Rock star and gun advocate Ted Nugent offered an apology this week for a Facebook post that drew broad media attention – and accusations of anti-Semitism.
Nugent is no stranger to controversy, but when he reposted an image originally produced by an anti-Semitic website, even many of his traditional allies joined in the media dogpile.
An avid hunter known for his staunch views against gun restrictions, Nugent’s conservative Republican political beliefs make the 67-year-old rock star something of an oddity in the traditionally liberal music industry.
Earlier this month, however, a Facebook post by Nugent drew a torrent of criticism from across the political spectrum. The post featured an image labeled “So who is really behind gun control?” showing 12 prominent liberal American Jews, each marked with an Israeli flag.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, a liberal commentator, blasted Nugent for the post, as did the Southern Poverty Law Center. Some conservative gun rights organizations joined in the condemnations, including Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership.
Even the National Review, the flagship publication of the conservative movement, published an article by Charles C.W. Cooke, himself a gun rights advocate, blasting the image’s anti-Semitic tone and called for the conservative movement to “quarantine” Nugent.
This week the singer offered his apologies for the offensive image.
“Can I say oy vey? I sincerely apologize for my irresponsible re-posting of such a nasty and offensive meme,” Nugent told the Zelman Partisans, a Jewish gun advocacy group.
“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”.