Wayne LaPierre Says Paid Protesters Make $1,500 a Week: Where Can I Sign Up?
Today, NRA Executive Director Wayne LaPierre stayed true to the White House’s line that protesters speaking out against the administration are paid. In fact, he claimed that protesters are being paid $1,500 a week. And given that the future of journalism seems to be less-than-rosy right now, I have to ask: where do I sign up?
I mean, $1,500 a week is a lot of money. That’s about $78,000 a year. That’s about on par with what the average accountant, architect, epidemiologist, psychologist, or nuclear technician makes–all professions that I’m fairly certain take quite a bit more schooling than being a protester.
LaPierre, also said that the protesters are specifically and deliberately inciting violence, and compared them to terrorists. He claimed that, “the left’s message is absolutely clear. They want revenge, you’ve got to be punished. They say you’re what’s wrong with America and now you’ve got to be purged.” He went on to say: that the “extreme left” “literally hate everything America stands for” and “are willing to use violence against us.” But Mr. LaPierre, you can’t have it both ways. Are the protesters apathetic, and that’s why they need to be paid? Or do they hate America with such a fiery passion–in which case you would think that most of them would just protest for free?
Also, who is supposedly paying out this $1,500 a week to protesters? We’ll probably never have an exact estimate on how many people attended Women’s marches throughout the U.S. on January 21, but let’s use FiveThirtyEight’s safe and conservative estimate of 3.2 million. And while the peddlers of this “paid protester” myth haven’t been clear on what percentage of the protesters are supposedly paid, let’s say that just one-third–a million individuals–from the Women’s March got their weekly $1,500 takeaway. That right there is $1.5 billion dollars. That’s quite a lot of money apparently secretly floating around.
While that’s a very literal interpretation of LaPierre’s claims, the ridiculousness of a vast “paid protesters” conspiracy to the tune of over a billion dollars isn’t that remarkably far off from what some have claimed since Trump took office. That ridiculousness is always worth being called out–and Mr. LaPierre, I can assure you that no one is paying me $1,500 a week just to say that.