Outright Barbarous: How The Violent Language of the Right Poisons American Democracy NUGENT THREATENED LIVES OF OBAMA/CLINTON DURING 2007 CONCERT Although mostly hidden by his campaign, on May 16, 2008--four days prior to the Kentucky Primary--Sen. John McCain will participate...
NUGENT THREATENED LIVES OF OBAMA/CLINTON DURING 2007 CONCERT
Although mostly hidden by his campaign, on May 16, 2008--four days prior to the Kentucky Primary--Sen. John McCain will participate in the 137th NRA Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky--in the same event as right-wing pundit Ted Nugent.
Why might McCain be reluctant to have himself officially listed on the NRA's event? The answer may well be his concern about being associated with Nugent who, less than one year ago, held up two machine guns at a concert and--in one of the most brazen displays of violent rhetoric by a well-known pundit ever caught on video--threatened the lives of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sen. Diane Feinstein, Sen. Hillary Clinton, and Sen. Barack Obama.
"Suck On This Obama...Piece of S--t!"
It is stunning that McCain's decision to appear at the same event as Nugent on the eve of the May 20 Kentucky Primary has not yet became a major story in print or broadcast media, particularly given the prominence of Nugent in the NRA event website and the preponderance of video on Nugent widely available on the internet.
Why might McCain be reluctant to have himself officially included in the NRA's schedule? One reason might be the prominence the NRA routinely gives Nugent on their website and at the event as well as the large amount of video available on the internet showing Nugent using violent language, encouraging citizens to engage in vigilantism, and threatening the lives of sitting members of government.
Nugent's past violent outbursts are well documented and widely available for any reporter who wishes to examine them.
The following video from 2007, for example, shows Nugent at a concert holding two machine guns in his hands and threatening the lives of a governor and three sitting senators:
These are some of the violent lines Nugent shouts at the cheering crowd in the video clip:
- "Hey, Obama! [holds up machine guns] You might want to suck on one these you punk...Obama, he's a piece of s--t!"
- "Hillary! [holds up machine guns] You might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless b---h!"
- "Hey Diane Feinstein! [holds up machine guns] Ride on these you worthless whore!"
In this video from a 2007 edition of Texas Monthly, Nugent explains his position on the Second Amendment. About two minutes into the recording, Nugent appears to urge citizens to take up arms and 'blow the brains out' of criminals:
The quote from that sequence is as follows:
"...instead of arresting people for molesting children 24 times, I would rather the dad walked into the room, found a person molesting that child and blew his brains out."
This video of Nugent was posted on YouTube in 2007, but appears to have been recorded either in late 2001 or early 2002. About two and half minutes into the interview, Nugent expresses his violent belief that certain criminals should be summarily 'destroyed':
These videos are in addition to the interview published in the Detroit Free Press where Nugent said, in reference to his decision to give a conference in South Africa during apartheid,"My being there (South Africa) isn't going to affect any political structure. Besides, apartheid isn't that cut-and-dry. All men are not created equal." Detroit Free Press Magazine, July 15, 1990 (from this CampusProgress.org page on Nugent).
Nugent, apparently, believes that Democracy can be reduced down to one interpretation of the Second Amendment, yet the most basic principles articulated in the Declaration of Independence is expendable (e.g., "All men are created equal.")
McCain Hiding From Nugent's Violent Rhetoric
The strategy of the McCain campaign seems to be very simple: benefit from the over conservative program of NRA event without suffering from any association with Nugent.
The NRA seems to be playing along.
Despite past statements critical of McCain by right-wing pundit and NRA spokesman Wayne LaPierre, the NRA seems to have done what it can to accommodate McCain's political need to strike a distance from the well-documented violent language and threatening antics of Nugent.
But what about the media?
When Nugent appeared on stage with the Governor Rick Perry at his inaugural ball--wearing the Confederate Flag--big media hardly blinked an eye.
Certainly, McCain is free to associate with the NRA, and without question there are tens of thousands of NRA members who will disagree in part or in whole with the views of Nugent and other speakers who may appear at the NRA event.
Nonetheless, journalists and producers at CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and NBC have an obligation to bring McCain's participation in the NRA event, as well as the concurrent role of Nugent, to wide public attention.
© 2008 Jeffrey Feldman, Frameshop