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CNN Smears Fox as ‘Propaganda Arm’ of Extreme Right Birthers, Anti-Vaxxer Kooks

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On Friday’s CNN Newsroom,  weekend host Fareed Zakaria came on to promote his Sunday night special on Republicans titled A Radical Rebellion, and it quickly became another hit job on Fox News. Former Fox News host Alisyn Camerota dismissed them as “trying to pass themselves off as news,” and Zakaria called it a “propaganda arm of the most extreme wing of the Republican party.”

Zakaria claimed “It becomes impossible to deny the Republican Party today has been infected by a series of crazy conspiracy theories.” 

After co-host Victor Blackwell noted that 70 percent believe the election was “stolen” from President Donald Trump, Zakaria cited an online poll — which outfits like Pew Research Center have argued are unreliable — to allege irrational fears by Republicans over vaccines: “I think that it’s that statistic — it’s the one I mentioned — 40 percent believe that Bill Gates is trying to control them by implanting microchips in their brain….I think something like a third of Republicans still believe that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, not the United States.”

Zakaria then blamed unidentified “Republican leaders” for such beliefs: “Republican leaders have been playing games with their followers for a long time. And they have planted the seeds of this kind of conspiracy theory, distrust of authority, distrust of other Republicans who are viewed as moderates.”

Not mentioned is that there has also been polling over the years suggesting that many Democrats have also believed in questionable conspiracy theories — like the more than half of Democrats who believed President George W. Bush might have deliberately allowed the 9/11 attacks to happen to justify going to war. 

Camerota — a former Fox News anchor — then took aim at her former employer:

And, Fareed, then there’s the media. And I don’t mean the news media — I mean the media. There are obviously some networks that try to pass themselves off as news, but they are not. I mean, they’ve strayed from that. And, in fact, they peddle this propaganda. And last night on Fox TV, Liz Cheney called them out.

She played a couple of edited clips of Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney being interviewed by Fox’s Bret Baier in which she lectured him that his network should do more to convince Republicans that the election was not “stolen.” Camerota omitted Baier jumping in to argue that his show had, in fact, adequately informed viewers on the subject.

Agreeing with Camerota’s “propaganda” charge, Zakaria responded:

Fox is essentially a propaganda arm. And it’s not even a propaganda arm of the Republican party. That’s not the way to think about it. It is a propaganda arm of the most extreme wing of the Republican party. It is, you know, the television version of Twitter for the Republican party — the most extreme, the most passionate, the most energized.

If any news outfits act as partisan propaganda, CNN would have to be one that wears that label for the liberal side. CNN’s New Day show — which Camerota used to co-host until recently — has misinformed viewers for years to the benefit of Democrats on a variety of issues ranging from abortion, gun control and illegal immigration, to the role of race in questionable cases of police violence.

The network also promoted Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams’s discredited claims of voter suppression in Georgia both in 2018 and again more recently.

And, in the last couple of years, conservative contributors and guests have had a greatly reduced presence on the network — even at critical times like President Trump’s first impeachment trial and his last State of the Union Address.

Additionally, until just recently, the liberal network resisted giving credibility to the theory that the COVID-19 virus originated in a lab in China, which Fox News had been giving air to for quite some time, better informing their viewers.

This liberal echo chamber on CNN Newsroom was sponsored in part by Harry’s. Their contact information is linked.

Transcript follows:

CNN Newsroom

May 14, 2021

3:25 p.m. Eastern

VICTOR BLACKWELL: It could be easy for people at home to think those are just the extremes. But the latest polling shows that 70 percent of polled Republicans believe that the election was stolen from former President Trump. So they are unified around some elements.

FAREED ZAKARIA: I think that it’s that statistic — it’s the one I mentioned — 40 percent believe that Bill Gates is trying to control them by implanting microchips in their brain, I think something like a third of Republicans still believe that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, not the United States. And the question you have to ask is: Why? Why this anger — why this kind of apocalyptic view that the world is collapsing, going away? American civilization is on the brink? And part of what I try to describe in this documentary is the origins — it’s the roots of this because it goes back very deep. 

Republican leaders have been playing games with their followers for a long time. And they have planted the seeds of this kind of conspiracy theory, distrust of authority, distrust of other Republicans who are viewed as moderates. And when you create that much, you know, that fertile ground, and then you throw in a man like Donald Trump — the first Republican leader truly to be entirely unconcerned with whether what he says is fact or fiction, truth or lie — it turns out, it sticks. It sticks big time.

ALISYN CAMEROTA: And, Fareed, then there’s the media. And I don’t mean the news media — I mean the media. There are obviously some networks that try to pass themselves off as news, but they are not. I mean, they’ve strayed from that. And, in fact, they peddle this propaganda. And last night on Fox TV, Liz Cheney called them out. So let me play that for you.

CONGRESSWOMAN LIZ CHENEY (R-WY) (from Thursday’s Special Report with Bret Baier): Fox News especially — especially Fox News — has a particular obligation to make sure people know the election wasn’t stolen. (editing jump) Every single one of us, everyone watching this show, everybody who works at Fox, everybody who’s elected to office, all of us have to love our country more.

CAMEROTA: But, of course, that’s not what Fox has told their viewers for large chunks of the evening. What have you found out about the impact that’s had?

ZAKARIA: Well, there’s no question that this aggregation of media has allowed people to kind of choose their news rather than listen to broadly fact-based or more objective reporting. And, yeah, Fox is essentially a propaganda arm. And it’s not even a propaganda arm of the Republican party. That’s not the way to think about it. It is a propaganda arm of the most extreme wing of the Republican party. It is, you know, the television version of Twitter for the Republican party — the most extreme, the most passionate, the most energized.

But, again, the most important thing here is that these people believe that it is more important to fight than to be right. It is more important to hate the enemy than love the truth. That’s the part where it has gotten unhinged. I think we should understand — look, it’s okay to be partisan, it’s okay to be political if you have ideas you believe in. But it cannot come at the cost of facts — they cannot come at the cost of truth.

What do you think?

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