Many may recall with fondness the Mad magazine cartoon Spy vs. Spy, involving two lookalike deadly agents, black versus white, continually engaged in plots to destroy the other (with apologies to William Barr). VoxFairfax previously reported (March 17, Dumbing Down to the New Normal) on the internecine struggle at the NRA involving its television production agency, which depicted Thomas & Friends cartoon trains hooded in KKK regalia. But into every family some disputes must arise: Now, it appears that the intrigue on Waples Mill Road has intensified and involves allegations of family conflicts and rumbling questions concerning the organization’s leadership under Oliver North.
The NRA has filed a lawsuit against the company that, for three decades, has produced its so-called “branded news”—including the aforementioned Thomas piece and the iconic line from Charlton Heston about prying his gun from his “cold, dead hands”; the company also manages the NRATV program. North, as previously reported, has a contractual deal with Ackerman McQueen, the Oklahoma-based media company, in addition to his compensated position as NRA president, further compounding the relationship. For unknown reasons, Ackerman has refused to disclose the details of that agreement, along with resistance to responding to demands for other financial information regarding its relationship with the client NRA.
As it turns out, outside counsel for the NRA is a family relative of two of Ackerman’s senior officers, causing an allegation of a conflict of interests. Just whose conflict is not certain. The Spy vs. Spy and incest issues join several other major concerns facing the goliath on Waples Mill, including a challenge to its New York State tax-exempt status concerning an insurance program for gun owners. It may be said that these complications are not nearly as byzantine nor sensational as North’s Iran-Contra affair but, as the suit alleges, the “NRA’s patience has run out.” On the other hand, North escaped felony convictions in the Iran-Contra affair with the assistance of the ACLU which divine intervention appears not in the cards in this imbroglio..
There have been no public or safety warning statements issued by state or county officials about potential dangers that this strife might pose to tourists, residents, or businesses in the area. Although the Trump administration has loudly and clearly condemned spying, the nefarious activity has not been inflamed by incest and intrigue to this extent in a civilian environment. Perhaps, following resolution of this dispute, as some fans and critics of the NRA have suggested, the organization’s museum might mount a diorama of the warring factions depicting the struggle.