Samantha Bee Explains the NRA's Current Crisis on 'Full Frontal' - Rolling Stone
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Watch Samantha Bee Revel in NRA’s Disarray

Full Frontal host shows how money problems, power struggles are tearing the gun lobby apart

Samantha Bee dissected the chaos, infighting and money woes consuming the National Rifle Association on Full Frontal Wednesday.

In recent weeks, a power struggle broke out between longtime NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre and recently ousted NRA president Oliver North (whose previous hits include the Iran-Contra affair). LaPierre has accused North of trying to blackmail him into resigning from his post, threatening to leak damaging information such as allegations against a staff member of sexual harassment and spending half-a-million dollars on clothes and travel. But as Bee pointed out, much of the mounting tension within the NRA has to do with the conflict between the organization and its ad agency, Ackerman McQueen.

AckMac, as its called, has been doing PR for the NRA since the early Eighties. Their recent ventures include NRATV — an online TV channel that’s descended from pro-gun programming to all out culture war conspiracy theories — and Carry Guard, which is basically, as Bee quipped, “insurance if you murder someone.”  Neither venture, however has proven to be particularly profitable yet the NRA is hemorrhaging over $40 million a year on AckMac.

Bee noted that the NRA has essentially been operating in the red for seven of the last 11 years, and ironically, some of their current money problems are related to the election of President Donald Trump. The lobby sunk over $50 million into the 2016 election, but since Trump arrived in the White House, NRA membership dues have plummeted.

“Without a president threatening to take away their guns, members are less motivated to pay up,” Bee said, before cracking, “It’s like how my college boyfriend only went down on me when I threatened to dump him, so I threatened to dump him twice a day. Gun owners just no longer feel the need to eat out the NRA and I know that’s a gross, unfair metaphor and I apologize. We checked with our research department and they confirmed — nobody in the NRA has ever been eaten out.”


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