“You people do more to damage our country with a keyboard than any NRA member combined has ever done with a firearm,” he says in the video.