(The Klan thing actually happened. NRATV host Dana Loesch was trying to make a statement about Thomas and Friends trying to be more ethnically and gender inclusive and how she didn't like it.)
NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch portrays 'Thomas and Friends' with KKK hoods: NRATV host Dana Loesch stirred controversy by using an edited image of "Thomas & Friends" cartoon characters wearing Ku Klux Klan hoods on her show "Relentless." https://t.co/Xdk3xz49oI pic.twitter.com/r0HhZ0vNa2— Jobs in Kansas (@hire_Kansas) September 15, 2018
Ackerman McQueen repeatedly refused to provide viewership data to NRA officials, according to the suit, and made inflated sponsorship and viewership claims in meetings with the gun rights group as well, according to the suit. The ad firm frequently double-billed the NRA, according to the suit, and continues unauthorized use of the "NRA's intellectual property rights."
In response to the suit, Ackerman McQueen lays the blame — or credit, depending on your perspective — for NRATV's content at the feet of NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre, who the ad agency says is now "grovel(ing) at the feet of the media (he) used to decry."
“LaPierre controlled every aspect of NRATV for which he recruited talent, approved every budget, audited every metric and required ultimate confidentiality. Ackerman McQueen routinely offered and toward the end of the relationship demanded that an outside firm audit NRATV performance but LaPierre refused. Unlike the NRA, AMc welcomes full transparency," Ackerman McQueen said in a statement to The Daily Beast.
Whatever the merits of the NRA's lawsuit, the feelings the organization purports to have had about NRATV are striking. At the NRA's annual meeting in 2018 at Dallas' Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, the streaming service's shows and personalities were among the stars of the show. The network covered the festivities live, and Loesch was given a prime speaking spot during the event's President Donald Trump-starring leadership forum.
As the crowds at the forum waited between speakers and entertainment, they were bombarded by segments from network personalities, including Loesch's infamous "Violence of Lies" ad and another video showing conservative commentator Dan Bongino putting a batch of lemons meant to symbolize CNN's Don Lemon into a blender to "make Lemon-aide." Every time one of the videos concluded, the crowd roared. It wasn't because they were offended.