NYDN Editor: NRA Terrorizing ‘Innocent American People’

‘The lobby that he [Wayne LaPierre] represents, to us, is a form of terrorism, because it terrorizes the safety of innocent American people’

STELTER: “The next day, your cover was titled, ‘He’s a Terrorist,’ and then you showed other people you called terrorists, including the head of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre. At what point do you all actually approach the line toward hate speech?”
RICH: “I think hate speech is -- I think we’re going a little too far right now at this — if you’re going to label that cover hate speech. Again, we were just pointing out –“
STELTER: “I’m just trying to put myself in Wayne LaPierre’s shoes. He wakes up, he see a tabloid newspaper cover –“
RICH: “Sure.”
STELTER: “-- distributed all around New York and online, all around the world, with his face with the word terrorist.” 
RICH: “And, once again, the point of that cover was to make sure that we, again, do not shift the conversation, which would have been very easy, to solely speaking about the terror angle on the shooting at San Bernardino, which 100 percent it was. But the bigger point is, there is a — this was tied to the gun violence issue. Now, as far as Mr. LaPierre is concerned, we have spent the better part of three weeks reaching out to him every day. We have extended the offer for him to write an op-ed for us which would appear in our paper and online. And we have heard nothing. So, the stonewalling and the bait and switch that goes on by the lobby — from the lobby that he represents, to us, is a form of terrorism, because it terrorizes the safety of innocent American people.”
STELTER: “You received so much attention online for this next cover. This was a few days after all of your gun crusade covers. This was one that says, ‘Everything Is Awesome.’ It was obviously satire. But tell us why you all decided to go in this direction.” 
RICH: “We had been receiving a significant amount of criticism, as you have just pointed out, for several of the back pages and calling attention to the lack of debate and true resolution or solutions to the issue that we’re facing. So, we thought, well, OK, look, we have tried hitting people over the head with this. We have tried being as blunt as we can. Some people just don’t want to talk about it. So, why don’t we just give them what they want?”
STELTER: “Which is puppies.” 
RICH: “Puppies and everything is awesome, sort of, that — and it ties in nicely to the whole — if you saw ‘The LEGO Movie.’”
STELTER: “So, what is the secret to a great ‘Daily News’ cover? What is the difference between just a good cover and a great cover people remember?”
RICH: “It has to be something that people are already fired up about. That isn’t 100 percent the case. But that goes a long way. A great image also, as illustrated by Mr. Bramhall’s cartoon on Trump, is also incredibly important. But you have got to find the words. And you have got to frame them — and it’s got to be framed in way that’s going to just give you that punch in the gut. And it’s either going to give that punch in the gut, and it’s going to make you angry, or it’s going to make you sad, or it’s going to make you happy. But it’s going to illicit some sort of emotion. And that in turn, hopefully, leads to some sort of further thought on the issue. 
STELTER: “Jim Rich, thank you so much for being here.” 
RICH: “Thanks for having me, Brian.”


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