CNN Prematurely Doubts NRA’s Ongoing Political Influence

dewey defeats truman

Museum claims ownership – Accession Number: 95-187 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Do you remember learning about the famous episode of fake news in 1948 when the Chicago Tribune’s predecessor prematurely called the 1948 presidential race for Dewey over Truman? Well, today’s fake news network has prematurely called the NRA’s influence into question for the 2020 election cycle.

America’s worst-rated cable news operation served up another heaping helping of fake news this weekend, writing about how the floundering NRA is supposedly struggling to maintain influence in the face of its internal struggles.

One could write much the same about a floundering cable news network based in Atlanta and come a lot closer to actually reporting real news. In fact, CNN’s problems dwarf those of the NRA.

From The Federalist:

To see just how bad—and how isolated—the CNN performance has been, one need only look back to 2018. In year-over-year rating comparisons of primetime performance, you can see the massive hit CNN has taken, while its competitors fare much better. All three networks are down, but one plunged.

Wiki Commons. WarnerMedia. Sreejithk2000

Looking at the first week of June, both Fox News and MSNBC saw a dip of 4 percent. CNN dropped 33 percent. One-third of its audience fled! And in the core demographic of 25- to 54-year-olds it was far worse, as CNN lost more than half of those viewers, at  -55 percent.

In their story on the NRA, CNN tries to write the obituary of the NRA’s powerful political machine and its influence on elections local, state and national.

From CNN:

The National Rifle Association was already reeling from leadership shakeups and allegations of financial mismanagement when it dropped another bombshell.

The NRA accused Chris Cox — the man who had controlled the organization’s lobbying and political activities for more than 15 years — of trying to overthrow Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre, according to a lawsuit filed last month.

Cox denied the charge to The New York Times, but quickly resigned. His unceremonious sacking stunned NRA board members, who saw Cox as a potential successor to LaPierre, and infuriated political staffers. Some started packing up their desks, unsure of whether they would be ousted too, multiple NRA sources said.

That’s when the Washington power brokers really started to worry. Cox’s departure, after months of turmoil at the NRA, only amplified the sense that the gun-rights group might not be the political powerhouse in 2020 that it has been for decades, including notably in 2016.

CNN downplays where the NRA derives its power, never mentioning the effect of five million politically engaged members who are regular voters. Some might say that’s typical CNN…long on setting up the fake news narrative and short on the facts.

In reality, it doesn’t matter who serves at the helm of the NRA when it comes to gun rights politics. The NRA doesn’t make or break political candidates. Its members do. What’s more, in addition to its five million actual members, 14 million gun owners consider themselves members.

From the NRA-ILA reporting on a Pew survey:

Thanks to the Pew Research Center for documenting what has been true for as long as polls have included a question asking respondents whether they are NRA members or not.  Such questions routinely show that in addition to our five million members, we have millions more Americans who support us and will tell pollsters they are members, even when they are not.  For some, it could be that their membership has lapsed and for others, they might consider a family member’s membership part of their own.

Even more to the point, the simple fact is that our support runs much deeper than among our members alone.  Gun control advocates know this to be true, and that’s why the NRA remains the most powerful political force in America.

Pew’s recent survey on firearm-related attitudes and experiences of U.S. adults found – based on the percentage saying “yes” to the question about whether they are NRA members – that more than 14 million Americans consider themselves NRA members.  The real NRA membership of about 5 million falls well short of this measure, even accounting for any statistical error the survey produced.

Gun owners don’t need the NRA to give them marching orders. They recognize anti-gun candidates and civilian disarmament ballot proposals for what they are.

No matter the internal issues within the NRA, the organization’s members will continue to reward their friends with votes and support in future elections. And they’ll hold gun-hating politicians to account as well.

That, despite what CNN wishes and hopes might be the case. Assuming CNN still exists in a few years.

comments

  1. avatar Missouri_Mule says:

    We still have 5 million members and we WILL get the swamp drained.
    Wayne MUST go.

    1. avatar Trotfox Charli says:

      Sorry boys, but I think CNN got this one right and the article pretty much says so between the lines.

      1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

        Wait, you trust CNN? Like all of the DNC propaganda groups they engage in attempts to manipulate the enemy, and every supporter of the 2nd is their enemy.

        1. avatar Pseudonym says:

          Yeah, well, the thing with both Dewy and Truman is today they’re both dead.

          The NRA”s obituary is being written as we speak. I imagine Wayne’s NRA club will zombie on for a while longer until some lawsuit, either internal or external or likely both, will put a much needed end to this cluster jerk.

        2. avatar Splotch says:

          Throw me a bone here Rusty. Is your comment sarcasm or stupidity? If you blindly believe the opposite of whatever CNN says, then, well, that explains a lot. Are you sure you should be handling firearms?

