Yale professor and author of How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them Jason Stanley took the media to task for its habit of “normalizing and both sidering” the propaganda and political tactics we're seeing from this Trump administration during an interview with CNN's Brian Stelter this Sunday.
August 31, 2020

Yale professor and author of How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them Jason Stanley took the media to task for its habit of “normalizing and both sidering” the propaganda and political tactics we're seeing from this Trump administration during an interview with CNN's Brian Stelter this Sunday.

After Stelter opened things up discussing the definition of fascism, he asked Stanley whether” the press has been tiptoeing around this for too long and is finally waking up to a fascist movement in America?”

“Absolutely,” Stanley responded. “The press is just enthralled. We're all enthralled of America as a special country, we represent democracy, what happens in every other country surely couldn't happen here. But it can.”

When asked how far down the road he would say it is happening, Stanley continued, “Well, we don't have a fascist regime, but arguably Trumpism is something akin to a fascist social and political movement, and at the very least we have massive use of fascist tactics. We've got militias roaming the streets. We have one of our political parties turning into a cult of the leader. The RNC platform was just, whatever trump wants. That's an extremely worrisome sign.”

Stanley went onto explain the ten have ten pillars of fascist politics he discussed in his book in detail and the similarities to Nazi Germany, and the fact that Trump is exploiting the same fear and divisions we saw used then.

Stelter asked Stanley about those that say invoking Hitler is a “way to shut down a conversation,” and how to respond to those that say “stop it, Jason.”

STANLEY: I'm talking about the propaganda and the messaging, not the policies. We don't have a genocidal regime by any means. But these are tactics used across the board by authoritarians who don't intend genocide or anything like Hitler. So there isn't a comparison here between what Trump is doing and his policies, just in the propaganda he's exploiting as we'll see.

After going through the rest of the list of the pillars of fascism we're watching play out from Trump and the right, Stanley wrapped things up with some advice for the press:

STANLEY: I want the press not to normalize. I want the press to call out when laws are being violated, to be clear about how, for instance, about the statistics about violent crime. We have very low violent crime in the United States today, historically, especially compared to our unemployment rates.

So I want the press not to normalize and not to consistently do both siderism, but call the facts as they are.

It would have been nice to see the words “Fox News” make their way into this interview, but I was happy to see someone call out the both siderism, which we see way too often on a daily basis from CNN and the rest of the corporate media.

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