In the final week before Joe Biden takes office, Trump’s presidency is a mess. President Trump’s business is at a standstill. That stain on Trump’s sign is a blood stain, CNN’s Jake Tapper said Wednesday afternoon, minutes before most members of the House of Representatives accused Trump of inciting rebellion.
How did it come to this? Well, I have a media-oriented brain, so I see it as part of media history. Trump’s war on the national media, his war on truth, his war on reality, ultimately led to him becoming the first American president to be impeached twice.
He relied on non-partisan media to distort his view of America, the world, his presidency and his own popularity. He has seen and watched his favorite television shows that mislead him and his base, further alienate Republican voters and deepen the divisions in the country.
Trump followed Fox. He parodied what he heard on television. He lied and lied, but instead of facing the consequences, his lies were justified and supported, even glorified by the media. In the end, I think those middlemen hurt him: Channels like Fox spread false information about Ukraine and Joe Biden and lure Trump into indictment no. 1.
These same media outlets spread Trump’s lies about the election, denied the basic arithmetic of a Biden victory, and encouraged Trump’s radical base to fight. No wonder people go out on the 6th. January in Washington waving One America News flags. The 1/6 attack was a riot of lies that quickly led to indictment #2, an attempt to hold Trump accountable.
We’ll never know: Would Mr. Trump’s presidency have turned out differently if his beloved media had been more cautious and responsible in covering the news rather than beating it? Or has Trump always been so narcissistic, so delusional, that the war on truth in those days always had to end with people tired of feigning war on the steps of the Capitol?
Choosing the truth is the only way to overcome fear.
When the GOP spoke out against the indictment on Wednesday, I felt like I was watching Fox News in prime time. Lawmakers like Matt Getz have made cynical and predictable comments to the Fox audience. Even after all that has happened, CNN has commented on Republican after Republican, Dana Bash, continuing to defend the president and his lies about the election.
But a small group of Republican impeachment supporters showed political courage. Congressman Jaime Herrera Beutler spoke about truth versus fear: My vote to remove our President-in-Office from office is not based on fear, she said. I’m not taking sides. I choose the truth. It is the only way to overcome fear.
It’s all collapsed…
To be honest, I’ve been thinking about Jim Acosta’s report on CNN all day. Acosta said Trump’s senior adviser gave a rough assessment of this second indictment, saying the president had destroyed everything he had built politically because he could never tell the truth.
In the end, the anonymous counsel said it all fell apart because he could never tell the truth. All because he couldn’t bear to lose.
This will be the story you tell your children when you teach them to tell the truth, the counselor added.
I don’t doubt it. But Trump’s base?
Change of media MAGA
The right-wing media has gone from pro-Trump to pro-Trump. This week’s talk show is about voter sympathy, which tends to be presented as oppressed and discriminated against. It’s hard to be a Trump fan in America right now and it’s getting harder, much harder, Newsmax’s Greg Kelly said Tuesday night. His message was that we have nothing to be ashamed of and that we should be proud. His colleague Rob Schmitt said the left wants to stamp out the souls of all those who have supported Donald Trump over the past four years.
Wednesday night on Fox, Tucker Carlson made a similar argument, attacking Mitch McConnell, the leader of the charge. Carlson said McConnell should focus not on the future of Trump, whom he described in his show as old and retired, but on Trump’s tens of millions of voters.
Carlson also said last week that voters in the European Union have been redefined as domestic terrorists. He specifically said he didn’t care about Trump: I’m worried about his driving.
Later that evening, Laura Ingraham said that the impeachment process is basically an attempt to impeach Americans who support her policies, which is patently false. One of their first guests, Ben Domenech, said voting for impeachment was like telling Trump’s voters that CNN was right about you. Later in the hour, guest Lara Logan imagined a new war on terrorism, aimed at Trump supporters.
That’s what the Trump Loyalists hear from their favorite media sources. Among other things, there are more and more 1/6 refusals on the airwaves. At 7 p.m. on Newsmax, Kelly said there is undeniable evidence that Trump did nothing wrong on the day of the attack. At 8 p.m. on One America News, host Dan Ball said Republicans who opposed the political theater of impeachment were brave patriots. At 9pm on Fox, Sean Hannity defeated ten Republican bogeymen to get the shot. Oh, and pro-Qanon congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green told Newsmax she read charges against Biden on the 21st. The January file will do just that.
My point is this: Trump’s brand is NOT in a mess on the channels and sites his fans trust. Sure, some of them are brilliant, but MAGA media is much closer to Kevin McCarthy’s position than Liz Cheney’s. I just heard Mike Huckabee on Fox say it was a lynching of Donald Trump. Some Trump voters are baffled by last week’s events, but many are still on the cliché Trump train. Don’t underestimate him.
Fox treated him almost like any other day
Oliver Darcy writes: Fox News claims to be a news network, not a right-wing network. But Fox chose to stick to regular programming throughout the day instead of a special report from its top political hosts, Bret Baier and Martha McCallum. While the House of Representatives received votes to impeach Mr. Trump, host Neil Cavuto dropped by 4 p.m. to break the news to the station’s viewers. Less than an hour later, Fox was already moving and doing a typical segment for The Five on the alleged media bias …
Notes and notations
— Susan Glasser with a look at the last seven days: In the end, ten Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump, two cabinet members resigned, Twitter banned Trump, Lindsey Graham got off the train and walked back, and Trump stayed in power. For the week…. (Twitter)
— A new report from the Washington Post: In private, Mr. Trump expressed anger at media supporters who have long abandoned him, including WSJ columnist Kimberly Strassel, and others he said have not defended him vehemently, including Ingraham … (WaPo)
-The Atlantic is Yoni Appelbaum. -No: The House gave McConnell and the Senate a broom. They can take Trump out of office now and throw out his future ambitions whenever they want. That in itself is no small thing. So what’s McConnell going to do? (Twitter)
— Daniel Dale and Tara Subramaniam checked the facts in the deposition debate: Some of Trump’s allies have made many of the same arguments they made a year ago, most of which boiled down to the fact that the Democratic Party was even worse. They also perpetuated misleading accounts of the events leading up to the attack on Capitol Hill….. (CNN)