October 27, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

Complete Canadian News World

Trump and right-wing media divert attention from bad viral news to alternative realities

Why are people drawn to Covid-19 conspiracy theories?

More than 82,000 Americans died from the corona virus on Tuesday. The top model now estimates that 147,000 Americans will lose their lives in August. Millions of people lost their jobs. And the country’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned that reopening the country too early could have serious consequences.

All of which said that the news was not good for President Trump. Death and despair threaten to swallow hopes of his re-election. A CNN poll found Tuesday that most Americans (54%) believe that the US government did a poor job of preventing the spread of the virus. And the majority (52%) still think the worst is on the horizon.

Large news organizations reflect this grim reality with clear reporting, bold headlines, and historic front pages. So what do Trump, Fox News and right-wing media machines do? They are building separate alternative realities to keep their fans distracted from the news and angry at old villains in the right-wing media world. The general idea is that President Obama and others use government levers improperly to conspire against Trump to win the 2016 elections, with “inner states” who then work to silence him when he is in office.

It’s called “OBAMAGATE.” And as Tim Miller explained in his extraordinary work, the main principles of this theory are absurd: “The main thing is (a) when elaborated everything in one place it makes no sense on his face and (b) if anything, the deep-staters’ actions that should have been served in 2016 to help Donald Trump is politically, especially in the last weeks of the election when the FBI reopened the investigation of the candidate they were supposed to vote for, Hillary Clinton and later freed Donald Trump from what they thought he was doing in the New York Times. “
David Frum like this: “‘Obamagate’ tweeted by Trump – like the comic book universe that is his model – is a tangle of background stories. The main characters do things for unreasonable reasons, things that can be translated only by super obsessive fans on the thread Long Reddit. “

But while you may only dismiss it when Trump and his allies go berserk in an unreasonable way, you must know that there is a real effort to blow this up. Trump is clearly grumbling about it on his Twitter account and elsewhere. And although he can’t really explain it in a coherent way on Monday, his allies in the right-wing media intervene.

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Over the past few days, they had started lying to scandals that were supposed to be as if they were, worse than Watergate. Coverage exists throughout the Fox News program, covered by anchors that are considered “live news” for opinion commentators such as Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Laura Ingraham. As WaPo Phillip Bump noted earlier this week, mention of Michael Flynn – who plays a central role in all this – has gone beyond mentioning the coronavirus on Fox News in the last few days.

“While the mainstream press moves to other things or just mocked the president’s bizarre and outraged about the #Obamagate, right-wing media put their audience deeper into it,” Miller explained, adding, “The result is that President Trump can live in alternative reality of his own choosing. “

Will this help him with a wide audience? Frum didn’t think so, writing, “The consequences are here. The fairy tale Trump told Twitter won’t hide the consequences from the voters that Trump needs.” That may be true. But that will surely divert Trump’s base from the hard facts of coronavirus. And that seems to be the point.