If you don’t know what “fisk” means, you’re not alone. Searches for the word were up
7,643% week-over-week on Friday afternoon, after the National Rifle Association (NRA) posted a video in which it threatened to “fisk” the paper of record, The New York Times.
In less than an hour, “Fisk” quickly became one of the top searches on Dictionary.com.
The video was posted by NRA TV’s Twitter account. In it, NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch says, “We’re going to fisk The New York Times,” while looking into the camera. “In short, we’re coming for you.”
In conjunction with the hashtag #ClenchedFistofTruth, confusion spread through Twitter like wildfire, as many had misheard Loesch as having said “We’re going to fist The New York Times,” which was thought to be a reference to a sexual act.
Loesch responded on Twitter with several tweets on the topic.
So what does “fisk” mean?
Dictionary.com’s first definition is for a proper noun referring to a historical figure, James Fisk: “James, 1834 — 72, U.S. financier and stock speculator.”
Further down, however, is the British definition, likely intended by the NRA: (slang) to refute of criticise (a journalistic article or blog) point by point.”
What’s more embarrassing: A hack reporter & acolytes who don’t know what “fisk” means or a hack who apparently thinks about “fisting?” Geez.
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) August 4, 2017