        3. avatar Enuf says:

          Generally speaking yes, CNN is more factual than Fox. They tend to be liberal leaning on social issues and editorial commentary, but on news coverage supported by video, CNN does a better and more honest job of it.

          When CNN shows Trump lying they show the video. Also, looking up the longer video on YouTube, CNN has normally done well to keep clips in context.

          Fox cannot make those same claims. And yes I watch a lot of both. Fox has called out some of Trump’s lying but mostly the network exists to aid Trump, not to report the news.

          Interesting point, this “Who’s The Bigger Cable News” game conveniently ignores that the vastly larger audiences do not watch any of them. They tune in to local news channels in much larger numbers than they do cable news.

      2. avatar barnbwt says:

        Obviously. Why else would it be necessary to bring up their crappy ratings & flailing business model before the ‘brass tacks’ of the article in question? This is why I detest political writers, there’s so much ‘feels’ to their content it can get stifling. If you want to cast shade on CNN’s reporting of an issue…why not mention how they are consistently inaccurate and hyperbolic when it comes to guns? It’s both true, and relevant. That they are seeing their income & ratings fall along with every other legacy media platform, is at best tangentially related to their credibility (and far more closely correlated to their entertainment value)

        Yes, the NRA will lose political influence. Hell, I don’t know how you can argue they aren’t nearly irrelevant already. Bumpstocks & Florida, much? Trump humiliating them on national TV with Feinstein, much? Losing your primary figureheads North, Cox, and LaPierre,* much? More & more gun owners waking up & realizing NRA candidate endorsements are far more about seedy fundraising connections than gun policy, and shifting support to effective smaller orgs, much?

        Of course the NRA is losing influence. And that will be the anti-gunners’ worst nightmare before long.

        *He’s still drawing a check but I highly doubt he’s accomplishing much these days besides sewing his golden parachute.

    2. avatar BusyBeef says:

      Well, you lost me and all of my friends as members. So now you have 4,999,999.

      But something tells me I’m not the only one.

      In other news, 2AF and GOA have lots of new members!

    3. avatar enuf says:

      The Swamp has only grown so far. More fetid stinking waters. More sewage pouring in. More reptilian critters with sharp teeth and no sense of discretion.

      And that’s just the White House.

  2. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Oh please.

    You can hook up a dead frog to a battery, and make it jump. But, it is still a dead frog.

    1. avatar Geoff WWJWD - "What would John Wick do?" PR says:

      “All I can think about are thousands of frogs on tiny crutches.”

      Kermit the Frog…

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        remember what they called the dissected dam building rodent?

        https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51uV2QNCEzL.jpg

        1. avatar Geoff WWJWD - "What would John Wick do?" PR says:

          *snicker* 😉

        2. avatar Longhaired Redneck says:

          That is probably my favorite cartoon of all time. Thanks for the link! And now, to our nitpicking festival broadcast already in progress…

      2. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “All I can think about are thousands of frogs on tiny crutches.”
        “Kermit the Frog…

        Nice !

  3. avatar I Haz A Question says:

    Sure are a lot of NRA-related articles across the Internetz these days, with the same comments from readers over and over again. If WLP has any sense, he’ll resign and allow a more recognizable leader to take up the mantle…one who will be immovable in a no-compromise literal approach of the 2A and can rally the troops for 2020. This issue transcends Wayne, Trump, or any other figurehead. This is about directly representing the interests of several million members, and broadly representing ALL Americans. This is about defending our natural right to protect ourselves, period.

    Yes, Wayne needs to go, but I think at this point it’s more because of the widespread perception of his ineptitude instead of any specific transgressions. If the people lose faith in anything (a leader, a currency, etc.), it’s no longer effective. Like it or not, Wayne represents the angst of NRA’s members, and must step down for the long term good of both the organization and our collective fight to defend our rights.

    Enough talk of all this. Just do it already.

    1. avatar UpInArms says:

      ” one who will be immovable in a no-compromise literal approach of the 2A … directly representing the interests of several million members, and broadly representing ALL Americans. ”

      As a long time member of the NRA (off and on) I got to know a lot of other NRA members. While a substantial number of NRA members do support a no-compromise position, this by no means a universal and monolithic point of view across the entire membership. Sad to say, many– too many– NRA members are more than willing to compromise, as long as it is not their ox that being gored. Installing this magical leader could be a bit of a problem, and if he/she does take over the result could be an even bigger exodus from the NRA than we are seeing now.

      This might not be a bad thing. I would much prefer to see the NRA take a no-compromise position even if it did cause the compromisers to leave the fold. It might just be the easiest and most efficient way to clean house, and hopefully the spineless faction of the organization would take Wayne away with them. It would leave us with a much leaner and meaner machine.

