The Nuge: blunt, sometimes crass, but definitely NOT a Jew hater

I will admit that as a former AFN disc jockey and rock fan, I was more than a little perturbed when last week rocker and Second Amendment firebrand Ted Nugent posted a clearly anti-Semitic graphic on his Facebook page.

As someone who is involved in the gun rights movement with the Zelman Partisans, the best Jewish gun rights group in the United States today, I couldn’t believe I was so wrong about someone! As I wrote at the Zelman Partisans today, I was one of those fans who was understandably upset. Was Ted implying that Jews were somehow responsible for the demise of our freedoms? Was he an anti-Semite? Is Ted prejudiced in some way against Jews? Has Ted become a liability to the gun rights movement?

And then I talked to Ted.

Yeah, I spoke to Ted Nugent on the phone several times, and we emailed a bunch as well. My son was green with jealousy, but thought I was the coolest mom ever. As a former radio DJ, I was a bit star struck myself, but more than anything, I wanted to know the truth. I wanted to know what was up. And as one of the founders of the Zelman Partisans, I thought we had a responsibility to get the whole story, because no one else bothered.

See, everyone was quick to condemn Ted. The National Review Online called Nugent a disgrace to the gun rights movement. Every media outlet screeched about Ted’s alleged anti-Semitism. Even other gun rights groups, such as Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership jumped onto the “Ted is an anti-Semite” bandwagon.

But folks, Ted Nugent is far from it.

Yes, he’s blunt. Yes, he can be crass. He may even give me a run for my money in the cursing department, although I still say I win by a nose! But at no time has he ever exhibited any kind of hateful, bigoted, or anti-Semitic streak. As he told me on the phone, he doesn’t care if you’re black, white, orange, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish or green! What he cares about is freedom and defending it from those who would threaten it!

So why didn’t this obvious anti-Semitic graphic raise any red flags to anyone else? Why didn’t anyone contact Ted for a statement, and why did everyone rush to condemn him? I told him it was because it’s become en vogue to immediately knee jerk into condemnations. The quicker, the better, because if you’re not fast enough to issue an appalled statement, you may be viewed as an extremist by association.

“It didn’t even occur to me,” he explained. He said he didn’t look at that graphic closely. He just wanted to explain that Jewish people who forget history and try to disarm Americans should remember the Holocaust. He just wanted to show who these politicians who are attempting to infringe on our rights are. He didn’t even think about what that graphic represented.

Ted is a lot of fun. He has a lot of energy, and he goes about a mile a minute. So having had a couple of conversations with him, I can see how this happened. I’m not excusing it, and neither is he. The first time we talked, he was on his way to speak to a youth group, so we chatted for a while as he drove. I explained that there was no way around it. That graphic was the product of an anti-Semitic site called “The Jewish Problem” (No, I’m not linking to it. Find it yourselves if you want to puke in your own mouths.) I told him that I wasn’t being politically correct when I told him that graphic was chock full of anti-Semitic crap.

And when I told him that the graphic brought some pretty nasty anti-Semites to the Zelman Partisans’ doorstep, including one conspiritard claiming that Jews were behind the 9-11 attacks and another one posting a comment so vile about Jews, that we altered it in a way that truly reflected his love for der Fuhrer, Ted seemed pretty upset.

“Oh, man,” he replied quietly. “Can I call you tomorrow and we’ll fix this together?”

Does this sound like someone who is in any way an anti-Semite?

Does this sound like someone who hates Jews?

Talking to a Jewish woman, from a Jewish organization dedicated to preserving our freedoms, Ted Nugent was anything but defiant about using the image on his page. He was contrite. He acknowledged he jumped the gun without doing his research, and he was genuine about not realizing what that graphic was. “I just never saw it that way,” he told me.

We chatted for a bit longer, and texted the next day. Today, Ted gave me a call and we discussed how to best address this and set the record straight. I told him the best way was to own it. Admit he fucked up and explain what he really meant to say.

And that’s exactly what he did. No excuses.

ted-nugent-flag-guitar-220x275“Can I say oy vey?” he wrote. “I sincerely apologize for my irresponsible re-posting of such a nasty and offensive meme. In my rush between songwriting jams and musical recording frenzy all I saw was the images of people dedicated to disarm us, I made no connection whatsoever to any religious affiliation. Everyone knows deep down that at 67 years of age I didn’t suddenly become anti-Semitic. That’s patently ridiculous, and those who rushed to such a mistaken condemning judgement should re-examine the system by which such equally irresponsible knee-jerk judgments are made.”

Look, our rights are too precious to alienate allies as dedicated as Ted Nugent. He’s been a steadfast voice and fighter for our Second Amendment freedoms for decades. No, he’s not politically correct. Yes, he’s sometimes brash. And yes, he is human, and he will make mistakes. This was one.

