NRA’s ‘Elitist Hypocrite Obama’ Ad Called Out By Fact-Checkers

A National Rifle Association (NRA) advert claiming President Obama’s daughters enjoy the protection of armed guards at their school has been called “cowardly,” “repugnant,” and “reprehensible“.

It also seems the 35-second TV spot is plain false.

The NRA’s latest ad, which began airing last week (and is embedded below), asks viewers:

“Are the president’s kids more important than yours? Then why he is skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school?”

In a longer 4-minute video presentation posted on its website, the NRA criticizes Obama for what it see as “elitist” hypocrisy, claiming:

“The school Obama’s daughters attend has 11 armed guards.”

The only problem with that? Sidwell Friends, the private Quaker school attended by Sasha and Malia Obama, has precisely zero armed guards. Writing on the Washington Post‘s Fact Checker blog, Glenn Kessler reveals:

“We spoke to parents who said they had never seen a guard on campus with a weapon. And Ellis Turner, associate head of Sidwell Friends, told us emphatically: ‘Sidwell Friends security officers do not carry guns.’ “

As the above screenshot shows, the source of the NRA’s erroneous information is a December 24 article — this one, to be precise. writer A.W.R. Hawkins incorrectly reported:

“Obama sends his kids to a school where armed guards are used as a matter of fact. The school, Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC, has 11 security officers and is seeking to hire a new police officer as we speak.”

It seems likely Hawkins retrieved his information from Sidwell Friends’ online staff directory, which lists 11 people as working in the Security Department at the school. He evidently failed to check whether any carry guns.

The NRA’s inaccurate advert was given a rating of four Pinocchios by the Fact Checker blog, a number reserved for “whoppers.” You can read Kessler’s full assessment here.