Last week, I wrote that Motor City Madman made a mistake by posting an anti-semitic meme on Facebook, which implied that Jews were behind the movement to restrict the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners.
This week, it appears I was right in my assessment, as Uncle Ted admitted that what he did was “irresponsible” and that the meme was, indeed, “offensive.”
“I sincerely apologize for my irresponsible re-posting of such a nasty and offensive meme,” Nugent told The Zelman Partisans, a pro-gun, pro-Jewish organization in an email interview.
“In my rush between songwriting jams and musical recording frenzy, all I saw was the images of people dedicated to disarm us, I made no connection whatsoever to any religious affiliation,” continued Nugent.
The Motor City Madman then went on to say that he doesn’t harbor any hatred toward Jewish people.
“Everyone knows deep down that at 67 years of age I didn’t suddenly become anti-Semitic,” he said. “That’s patently ridiculous, and those who rushed to such a mistaken condemning judgement should re-examine the system by which such equally irresponsible knee-jerk judgments are made.”
For the record, I never said that Ted was antisemitic. What I did say that was Nugent made a mistake and that his inability to recognize the discriminatory import of the meme made me question his judgment. After all, how could anyone not see that what he posted was, indeed, bigoted?
“Jew York City Mayor Mikey Bloomberg,” says the quote over the face of the former NYC mayor. At the bottom of the photo of Sen. Frank Lautenberg, it read, “Gave Russian Jew Immigrants your tax money.”
But whatever. Ted says he didn’t see the obvious connection, so I’ll take him at his word. Everyone makes mistakes. Plus, as he admitted, he is older, he is very busy and he is a rock star — so, maybe, one should grant him additional latitude for foot-in-mouth behavior.
Then again, one could certainly argue that as a board member of the National Rifle Association, the nation’s most powerful lobby, which represents over 5 million gun owners, Ted should be held to a higher standard. Given his clout within the industry, he should know better.
For me though, I’m done with all this Ted talk. Pointing the finger at him only serves to distract us from our real enemies out there — yes, many of the people pictured in that meme, no, not because their Jewish, but because they’re anti-gun!
I will close by addressing one other point, Ted’s lamentation that more pro-gun folks didn’t reach out to him directly for a comment or an explanation on why he did what he did.
“The real tragedy is how many who claim to be on the side of freedom so viciously attacked me with zero effort to communicate with me directly as you [The Zelman Partisans] so honorably did,” said Ted. “For that I thank and salute you.”
Two things, first, Facebook is a direct way to communicate with an audience, be it the media or the public. It’s directly from the horse’s mouth. And, after posting that “offensive” (his words) meme, Ted followed up with a subsequent post that was rather cryptic in that it expressed no remorse or contrition. Instead, it blamed readers who took offense.
To quote from the post, “Just when you hope that mankind couldnt possibly get any dumber or more dishonest, superFreaks rise to the occasion. What sort of racist prejudiced POS could possibly not know that Jews for guncontrol are nazis in disguise?”
That’s clearly not what the meme was suggesting, rather this was Ted’s interpretation. And we’re dumb for not understanding this? I don’t think so. The onus is on Ted to communicate and clarify his message.
It should’ve been rather evident by the thousands of negative comments that Ted received on Facebook that there was a discrepancy between what Ted wanted to say about those in the meme versus what the meme was actually saying. Instead of immediately apologizing, Ted stood his ground and pointed the finger at those offended by the meme for not getting it.
Second, the last time I reached out to Ted for an interview, shortly before SHOT Show 2016, I received the following response, “Greetings from Tedquarters. Mr. Nugent is traveling at present, and we are not attending SHOT this year.” I then sent some brief questions for him to answer via email. He never got back to me, which is fine. I get it. He’s busy. And, this is not the first time a celebrity has not answered questions I’ve sent them (nor will it be the last).
But my point is simply this, it’s a two-way street. If Ted had a problem with what I had written, then he can contact me too. As far as I was concerned, he had said what he had wanted to say on Facebook. Again, it wasn’t just one post, but several posts where he essentially doubled down on the initial one. And it was directly from his mouth, not from a journalist or newspaper covering a story. Why would I ask him for a quote when he was continuously addressing the matter on Facebook?
At the end of the day, this whole ordeal is on Ted — not on anyone else. He made the mistake. He paid for it, I’m sure (some of those comments from fans and former fans were pretty harsh). And, now, he has apologized for it. I’m ready to move on from this story. How about you? Let’s come together and continue to fight the good fight. What do you say?