News and Analysis

NBC Reporter Asks Secret Service If ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ AR-15 Part Is Threatening
WASHINGTON D.C.--SEPT. 9, 2013--KEN DILANIAN, staff member of the Los Angeles Times via Getty Images Washington D.C. bureau.
Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

In the last 24 hours a former Clinton administration press secretary has equated people who say “Let’s Go, Brandon” with ISIS members, ex-CBS News anchor Dan Rather has warned the phrase may lead to “violence,” and an NBC reporter has contacted the Secret Service to determine if novelty AR-15 parts bearing the anti-Biden phrase should be considered a threat to the president’s safety.

On Monday, MSNBC’s Joe Fryer boasted of “exclusive reporting on a dangerous way gun dealers are marketing their weapons including violent threats against President Biden.” Palmetto State Armory, a South Carolina-based firearms supplier, offers customers the lower part of an AR-15 engraved with the words “Let’s Go, Brandon” beneath a carving of what appears to be President Joe Biden with his arms outstretched above the checkered racing flag of NASCAR. Two other outlets have stocked AR-15 magazines with the phrase, one with a picture of a mask-clad President Biden raising his index finger, the other bearing an addled-looking caricature of the president.

“Gun dealers are marketing weapon parts and ammunition using a right-wing slogan widely understood as code for profanity directed at President Joe Biden,” reported NBC News reporter Ken Dilanian, whom Fryer introduced.

“A spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, which investigates threats against the president, declined to comment,” Dilanian added. He concluded his report by saying, “The fact that a code phrase for profaning the U.S. president is being used to market guns and ammunition suggests that the rage on display on January 6 has not subsided.”

On Twitter, he continued equating the chanting of “Let’s Go, Brandon” with dangerous threats on Twitter. “I called the Secret Service about this. They had no comment,” Dilanian tweeted. When Twitter users mocked Dilanian for calling the Secret Service over a meme, Dilanian dug in his heels. “I called to ask the Secret Service whether they consider ‘F—Joe Biden’ emblazoned on an assault rifle to represent a security threat to the president. Which I think is a reasonable question,” Delanian replied.

The firearms industry has little love for Biden who, as a senator, drafted a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” specifically including the AR-15. The 1994 “crime bill” also banned the manufacture of new, “high-capacity” magazines, which contain more than 10 rounds.

Dilanian was joined by others who attempted to paint the use of a political slogan as a form of domestic terrorism.

“You know who also had coded statements like Brandon? ISIS, the Klan, Nazi’s…beginning to get the point?” tweeted Joe Lockhart, the former White House press secretary for President Bill Clinton and a current CNN political analyst. (Lockhart’s father, Raymond Lockhart, also served as director of NBC’s nightly news program, “The Huntley-Brinkley Report.”)

The broad-brush accusation drew instant condemnation. “You know who else drank water,” responded Jessica O’Donnell of The Blaze.

Dave Rubin playfully took Lockhart’s statement apart, saying, “Brandon is here. We love him. You will not stop him.”

Twitter indicates that Lockhart subsequently deleted his tweet.

A third media figure, former CBS News anchor Dan Rather, joined in the fray by saying the “chant perfectly encapsulates the rot and unseriousness of the Republican [P]arty – like the smart-aleck in the classroom who adds nothing but juvenile taunts and distractions.” He wrote in his Substack newsletter, “The unseemliness of this is so grotesque. … Immature vulgarity, fueled by bigotry, misogyny, sanctimony, privilege, unseriousness, flippancy, and ignorance, is what is animating the former president, his base, and thus by extension the entire Republican party over which he rules.”

“This is more than just words,” Rather wrote. “Hateful speech has a way of becoming violent action.”

Their actions continue days of focused media condemnation of the phrase, which stands for “F*** Joe Biden,” which often bleeds over into a hateful caricature of the many people who have said it at sporting events and other venues.

CNN analyst Asha Rangappa compared the phrase to someone saying, “Long Live ISIS.” The Washington Post said the phrase — which has been chanted at sporting events and mass rallies of all kinds — proves President Biden has had to endure “far more vulgar and widespread” criticism than any other recent president.

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But Ben Shapiro said the legacy media’s paroxysms over the phrase had another explanation.

“The media panic over ‘Let’s Go, Brandon!’ underscores a simple fact: Biden’s popularity may be the only thing standing between Democrats and ruin,” Shapiro wrote. “Their agenda is unpopular. Waiting in the wings is an unpopular VP. If people really dislike Biden, they’ve got serious problems.”

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  NBC Reporter Asks Secret Service If ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ AR-15 Part Is Threatening