A few years ago, NRATV was firing on all cylinders. But now it’s just shooting blanks.
The National Rifle Association is shuttering its three-year-old internet channel and ending its partnership with Ackerman McQueen, the advertising firm behind it.
The NRA is hemorrhaging money as it fights several costly legal battles, including suing Ackerman McQueen for reputation smearing and overbilling. In a statement, chief executive Wayne LaPierre said that “Many [NRA] members expressed concerns about NRATV becoming too far removed from our core mission: defending the Second Amendment.”
NRATV was shot down by its radical ambitions. The channel wanted to become Fox News for gun people and increasingly resorted to extreme tactics to define itself. Ackmeran McQueen had worked with the NRA since the 1980s, but their brazen 2017 ad campaign targeting gun-snatching liberals with borderline violent rhetoric really got people talking and the video quickly went viral. It became clear NRATV wasn’t just politely discussing gun advocacy—it was a hyper-partisan opinion channel with controversial hosts like Dana Loesch and Dan Bongino shouting about freedom-killing, baby-murdering leftists.
NRATV was always desperate for media attention but found it harder to come by in the Trump era. Once Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were gone, there was no one left to target. Fearing the inability to spread its infamous “they’re coming for your guns” narrative, NRATV heightened its rhetoric too much for its own good. And it didn’t offer enough nuance or production value to make screaming about evil liberals sustainably entertaining. Even Fox News buttresses its partisan opinion hosts with business news and straight reporting.
With NRATV gone, another gun advocacy organization could take up its media mantle. And believe it or not, they could be even worse.