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NRA Seeks Status as News Outlet
December 7, 2003 3:13 PM   Subscribe

NRA Seeks Status as News Outlet Deciding that laws regulating campaign spending are simply in their way, the National Rifle Association thinks out loud about buying a radio or TV station and then filing a lawsuit so that money limits no longer apply to them. As we all know, federal gun regulations are a near-certainty without this effort.
posted by billsaysthis (23 comments total)

 
How is this different from CBN (Christian Broadcast Network)? More importantly, what's stopping the ACLU, AFL-CIO, or NAACP from doing the exact same thing?
posted by BlueTrain at 3:21 PM on December 7, 2003


So the NRA is gonna buy out fox news?
posted by MrLint at 3:37 PM on December 7, 2003


BlueTrain, a) CBN at least started as an effort to bring more people closer to their vision of God and life and b) nothing except money (less) and morality (more).
posted by billsaysthis at 3:52 PM on December 7, 2003


think of the drug company money for them commericals.
and who wouldnt want Hornady Bullet ads.
posted by clavdivs at 4:03 PM on December 7, 2003


Well, surely limits would still apply to their media buys, right? I mean, they could say whatever they wanted on WNRA, but simply owning a TV or radio outlet shouldn't give them carte blanche when it comes to buying time on CNN, no?
posted by aaronetc at 4:03 PM on December 7, 2003


ted nugent news briefs
posted by clavdivs at 4:04 PM on December 7, 2003


billsaysthis, my point was that interest groups are allowed to sell themselves like whores, as long as they can afford to do it.

My problem with cable channels like these is that their honesty is less in question because they're watched with less scrutiny. For instance, all weight-loss commercials and info-mercials must have the disclaimer "Results not typical" or their asses will be sued, repeatedly. But on CBN, they can air plenty of "I donated $1000 to this network and the Lord blesses me with a $2000 Christmas bonus" ads and absolutely no one will complain.
posted by BlueTrain at 4:08 PM on December 7, 2003


In response to the CBN/NRA discussion:

CBN is a non-profit Christian ministry. The NRA is a lobbying organization. CBN is tax exempt, the NRA isn't. There's a world of difference there. CBN gets a bit of lattitude, but still is rather limited in what sort of election-related activities it can take part in and still claim tax exemption. That's part of the reason they started the Christian Coalition, which is a full-fledged lobbying organization, and is not tax-exempt.

And, for what it's worth, CBN is a broadcasting network. Clearly, the NRA is not, and is only discussing becoming one for the sake of bypassing federal laws.

Also, I don't understand what the original poster was saying with this quote: "As we all know, federal gun regulations are a near-certainty without this effort." Sorry to be dense - is that a sarcastic reference to the fact that the NRA is already extremely influential even without the news network scheming? Or do you truly believe that some sort of federal gun regulations are a near-certainty? (If so, what?)
posted by mragreeable at 5:36 PM on December 7, 2003


It occurs to me that I was using the term "tax exempt" in a fairly imprecise way in my last post. Neither the NRA or CC have to pay any sort of corporate taxes, and their both non-profits. But contributions to both are not tax-deductible, whereas CBN contributions are.

Also, I just noted on their website that the NRA was incorporated in 1871. I had no idea they were that old.

And there is a javascript calculator and a package tracker on their website.
posted by mragreeable at 5:47 PM on December 7, 2003


What the fuck to the NRA care these days? They'll either get GW Bush or their good buddy Howard Dean as the next president, why don't they take their dirty money and invest it or something so they have more to currupt future leaders with later on.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:39 PM on December 7, 2003


If one were to ask me only actual individual citizens who are eligible to vote would be allowed to donate money
posted by MrLint at 6:45 PM on December 7, 2003


Space Coyote: why don't they take their dirty money and invest it

Why is the NRA's money "dirty"?
posted by trharlan at 7:06 PM on December 7, 2003


mragreeable that was sarcasm--otherwise the NRA sure is suffering from mission creep.
posted by billsaysthis at 8:25 PM on December 7, 2003


Bluetrain: The difference between the NRA meing deemed a media outlet and ACLU, AFL-CIO, or NAACP doing the same is that the NRA puts out two magazines, and if I recall correctly, you can subscribe to the magazines without being a member. (At least that's how it was several years ago when I was a member.) I don't believe that the ACLU, AFL-CIO, or NAACP publishes any magazines or anything other than newsletters and "Action Updates."
posted by darian at 10:37 PM on December 7, 2003


The AFL-CIO does publish a full-length propaganda magazine for its members every month. called Working Families.

The price for a small market radio and television station is pretty trivial these days, especially for an organization with the wealth of the NRA. That might actually slow down media consolidation, in an indirect way, if every little interest group purchases the network affiliate in Fargo or Billings rather than Clear Channel.
posted by calwatch at 12:14 AM on December 8, 2003


"As we all know, federal gun regulations are a near-certainty without this effort"

I don't know any such thing -- care to elaborate?
posted by Pressed Rat at 6:10 AM on December 8, 2003


Also, I just noted on their website that the NRA was incorporated in 1871. I had no idea they were that old.

They only recently became the lobbying arm of firearms manufacturers. They were a sportsmen's organization before the takeover.

Why is the NRA's money "dirty"?

Because they misrepresent who they are and whom they represent. They only recently have become so wealthy and all that money comes nor from member dues but from firearms manufacturers. Claiming the mantle of representing gun owners is disingenuous and false. I am a firearm owner and they DO NOT represent me.
posted by nofundy at 6:15 AM on December 8, 2003


nofundy: I searched like hell trying to find an income statement or cash flow statement or list of donors for the NRA. If you can provide a link to a primary source, I would appreciate it.
posted by trharlan at 9:20 AM on December 8, 2003


Deciding that laws regulating campaign spending are simply in their way,

Much like the legislators who passed the laws in the first place decided that the First Amendment was simply in their way.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:23 AM on December 8, 2003


MrLint: If one were to ask me only actual individual citizens who are eligible to vote would be allowed to donate money
Becareful what you wish for, Corporations might end up with voting rights. CorporateSufferage.com is still available if anyone wants to get the ball rolling.
posted by Mitheral at 12:09 PM on December 8, 2003


If one were to ask me, only actual individual citizens who are eligible to vote and actually have a heartbeat would be allowed to donate money. Corporations are individual entities by law, but they're not flesh and blood. They shouldn't be allowed to throw their financial weight around as political weight. It's like letting (metaphorical) vampires rule the world.

Actually I'd like the entire concept of incorporation to be abolished and we should all go back to partnerships and sole proprietorships. So someone is actually responsible for a company as opposed to having CEOs and CFOs and trustee boards and the like to pass the buck around.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:41 PM on December 8, 2003


I searched like hell trying to find an income statement or cash flow statement or list of donors for the NRA. If you can provide a link to a primary source, I would appreciate it.

Go to www.guidestar.org. Register ( it is free ). Search for "NRA Foundation". The second listing is the primary fundraising repository for the NRA. Click through to the organization's Form 990 Reports for their fiscal years 1998-2002 currently available.
posted by beagle at 2:08 PM on December 8, 2003


"As we all know, federal gun regulations are a near-certainty without this effort."

I hope so, so my next visit won't have me waiting to be shot....
posted by lerrup at 3:23 PM on December 8, 2003


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