But the Ted Nugent with whom I spoke is also kind, funny, generous, and sincere. He doesn’t sugarcoat, and he doesn’t mince words. I guess that’s part of why I do like him so much. At the same time, he’s also a critical and very powerful voice for our Second Amendment rights, and shutting him up and unceremoniously tossing him out of the gun rights movement hurts no one but ourselves.

As I was writing this post, I got an email from Ted, and I want to post it here in its entirety. Read it, and make your own judgments.

Besides trespassers and dopers and assorted criminal punks, I’ve never intentionally set out to hurt or offend anyone. The gun gluttons who pay attention to my 50 plus years modus operandi know very well how my take no prisoners hyperbole valve runs wide open.

I will continue to point out when our society and culture has a booger dangling out of its nose. To ignore that would be shirking my responsibility as a citizen who is supposed to be engaged in this unique and sacred experiment in self-government.

I will not be muzzled.

The road to hell is paved with political correctness and the abject denial and dishonesty that goes with it. It is a self-inflicted cancer that causes some Americans to cower in the corner, afraid to say what they really think lest they be labeled, ridiculed and scorned by political correctness goon squads whose goal is to stamp out speech and ideas that differ from their own. I’m not afraid.

To the innocent who have been offended or hurt by something I said or wrote, please accept my heartfelt and sincere apology. My words were not, and will never be, directed at you. Only the guilty need feel guilty.

You will continue to find me in the public arena of ideas where the dust and sweat is swirling. Come along if you dare.

Ted Nugent

29 responses

  1. Glad to read this. I wondered if Ted Nugent had gone round the bend in old age or was shacking up with Roger Waters. It just didn’t add up — I had trouble seeing him as a judeophobe.

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    1. He’s not. I’m so glad, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. Thank you for writing it. Love The Nuge!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do too. I was honored to have been asked to contact him. The guy is more down to earth than many other celebrities I’ve met over the years as a DJ! He’s just so much fun!!!

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  3. The graphic was vile, the text accompanying the pictures was vile, the very prominent Israeli flag on each picture was vile. Last I checked, a couple of days after the thing posted, it was still up, and about half the comments it attracted were extremely vile. The graphic quite obviously came from where it came from. (Yes, the people in the pictures aren’t anything to brag about either…) I did not notice any responses to the vile comments from Mr. Nugent to the effect of “brother, you misunderstood what I meant”.

    How could this be innocent? I do not ask this rhetorically. I visit your blog sometimes via Instapundit, and rather enjoy reading your views and your occasionally salty style. And I ask, how this could be innocent?

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    1. OK, I think you need to understand a bit about Ted. He literally goes a mile a minute, and yes, sometimes he doesn’t think. He just posts. He seemed really upset when I explained to him where the meme came from and how it attracted some seriously nasty anti-Semites. He grew really quiet – and if you know Ted, that’s just rare – and he said, “Oh man.”

      He literally just didn’t think. He didn’t read the captions. It didn’t occur to him. He actually said to me, “I didn’t even know what a meme was. I had to look it up!” The more I talked to him, the more I realized that as savvy and as wise we are in the ways of the Internet, not everyone pays the same due diligence. It was a mistake. He owned up to it. I’m glad he did.

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    2. You know the man better than I do. If the posting was a misfire, I guess that happens (has he taken it down yet, by the way?). If it was a case of thinking that just because many American Jews are unfortunately a certain way, the rest of us are as well, then maybe even a positive thing: in that case learning took place. From the impression I have of Mr. Nugent, I would not expect him to persist in prejudice if this was an honest mistake and was shown to be such.

      Another incident like this one, and I shall have to respectfully disagree with you, however. Not that it will make much difference to anyone. I do not hunt or listen to Nugent-type music. I will continue to consider the American citizen’s right to arms a precious thing, even if it puts me in company that is not uniformly happy to have me around. Etc.

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      1. Sergei – his thinking was that Jewish people who have forgotten their history and the Holocaust and who are trying to disarm everyone are enemies of freedom. To him, it was freedom vs. anti-freedom (that’s an exact quote). He jumped the gun without thinking what the heck he was posting. Just saw a bunch of gun grabbers who were Jewish and went for it. I doubt he will take anything down. That post includes thousands of his fans taking him to task for it. Taking it down would do nothing, and would probably look like he’s trying to conceal his fuckup. I could be wrong. I don’t know. But that’s the sense I get.

        I would hope he takes the time to closely read what he posts next time. Because you’re right, one time is a forgivable and unfortunate error. Twice is just bad news!

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  4. Thanks for posting the clarification, Nicki. I’m prolly the only guy on the planet without a facebook account, so I don’t know hat the graphic looks like.
    I do know Ted has done a tremendous amount of work with kids.

