Longtime National Rifle Association (NRA) board member Ted Nugent shared an article on his official Facebook page that promoted a right-wing conspiracy theory discrediting the Parkland school shooting survivors who are currently calling for gun regulation as “coached” actors.
In a Tuesday Facebook post, less than a week after the shooting, Nugent shared a Natural News article, titled, “It’s all THEATER: Florida high school shooting survivor caught on video rehearsing scripted lines, coached by camera man.”
The article claims that “It’s all scripted, in other words, to push a gun control narrative rooted in emotional reaction rather than constructive solutions” and includes the tags “false-flag” and “hoax.” It goes on to claim, without providing any evidence, that “these kids were coached to repeat scripted lines, just like actors reading lines for a movie production.”
Media Matters notes that the “bulk of the article is a reprint of Lucian Wintrich’s post at The Gateway Pundit, which first started spreading the conspiracy theory.”
Beneath the article, Nugent appears to have “liked” a comment from a follower, which read, “He is NOT a student! He is 26 years old and is a paid crisis actor. News organizations hire him to be a scripted witness or survivor. He has been at multiple shootings as a ‘survivor’. He is also a meth user recently arrested in South Carolina.”
Nugent also “liked” several other user comments, including one that claimed Facebook was erasing stories about the “crisis actor” conspiracy theories because the social media platform “does not like it when liberals get caught using tragedies for their political agendas,” as well as another that claimed, “Something [fishy] is going on here… SMH,” reports ThinkProgress.
Media Matters adds:
Nugent promoted similar conspiracy theories after the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, CT, claiming that no assault weapons were used in the elementary school shooting despite the fact that authorities confirmed the shooting was carried out with a Bushmaster AR-15 assault weapon.
As recently as February 2016, there were calls for Nugent to resign from the NRA board after he shared a Facebook image claiming prominent Jewish figures were the ones “really behind gun control.”