NBC’s K(AR)en Dilanian Triggered by PSA AR-15 “Let’s go Brandon” Stripped Lower

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The greatest service that social media has done for humanity is to let “neutral,” “nonpartisan” experts and journalists expose themselves through their own unforced statements and behavior. It’s like a Borat gotcha trap that they set for themselves. NBC’s Ken Dilanian exhibited such unforced behavior Monday in an article titled, “Gun dealers sell parts, ammo using anti-Biden meme ‘Let’s go, Brandon’.”

Gun dealers sell parts, ammo using anti-Biden meme ‘Let’s go, Brandon’

The phrase “Let’s Go Brandon” has become right-wing code for profanity directed at the president. It arose from a crowd chant at the NASCAR racetrack in Talladega, Ala.

Gun dealers are marketing weapon parts and ammunition using a right-wing slogan widely understood as code for profanity directed at President Joe Biden.

In a normal world, we would be laughing off an insult directed at the current occupant of the White House. I remember caricatures, insinuations, and even violent imagery directed at politicians on the “other side,” going as far back as I can remember. Dilanian’s pearl-clutching and scary “right-wing” phraseology here is a little weird, given that he doesn’t seem to have said anything about comedienne Kathy Griffin’s unfunny Bloody Trump Head “art.”

Palmetto State Armory, which operates a 12,000-square-foot gun store in Columbia, S.C., the state capital, is marketing a “LETSGO-15 Stripped Lower Receiver,” which is a part meant for an AR-15-style assault rifle.

Dilanian’s readership likely doesn’t know what a stripper lower receiver is, which explains his description that it is a part meant for an AR-15. The article then proceeds to insert a website comment from an unknown user named “Theodore.”

“Love how PSA is in touch with the current Let’s Go Brandon situation,” says one of the comments below the product description. “More than half of America and other parts of the world are chanting. The current administration is destroying our country.”

Dilanian reached out to PSA for comment but didn’t get a response. But here’s the kicker: Dilanian somehow construed this obvious PSA jab as violent enough to reach out to the U.S. Secret Service for comment.

A spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, which investigates threats against the president, declined to comment.

And then he posted that again on Twitter.

When a user mocked Dilanian’s behavior, which is clearly that of an activist, not a reporter’s, he doubled down about how this could be construed as a security threat.

Dilanian also reported on how some companies are selling magazines with the same funny phrase.

At least two other firms in other states, Culper Precision and My Southern Tactical, are advertising an AR-15 magazine for sale with a “Let’s Go Brandon” sticker.

The companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Clearly, Dilanian is new to this game or he would have heard of the NOBO12 receiver from PSA during the 2012 election cycle, which featured “Hope” (safe) and “Change” (fire) selector markings.

There are different ways people in this country express their disdain of presidents who they see as dire threats to their freedom. Those in the movie business make movies expressing their sentiments, such as “Death of a President” which was about the assassination of George W. Bush. Obama was on the receiving end of anger, some of it motivated by racism. During the past 4 years, in addition to Kathy Griffin’s antics, Robert De Niro delivered a stereotypical rant at the Tony Awards, Madonna talked about blowing up the White House the day after Trump’s inauguration, while ordinary people in the streets exhibited their anger with plain old “F*** Trump” signs and “pussy hats.”

Gun world reacts in its own way, in this instance with gun parts. The difference is that a media activist who calls himself a journalist got triggered by what PSA did and made a story about it, and in the process, a joke of his own reputation.