A lot of people think the National Rifle Association wants to “fist” The New York Times after an intense video the gun lobbying group circulated on Friday. Yes, things got very weird.
The confusion started after the NRA tweeted the minute-long video featuring spokeswoman Dana Loesch slamming the newspaper and declaring the NRA will be going after it.
“Consider this the shot across your bow,” Loesch said. “We’re going to [unclear] the New York Times and find out just what deep rich means to this old gray hag.”
“In short,” she said, “we’re coming for you.”
Once the video spread, many people began tweeting angrily at the NRA and Loesch, thinking Loesch said, “We’re going to fist The New York Times.” The NRA tweeted the video with the hashtag #ClenchedFistofTruth.
But when HuffPost contributing reporter Yashar Ali tweeted about the NRA’s use of the word, Loesch angrily denied it, and insisted she said “fisk.”
Loesch also lashed out at other journalists who questioned what she said in video, including New York Times reporter Adam Goldman.
Fisk is British slang that means “to refute or criticize (a journalistic article or blog) point by point,” according to Dictionary.com and the Collins English Dictionary. The word was named for English journalist Robert Fisk, a Middle East correspondent for The Independent, who was known for his “looseness with details” according to Dictionary.com.
After confusion and outrage exploded Friday, Loesch criticized those who didn’t know what “fisk” means.
“What’s more embarrassing,” Loesch tweeted. “A hack reporter & acolytes who don’t know what ‘fisk’ means or a hack who apparently thinks about ‘fisting?’ Geez.”
Many people seem unfamiliar with the term. It’s not included in Webster’s New World College Dictionary, which HuffPost and many other news organizations use as a reference standard. Internet searches for the word “fisk” spiked 7,643 percent on Friday.
Goldman and Ali deleted their original tweets about Loesch using the word “fist,” and issued notes about it.
The new NRA clip is part of a nearly four-minute video attacking the Times originally published on the group’s YouTube channel in April. The video brought a bizarre end to an already tense week of political news.