September 5, 2022

As we watch the tattered remnants of CNN bob on the waters of MAGAhood, it's worth pointing out what that does to public discourse. Via Media Matters:

TIFFANY CROSS (HOST): Angelo, one thing I find that is still missing in the media is this still ongoing effort to normalize Trumpism. A very talented reporter John Harwood left CNN yesterday, there are efforts to make Trump loyalists feel comfortable and at home watching television. And it was a whole week of talking about, you know, Biden saying fascists.

And when you talk to people who look like the folks on this screen, that is not the conversation we’re having. So it’s this gap that happens between the people who bring you news and the people who consume it. Your take on that.

ANGELO CARUSONE (PRESIDENT, MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA): Yeah, I think this particular backsliding in the news media is especially concerning when you think about about the future, because this is the kind of shift towards authoritarianism that the current right-wing fetishizes with Viktor Orbán and Hungary, which was how he was able to so effectively work the refs and control the levers of the media narrative.

And so what you’re seeing play out here is because the right-wing works the refs at home so effectively through attacks, misinformation, disinformation, just this straight echo chamber pounding away at them, it affects the decision makers in the very rooms that Roland was talking about before the break. Because what they start to do then is anticipate those attacks and try to inoculate against that in order to preserve that very white, outraged audience.

And so for some of these networks and some of these outlets, what we’re seeing them do is attempt to soften or capitulate to the right-wing in order to get back on some of the guests that are not participating or some of these leaders who probably don’t belong there in the first place.

CROSS: Yeah.

CARUSONE: And that’s the challenge. They end up legitimizing them.

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