What If She’d Been an NRA Member? Nets Skimp on YouTube Shooter’s Animal Rights Extremism

April 4th, 2018 1:13 PM

What if she’d been an avid NRA supporter? The three networks on Wednesday skimped on the news that YouTube shooter Nasim Aghdam was an animal rights extremist. CBS and NBC barely mentioned it. ABC’s Good Morning America avoided the activism all together. 

On CBS This Morning, reporter Mireya Villarreal briefly mentioned: “An animal rights activist and exercise enthusiast, Aghdam’s YouTube posts include music videos and exercise routines.” That was it. 



On NBC’s Today, correspondent Gadi Schwartz quickly noted: “Aghdam had a large YouTube presence with multiple channels, from from animal rights activism to bizarre musical parodies.” In the 8am hour, the journalist described Aghdam as an "an apparent animal rights activist.” 

Apparent? As Hot Air noted, Aghdam in 2009 demonstrated outside of Camp Pendleton with blood on her: 

More than two dozen protesters gathered outside Camp Pendleton’s main gate yesterday afternoon to denounce the use of pigs in military-trauma training. …

Nasim Aghdam, 29, a San Diego animal rights activist, dressed in a wig and jeans with large blood drops painted on them.

“For me, animal rights equal human rights,” Aghdam said.

Apparently human rights don't include the freedom from being shot. 

According to NBCNews.com, the vegan worked with the extremist  group PETA (though not in recent years). 

ABC’s Good Morning America made no mention of the animal rights angle. Reporter Matt Gutman simply described: “She had a YouTube video which hosted workout videos and many of them in Farsi.” 

There is no suggestion that animal rights activism had anything to do with this shooting, nor should the cause be tarred with it. However, we all know how journalists smeared the NRA after the Parkland shooting and are quick to jump on conservatives when these things happen. (Remember when ABC falsely slimed the Tea Party as having something to do with a 2012 Colorado movie theater shooting?) 

A transcript of the CBS segment is below: 

CBS This Morning 
7:06:55 to 7:09:15

GAYLE KING: The father of Nasim Aghdam told CBS News his daughter was very upset with YouTube and he warned police about her. Her numerous videos touch on a wide range of subjects and include parodies. Police believe the people she shot were chosen at random. Mireya Villarreal is at Zuckerberg, San Francisco General Hospital with the latest on her. Mireya, good morning.  

MIREYA VILLARREAL: Well, good morning. All three of the victims that were shot are recovering at this South San Francisco . The male victim is in critical condition. The suspect in this case, though, we know seemed to hold a grudge against YouTube. In a number of online complaints she actually said she thought her videos were being targeted unfairly by the company's filter. 

NASIM AGHDAM: I'm being discriminated. I’m being filtered on YouTube and I'm not the only one. 

VILLARREAL: In a two-minute YouTube video Nasim Aghdam complains about the company's policies. An animal rights activist and exercise enthusiast, Aghdam’s YouTube posts include music videos and exercise routines. She had over 10,000 subscribers on her YouTube channels, all of which have now been taken down. On her personal website she claimed YouTube tried to reduce her views and money she earned by applying age restrictions to some of her videos. Like this workout video which prompted her to call and complain to the company. 

AGHDAM: I called support team and they say the same thing. There are some inappropriate things in your video. 

VILLARREAL: And Aghdam’s home in Southern California, her father, seen just inside the doorway, says the family is devastated. He did not want to talk on camera, but he told CBS News he reported Aghdam missing to police Monday after she didn't answer her phone for two days. Around two AM, Tuesday, police called saying they found her sleeping in her car in Mountain View, just 30 minutes southeast of YouTube's headquarters. Aghdam's father claims he warned police she was upset with YouTube and was afraid of what might happened. Mountain View police do confirm they spoke with Aghdam, but did not say if her father warned them that she might head to the YouTube headquarters. We also reached out to YouTube to ask them about the complaints that Aghdam had made. We have yesterday to hear back from them.