  4. avatar Geoff WWJWD - "What would John Wick do?" PR says:

    At this point, since WLP apparently hasn’t taken the hint to resign, I hope the NY state attorney has the goods on him and charges him with corruption…

    1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

      I think a criminal indictment is the only thing that will force a reorganization of NRA and push WLP out.

      1. avatar Geoff WWJWD - "What would John Wick do?" PR says:

        If that’s what it takes, that’s what it takes.

        Get on with it, NY DA, I ain’t getting any younger…

      2. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

        Perhaps you are correct but if that’s what it takes to drain the NRA’s head swamp creature so be it.
        Wayne La Pee Pee’s golden parachute will do him much good in prison.maybe he can wrap himself up in it at night when big Bubba comes looking for a new girlfriend.

  5. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    The political power that the NRA wields isn’t with Wayne La Pee Pee or the BOD,it rests in the members and Americans,the Communist News Network can disregard this principle at their own peril.

  6. avatar Wiregrass says:

    Just as WLP must go before NRA gets anymore donations, Don Lemon must go before I will even look at something with a CNN logo on it. I haven’t watched or read anything CNN since Don Lemon made excuses for those Chicago hoodlums that beat up a mentally handicapped man just because he was wearing a Trump shirt.

  7. avatar Texas Gun Vault says:

    For the preservation of our 2nd Amendment rights and the future of the NRA, I pray WLP will do what is best for gun owners and the NRA and step aside. He has already made his money and should go away and just spend his twilight years in retirement away from politics.

    I implore him to do what is right for the greater good and not for himself.

  8. avatar former water walker says:

    CNN got a few things right…”stopped clock”. Old Wayne’s gotta’ go!

  9. avatar Victoria Illinois says:

    The only reason CNN has any viewers (ratings) is that it’s seen at the airports and car dealers and medical/dental offices and BestBuy and some bars.

  10. avatar Buellfuel says:

    Yeah, but, the NRA has been losing influence steadily over the years by not involving itself in pro firearm issues, most recently the bump stock ban and red flag laws. Now with the mainstream reporting of abuses of the organization by the upper echelon of the NRA they have lost this life member completely. I now only contribute to the GOA ot FPC and other local actual pro firearm groups. The heck with the Fudd mentality. Long live the Republic!

  11. avatar Dr. Michael S. Brown says:

    The real question is if the LaPierre faction will hold on until the NRA is driven into bankruptcy. That would be the biggest possible gift to the gun grabbers.

    Ideally, they would all resign tomorrow and let the next generation of NRA leaders get the organization in shape for the 2020 election.

  12. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

    Unfortunately CNN is right on the money (pun intended) Without huge amounts of NRA payola to prostitute Congressmen the Prostitutes will go where the money is and that is in the pocket of Michael Bloomberg and his anti-gun crusade. Big money donators are abandoning the NRA and its sometime members are using the turmoil in the NRA as an excuse to save a few pennies and not support nor renew their membership. As can always be expected gun owners are always their own worst enemies and the News Media is having a field day reveling in the demise of the NRA and its former low I.Q. members who have now abandoned it.

    Trumps failure as a President and even as a human being has turned millions of people who formerly voted for him sour on supporting him again. The Farmers who have really gotten the shaft with his idiotic trade war with China are out to vote him out of office and the Auto Industry workers have seen the price of their autos go up because of the rise in the price of steel and sales go down jeopardizing their job security and they are out to get rid of Trump as well. Trump failed to keep jobs from going overseas and the working man is fed up with his lies and failed promises as well. With a Democratic President and a Democratic House and possibly Democratic Senate gun owners have less chance of survival than a snowball in hell.

    1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

      If anyone has any expertise in being a prostitute, that would be CNN, it’s owners and employees. Most Vlad Tepes’s, or at least, some Vlad Tepes’s have no first hand knowledge of this subject matter. I would like to point out, you are a fake Vlad Tepes. I am the First among all Vlad Tepes’s and if you do not stop it, you will never, ever get to wear big girl panties, or come to my birthday.

      The author is correct. The perception of the political class regarding the NRA’s political power originates in it’s membership and others who vote their guns. It is nonsensical to prattle on about the demise of the NRA.

      THE REAL VLAD TEPES

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        invalid teepees.

    2. avatar Newshawk says:

      So, Vlad, you’ve painted a dire picture. It leaves me with one question–what would you propose doing about the situation?

    3. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

      The NRA is dead and has been dying for the past 5 years. Their influence is highly suspect as CNN says and CNN is the most respected news network on the planet. How can you Jethro’s question someone like Anderson Cooper? The demise of the right wing is accelerating and the first thing to fall will be gun owners rights – they’ll be none. The children of the right will be turned and that will be the beginning of an absolute and total ban on guns in this country. People will live peacefully and without fear of the aggression and violent nature associated with gun owners

      Kamala Harris will be the new go to president in 2021. So far she is the only democratic candidate with a solid plan to take down the 2nd Amendment. I don’t trust Biden for the simple fact that he is another white man with powerful white friends. I also don’t believe AOC has the war chest to compete with Kamala. But I do like her as an alternative. The focus of the 2020 campaigns should be to insure that a POC gets in the white house. It is of paramount importance that whites do not influence our course as a country. Don’t worry about congress and the senate as democrats will take both in a landslide.

