Analysis: Post-election media coverage reveals two Americas on parallel tracks

They preserve dropping within the courts, so now they are saying “overturn the election.”

What will they are saying subsequent? And when ought to the reality-based press cowl what they’re saying?

America is in a deadly place proper now — however the truth that the Trump group’s authorized strikes appear pathetic and destined to fail. The mere reality that they are making an attempt is destabilizing for democracy, since hundreds of thousands of individuals consider the lies, and consider the fact-checkers are the actual liars.

I’m an optimist by nature, however I can not determine an optimistic factor to write down right here.

When I’m channel browsing at evening, I see two Americas that exist in parallel proper now — on side-by-side tracks — two Americas with utterly completely different assumptions and expectations and knowledge sources. One monitor is rooted within the actuality that Trump was by no means a preferred president, was unable to develop his base, and was voted out of workplace. The different monitor is a fictional story, titled “BATTLE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE” by Lou Dobbs’ present, that claims the election just isn’t over, Trump goes to win, and if he does not, it will likely be as a result of the Democrats and the media stole it from him. One of those storytellers, Trump legal professional Sidney Powell, instructed Dobbs on Thursday that “the entire election, frankly, in all the swing states should be overturned and the legislatures should make sure that the electors are selected for Trump.”

Washington Post’s lead

For Friday and for the historical past books: “President Trump is using the power of his office to try to reverse the results of the election, orchestrating a far-reaching pressure campaign to persuade Republican officials in Michigan, Georgia and elsewhere to overturn the will of voters in what critics decried Thursday as an unprecedented subversion of democracy. After courts rejected the Trump campaign’s baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud, the president is now trying to remain in power with a wholesale assault on the integrity of the vote by spreading misinformation and trying to persuade loyal Republicans to manipulate the electoral system on his behalf…”

But Biden says he is ‘not involved’

Oliver Darcy writes: “Asked at a press conference Thursday if he is worried Trump and his allies might successfully be delegitimizing him as president, Biden replied that he is ‘not concerned.’ Biden said the ‘vast majority of the American people’ don’t buy what Trump is doing. Which is true, a majority do not. But polling indicates that a vast majority of Republicans do buy into this nonsense — and Biden has shown no real interest in mounting an aggressive comms strategy to counter the lies against him. How can he unify the entire country when most Republicans think he straight up stole the election?
>> Amanda Carpenter’s point: “I get that Biden is concentrated on COVID however there must be some effort by an affiliated group to counter all of the messaging towards his presidency. This cannot go unanswered…”

The Fox News legal squad

Thursday’s Trump news cycle was driven by what WaPo’s Glenn Kessler called “the craziest information convention of the Trump presidency.” The Trump lawyers who were there — Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, Joseph diGenova and Sidney Powell — are well known to the Trump-Fox base. It was practically a made-for-Fox event. Still, it was an atrocious decision to carry the entire press conference live — for an hour and a half — without any meaningful fact-checking. The mistake was underlined by liberal commentator Marie Harf, who said the stoking of mass voter fraud lies is “actually dangerous to democracy” — when host Harris Faulkner cut her off to go live to the presser.

Over on CNN, Brianna Keilar noted that the presser was “so bananas we will not even convey it to you, as a result of it’s simply so filled with B.S.” But Fox, Newsmax and OANN went forward and aired all of it. As David Folkenflik mentioned on Twitter, “If you are within the information enterprise, it is malpractice to hold Giuliani’s press convention reside at size with none reduce ins to notice the myriad methods the general public file contradicts him.” Faulkner didn’t even do that afterward. Even though Giuliani shredded his credibility years ago, she stayed in Fox’s default position, which is to assume that liars and hucksters are truth-tellers and heroes…

They are conspiracy theorists

Oliver Darcy writes: “After watching the press convention, I questioned: At what level do information orgs begin prominently figuring out members of Trump’s authorized group as conspiracy theorists? There just isn’t a lot daylight — if any — between the nonsense Giuliani and Powell have been spouting and what you would possibly hear from Infowars’ Alex Jones. So why not describe them as such in tales? Simply referring to them as ‘authorized advisers’ doesn’t convey to audiences how deranged these individuals are, and really works to present what they are saying some undeserved and additional weight…”


— Mitt Romney’s new statement on Thursday night: “It’s tough to think about a worse, extra undemocratic motion by a sitting American president…” (Twitter)
— Earlier in the day, NBC News policy editor Benjy Sarlin went viral with this tweet: “In a few months, we’ll be listening to impassioned speeches invoking the Founders to argue some government order on well being care is tyranny from individuals who have been sitting quietly whereas this was going on. It’s not going to be doable to only return to ‘regular’ after this.” (Twitter)
— Kevin D. Williamson has some questions: “How lengthy are we going to maintain pretending that this insanity is not insanity?” Also: “How lengthy will we proceed to fake that what’s being broadcast by Fox News and speak radio is political commentary moderately than essentially the most shameful, irresponsible, and unpatriotic sort of sycophantic for-profit propaganda?” (NRO)
— Matt Gertz observed that after Tucker Carlson said he was getting a bigger role at Fox News, the network’s so-called “straight information” shows have highlighted his commentary more than a dozen times… (Media Matters)

Paul Ryan, where are you?

The former House speaker is in a unique position because he is on the Fox Corporation board of directors. In theory, at least, he is in a position of power. And his disdain for Trump is well known. But Ryan and the rest of the Fox leadership seems content with the crazed election denialism tilt of the network’s TV coverage.

Now, execs at Fox will argue — DO argue — that they’re not far-right like Newsmax and OAN. But Fox aired Rudy’s presser in full. The 7, 8, 9 and 10pm hours on Thursday all led with the mass-fraud theme. At 7pm, Martha MacCallum suggested that Democratic election lawyers, led by Marc Elias, pulled a fast one on Republicans by changing the rules so that more ballots would be counted. At 8pm, Tucker Carlson heaped a whole lot of skepticism on Sidney Powell’s claims, but he still led with the subject. He acted like the invisible man when he said “a variety of Americans consider this election was rigged. They aren’t saying that as a result of they’re loopy. They’re not simply saying it as a result of they’re mad. They MEAN it, and that could be a doubtlessly deadly drawback for this nation.” He left out the fact that right-wing outlets keep fomenting the “rigged” idea. At 9pm, Sean Hannity claimed that “allegations of election irregularities proceed to pile up.” And at 10pm, one of the banners below Laura Ingraham said “DEMS & MEDIA IGNORE GROWING FRAUD ALLEGATIONS.”

Consider the cumulative effect of all that chatter, for a moment. Are Paul Ryan and the Murdochs proud of what Fox is producing?

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