An NRA ad firm hired a consultant to prove that campaign ads on Grindr aren’t real

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On Wednesday, The Daily Beast reported that the NRA is running ads on Grindr: 

The pro-gun advocacy group is putting out online ads in Arkansas touting its support of Rep. Tom Cotton, the GOP Senate candidate. And at least one ad has appeared on Grindr, a popular mobile app that allows users to “find local gay, bi and curious guys for dating or friends.”

The alleged ad was for Republican senate candidate Tom Cotton, and the text read “Defend the second amendment. Vote for Tom Cotton.” The ad also included the seal of the National Rifle Association. Cotton, who opposes both same-sex marriage and legislation that penalizes workplace discrimination, is an unlikely candidate to appear on Grindr.

What followed was a comical sequence worthy of The Onion, in which everyone involved immediately passed the buck.

The NRA denied responsibility.

Cotton’s campaign spokesman told The Daily Beast they had “not paid for or placed that ad.”

A Grindr spokesperson pointed to third-party networks that provide the app with advertisements. Although such networks are not supposed to run political ads on Grindr, the spokesperson thought one may have slipped by. “In this instance, we’ve reached out to the third-party networks to have these ads removed.”

And, in turn, all third-party ad networks said they’ve never run the ads.

Finally, Majority Strategies, a firm that has advertised for Cotton on behalf of the NRA in the past, hired a consultant to close the case.

Dr. Neal Krawetz, the digital image specialist who was brought in to authenticate President Obama’s birth certificate, quickly put together an eight-page report on his analysis. 

The conclusion?

Krawetz wrote, “The findings in this report conclude that the screenshot was altered and the ad was digitally inserted into the picture.”

And so the question of the mysterious ad, which everyone should have suspected from the start, was finally answered.

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