Dana Loesch, the conservative firebrand and radio show host, is back with a new National Rifle Association ad that some are calling an incitement to violence.
In the one-minute, pro-Donald Trump spot, Loesch eviscerates the president’s opponents, the media, academics and billionaires, calling them saboteurs who, “slashing away with their leaks and sneers, their phony accusations and gagging sanctimony, drive their daggers through the heart of our future.”
The spot has drawn criticism for Loesch’s inflammatory language. Media Matters for America described it as “laden with violent innuendo.” Missouri’s Riverfront Times called it “exceptionally divisive.”
This isn’t the first time Loesch, a Missouri native, has drawn criticism for her language. Earlier this year, she accused the media, schools, Hollywood elites and Obama of destroying America through a “violence of lies,” and the only way to stop them would be with the “clenched fist of truth.”
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That spot led to a New York Times story, which in turn motivated Loesch to call the newspaper a “gray old hag” and declare: “We’re coming for you. ... Consider this the shot across your proverbial bow.”
(In the spot, she also vows to “fisk The New York Times,” which caused some to misunderstand her message.)
In 2013, Loesch (pronounced ‘Lash’) was the subject of a profile in Politico that called her a “rising star in the world of conservative punditry.”
She grew up the daughter of hunters in rural Missouri and, when it came to firearms, she said she was “never afraid of them.” She was surrounded by rifles and shot them when she was younger, but she didn’t own a handgun until a few years before the profile, when she and her family began receiving threats.
An NRA national media spokeswoman, Loesch is also a nationally syndicated radio host and contributor to the Glenn Beck-founded network The Blaze. In her bio on the site, she’s described as someone who “unleashes her national clout on liberals with passion and accuracy.”
In response to CNN’s recent ad that uses an apple as a metaphor for truth — “This is an apple. Some people might try to tell you that it’s a banana.” — Loesch conflates the metaphor with gender identity: “But what if it’s an apple that identifies as a banana,” she wrote on Twitter.
The line — which hints at bending truth until it’s unrecognizable — is reminiscent of Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts” gaffe.
In May, the Springfield News-Leader reported that Loesch would visit the city’s Bass Pro Shops for a three-hour show. She frequently discusses guns and the Second Amendment during her spots.
She’s written two books, including “Flyover Nation,” which she says accurately predicted the groundswell of support for Trump from middle America. “I wrote explaining why where I’m from turned on Dems, voted Trump. Dems ignored red flags,” she wrote on Twitter in spring 2017, about a year after “Flyover Nation” was released.
“God, family, guns. Born for the storm,” she declares in her Twitter bio, adding she resides in “God’s country.” On the bio for her radio show, “The Dana Show: The Conservative Alternative,” she writes she now lives in Dallas, Texas.
Here is a complete transcript from the new NRA ad:
“We are witnesses to the most ruthless attack on a president, and the people who voted for him, and the free system that allowed it to happen in American history. From the highest levels of government, to their media, universities and billionaires, their hateful defiance of his legitimacy is an insult to each of us.
“But the ultimate insult is that they think we’re so stupid that we’ll let them get away with it. These saboteurs, slashing away with their leaks and sneers, their phony accusations and gagging sanctimony, drive their daggers through the heart of our future, poisoning our belief that honest custody of our institutions will ever again be possible. So they can then build their utopia from the ashes of what they burned down. No, their fate will be failure and they will perish in the political flames of their own fires.
“We are the National Rifle Association of America. And we are freedom’s safest place.”