      CNN, the most trusted name in news will be the motto of the new democratic/socialist presidency in 2021.

  13. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    The simple truth is that CNN confuses the actual membership of the NRA with the people who believe in the ideals that they represent even if they aren’t faithfully executed. Whether or not you believe the NRA lives up to those ideals is another topic but it doesn’t even matter truthfully.

    The idea of gun ownership in private hands to prevent a monopoly of force by our government is a good thing as perceived by many, many people.

  14. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    Brilliant, they must LaPierre and National Rifle Association are synonyms! They aren’t.

  15. avatar TFred says:

    Other coverage:

    https://www.libertyparkpress.com/gun-control-lobby-executive-blunt-about-challenge-facing-2a-faithful/

    “Buried 46 paragraphs into a Saturday report posted by CNN that details the cable news network’s perspective on the current chaos swirling around the National Rifle Association is a statement by the head of the nation’s wealthiest gun prohibition lobbying group that should put gun owners on full alert.

    The quote is from John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, the Michael Bloomberg-supported organization that has weaponized its progenitor’s wealth in the crusade to what critics believe is the unilateral disarmament of law-abiding American gun owners. Their target, gun owners fear, is the end of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, regulating it like a government-granted privilege and slowly wringing it out of the national fabric.

    Here’s what Feinblatt said, as the NRA drama continues in Virginia and across social media:

    “Gun safety is going to be a defining issue for 2020,” Feinblatt said. “The gun safety movement has never been stronger and the gun rights movement has never been weaker.”
    Underestimating the gravity of Feinblatt’s analysis could prove devastating for the nation ‘s 100 million-plus gun owners, especially millions of Second Amendment purists.”

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Wow, and to think they were dead, withered, and beaten in January 2017…and HPA, Reciprocity, and the striking down of import-bans were on the horizon, along with a more reasonable ATF, and a Second Amendment Council dedicated to presenting our issues to the most pro-gun president ever elected.

      What happened? Oh yeah, a certain someone on ‘our’ side blinks after every mass-media shooting frenzy.

  16. avatar Enuf says:

    The 1948 Dewey Beats Truman fiasco was an error in polling guesswork back when paper and ink needed time to get thru the presses and onto the streets. It was not “Fake News”, it was a flat out mistake and they admitted it at the time.

  17. avatar Alan says:

    Might CNN’s comments on the NRA be indicative of wishful thinking on the part of CNN?

  18. avatar Anymouse says:

    If AARP went bankrupt, would politicians ignore the over 55 crowd? NRA’s financial contributions to candidates is miniscule compared to big contributors. NRA isn’t in the top 100 lobbyists or 51 campaign contributors. You’ll find insurance, real estate, pharma, unions, billionaires, tech, finance, etc. NRA’s influence is because they are a proxy for all gun owners, not just the dues payers.

  19. avatar Fudds McKenzie says:

    The NRA’s power to persuade may have declined, but that doesn’t mean the rank and file will stop toeing the party line. It’s like releasing the parking brake on a car, it might move but only if it has somewhere to go and is forced. The average NRA member is content with the RNC product just as it is right now, and the few who aren’t still can’t imagine an alternative to voting R.

    Reduced influence for the NRA just means they’ll have a problem if (1) they stay week for 20 years, as a certain generation’s political capitol fades or (2) the RNC decides to toss them under the bus.

  20. avatar Mikial says:

    This is what the Liberals want, for all of us in the 2A community to turn on each other.

    “And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” Mark 3:25

    We all need to stick together. Demand WLP steps down for the good of the cause, but never abandon the NRA or each other. Do not let the antis divide us.

    1. avatar Fudds McKenzie says:

      This is what I want. Half of the nominally pro gun side are unpleasant, ineffectual and dump their personal baggage on the RKBA cause. They need a time out, until they learn to be more considerate and less useless.

  21. avatar Bierce Ambrose says:

    CNN emits swamp gas on developments w/ NRA. Details at … oh, you know what they’re gonna say.

  22. avatar ScottMc says:

    The ever more frantic appeals for money because NRA needs it to defend itself, or in return for some Chinese trinket, from LaPierre suggests to me that he might be getting the message. Getting him and his henchmen (and women) out in the next few months should remedy much of what ails NRA.

    Never doubt the power of the phrase: “he (or she) doesn’t work here any more,” especially when laws or regulations are violated.

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