In a segment this week discussing how the political Right is handling the results of the 2020 presidential election, CNN reporter Pamela Brown suggested that it was a “threat to democracy” that people were turning away from dominant social media platforms like Facebook and signing up to be on more pro-free speech platforms and sites.
CNN reporter Brian Stelter bemoaned smaller conservative news channels garnering more viewership in recent weeks as Trump world has clashed with Fox News over some of the network’s recent coverage
“I think, big picture, Pamela, here is the concerning trend line here. People are going more and more into their own echo chambers, more into their own bubbles, especially Trump voters,” Stelter said. “There’s this new social media app, called Parler, getting a lot of attention. Because conservatives are leaving, saying they’re leaving Twitter and Facebook, going off to Parler because they believe Parler is a safer space for them.”
“What we’re seeing is even more of a bunker mentality in right-wing media,” Stelter continued. “Ultimately, that’s not good for the country.”
“No, it is not good,” Brown responded. “It is a threat to democracy that these people are in echo chambers and they’re getting fed a diet of lies essentially.”
TRANSCRIPT PROVIDED VIA CNN:
PAMELA BROWN, CNN REPORTER: Instead of publicly focusing on the pandemic or stimulus or the presidential transition, today President Trump is taking on FOX News. As you see here, retweeting days-old replies, bashing the channel, and suggesting that FOX is to blame for his defeat.
Joining me now, CNN chief medica correspondent, Brian Stelter, anchor of “RELIABLE SOURCES.”
Brian, this country is in a crisis now, looking at the coronavirus alone. Why is the president doing this? Why is he focused on FOX in the midst of what this country is going through right now?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN REPORTER: He is tweeting more about FOX News than about COVID. It shows his five stages of grief. And it signals he is still in the anger phase. He is angry at FOX.
And so are some of FOX’s loyal viewers. They’re angry FOX called Arizona for Biden early on. They’re angry FOX has rightly identified Biden as the president-elect. And so Trump and some of his fans are lashing out on social media.
Pamela, this has always been a marriage of convenience between Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump. It’s always been a marriage of convenience. Certainly, both sides are saying hurtful words now, but it is still a marriage. Trump may be threatening to see other people, but it is still a marriage.
Trump is promoting Sean Hannity, sharing clips that he likes on FOX. It is complicated. And divorce could be down the road, but not yet.
BROWN: Right. He seems to like the opinion hosts —
BROWN: — like Sean Hannity more than the actual straightforward news journalists. You’re tracking other right-wing media outlets. What patterns are you seeing among voters?
STELTER: When I refer to a divorce, that’s because there are other suitors out there.
There are these smaller right-wing channels, like “Newsmax” and “One America News,” that are further to the right than FOX News. And Trump is promoting those channels right now.
“Newsmax” has seen an extraordinary surge in viewership. Still a lot lower than CNN or FOX. But this is a channel that had 50,000 viewers before the election. Now sometimes a half million viewers. There’s clearly an audience for a channel that’s so far right that they deny Biden is the president-elect, that they promote voter fraud innuendo all day long. So some FOX fans are going off to other channels instead.
It is possible, after Inauguration Day, that Trump may do the same, whether he wants to launch a streaming service, host a radio show or go off to a channel like “Newsmax.”
There continues to be a lot of chatter about what his future media platform might be. Could he end up with a show on FOX News? It is not out of the realm of possibility. But there are definitely other options for the outgoing president. That’s something to really keep an eye on.
I think, big picture, Pamela, here is the concerning trend line here. People are going more and more into their own echo chambers, more into their own bubbles, especially Trump voters.
There’s this new social media app, called Parler, getting a lot of attention. Because conservatives are leaving, saying they’re leaving Twitter and Facebook, going off to Parler because they believe Parler is a safer space for them.
What we’re seeing is even more of a bunker mentality in right-wing media. Ultimately, that’s not good for the country.
BROWN: No, it is not good. It is a threat to democracy that these people are in echo chambers and they’re getting fed a diet of lies essentially.
STELTER: Lies, that’s what it is. Thanks.
BROWN: Yes. Brian Stelter, thank you so much.
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