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  5. […] few points on this fine afternoon. The first is a post from my friend Nicki. The National Review decided to tar and feather Ted Nugent, metaphorically speaking, for some […]

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  6. I have no FB account, either. But I had heard the stories elsewhere.

    Thanks, Nicki. I feel I can trust your take on the situation. Hopefully, Mr. Nugent will be more circumspect in the future about what he puts on the Internet.

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  7. I’m really relieved to hear this.

    That said, Mr. Nugent isn’t the best public face for the Second Amendment Rights Movement, except perhaps as the stick to pair with the carrot.

    As in: If you don’t deal with us (and continue to call us ‘unreasonable’), you’ll turn all of us into HIM. And then try to deal with us. Good luck with THAT.

    I understand him, and know, and like, people like him, but they’re not the people you chose for diplomacy. And I don’t think we’re beyond diplomacy… yet.

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  8. I don’t accuse Ted of being an anti-Semite, nor any other strain of -ist……but it does not make me proud to have him as a prolific figurehead of 2A rights. We win when we’re reasoned and diligent. We lose the Fudd’s and fence-sitters when someone like Ted is trotted out as our representative.

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    1. I think it takes all kinds of people to speak for our rights. Ted has brought hundreds, if not thousands, of people to our cause. He speaks to kids, he teaches. He’s invaluable.

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  9. Someone as passionate as Ted is liable to leap before he looks. My guess is that, when he sees high profile Jewish people like Bloomberg and the execrable Chuck Schumer advocating gun control, he gets frustrated that they of all people should know what can happen when a populace is disarmed. Given that he has no apparent history of anti-Semitism I would say probation at worst. I agree with you Nicki, especially when he took the time to explain to you what his intent was. He was just very clumsy, not evil.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hey, Nikki. I’m a cop, which means I make my living getting one side of a story and then having to dig up the other side and get to the truth. I have learned that there is ALWAYS another explanation for something that looks really out of place, even if it’s not readily apparent. Unfortunately, I have to admit that I forgot that axiom when I saw the post. THANK YOU for taking the time to sort it out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Bill! Good to know police officers like you are out there!

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  11. Any time you see or hear something by “The Motor City Mad Man,” count ten, reflect…….and enjoy! Ted Nugent doesn’t have a bigoted bone in his body. Arrogant? yes. Opinionated? absolutely! But bigoted? NEVER!

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  12. “He may even give me a run for my money in the cursing department, although I still say I win by a nose!”

    Is that supposed to be a Jewish stereotype joke?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Congrats! You just made me burst out laughing!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. […] activist with the Zelman Partisans, a Jewish group dedicated to the right to keep and bear arms — wrote on her blog, The Liberty Zone, that she’s been corresponding with Nugent since his original post branding American-Jewish […]

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  14. […] activist with the Zelman Partisans, a Jewish group dedicated to the right to keep and bear arms — wrote on her blog, The Liberty Zone, that she’s been corresponding with Nugent since his original post branding American-Jewish […]

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  15. […] activist with the Zelman Partisans, a Jewish group dedicated to the right to keep and bear arms — wrote on her blog, The Liberty Zone, that she’s been corresponding with Nugent since his original post branding American-Jewish […]

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  16. Y.B. ben Avraham

    kamas716, “Is that supposed to be a Jewish stereotype joke?” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Y.B. ben Avraham

    RIMSHOT.

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  18. paulmiller579243578

    I do take Ted at his word. Having reported the story as a straight news article, I did try to get a comment from him, but received no response. If you speak to him again, ask him about his alleged support for the conspiracy that Israel caused 9/11. http://www.jns.org/news-briefs/2016/2/9/ted-nugent-blames-jews-for-gun-control#.Vsk3k7grLIV=

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  19. I was also initially disturbed at this development when it sprawled across the blogosphere, but it has become evident that this event illustrates nothing more than the eternal truth that everyone makes mistakes. It’s hard to say what might be the wisdom of leaving up the original image, but what the hell. The powerful thought that certain prominent Jews should know better than to fight against widespread gun rights is a reasonable counterbalance to what undoubtedly was indeed a vile original intent for that image.

    Ted Nugent has in effect co-opted the image to mean something quite different from its original slanderous purpose, which is not too unreasonable. I would still prefer to see a completely reconstructed image that perhaps hews closely to the original but omits the Israeli national flag, but to be perfectly blunt about it, life is short. I have no intention of wasting any more of my own time on yet another tempest in a teapot.

    As for the people who still rant and rave against Ted Nugent … well, he’s a controversial public figure. Convulsive hatred by some individuals goes with the territory. The most fervent whiners undoubtedly are anti-gunners pretending to be neutral parties or even pro-gun activists who are racked with totally believable moral outrage. The leftists love to play dishonest games like that. They should be ignored. In any case, I’ll close by saying, “Truck on.”

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