Headline RoundupJune 22nd, 2022

Eric Greitens 'RINO Hunting' Ad: Call for Violence, or Harmless Metaphor?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

A graphic campaign ad from a Missouri Senate candidate made waves across the political spectrum this week.

Eric Greitens (R), a former governor of Missouri, posted an ad for his 2022 Senate campaign encouraging voters to get their "RINO Hunting Permit." RINO is slang for "Republican in Name Only," a title given to some Republicans who other Republicans accuse of betraying the party. Holding a shotgun and following an armed tactical team as they break a door down and enter a house, Greitens says in the ad that the "permit" has "no bagging limit, no tagging limit, and it doesn’t expire until we save our country."

Many Democratic and some Republican lawmakers, including Greitens' primary opponents, condemned the ad. Greitens defended the ad later and said, "Every normal person around the state of Missouri saw that. It’s clearly a metaphor." Facebook and Twitter were among the internet platforms to censor the video for policy violations.

Voices across the spectrum criticized the ad. One Washington Examiner opinion said Greitens was a "bad candidate" and that "given the recent mass shootings in this country, an ad that features firearms and talks about hunting people because of their political beliefs is an awful look." One opinion from Daily Beast (Left bias) said the ad was "a dumb, dangerous troll." Reports from left- and center-rated news sources often highlighted criticism of the ad. Right-rated news sources focused more on Greitens' defense of the ad and social media platforms' decision to censor it.

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