Right-Wing (and fascist) Media Threatens American Democracy


Facebook’s fake news crisis, a white nationalist in the White House, a Muslim “registry,” and more …

Kevin,

Beyond the notable Media Matters work below, here are some other things I’ve read this week: Jamelle Bouie on white nationalism in the White House, Zeynep Tufekci on Facebook’s flawed reaction to its fake news infestation, Brian Feldmanon the problem with Facebook’s data, and Jenée Desmond-Harris on the post-election wave of hate crimes.

John Whitehouse
@existentialfish

Carlos Maza

Right-Wing Media Threatens American Democracy

Donald Trump lost the popular vote, but he was still elected the next president of the United States. A lot of people are asking how this happened, but for years right-wing media have radicalized voters and lawmakers alike. Worse, the conservative ecosystem is built to continually encourage the worst possible instincts and drown out any voices of reason. Carlos Maza shows how Donald Trump rode a wave of right-wing fear to the White House. It’s going to be a long climb back from this — but it is possible. Watch the video on how Donald Trump capitalized on conservative media fearmongering and click here to share it on Facebook.

Facebook

Facebook’s Fake News Crisis

Thanks to Facebook, there is a plague of fake news sweeping America. Even President Obama is talking about it. We do not mean satire like The Onion or The Daily Show, but actual fake news that is just a total lie. Facebook has enabled dozens of fake news sites to rise and prosper, to the point where fake news outperformed real news on Facebook during the last three months of the election. This has long been at the margins on Facebook, but kicked into overdrive when Facebook fired the human editors of their trending topics section and replaced them with an algorithm. Why did Facebook do that? Mark Zuckerberg was reportedly afraid of a conservative backlash. As a former Facebook employee told Chris Hayes, Zuckerberg’s excuses do not add up. If you want a perfect example of how bad things are, just look at this Denzel Washington meme that trended. Enough is enough: it’s time for Facebook to take this problem seriously. Sign our petition telling Facebook to acknowledge the scope of the problem and commit to action to fix it.

George Takei

They Are Already Talking About Internment

Just days after the election, Trump surrogates descended on cable news to talk about a “registry” for Muslim immigrants. A Fox News panel immediately agreed that “whatever” Trump decided would be constitutional. One Trump supporter even said thatJapanese internment during World War II was a “precedent” for a Muslim registry under Trump. Internment camp survivor George Takei immediately pushed back, explaining that any such registry would be a prelude to worse.

Stephen Bannon

White Nationalist In The White House

A white nationalist was Donald Trump’s first hire for the White House. Stephen Bannon, also reportedly an anti-Semite, was in charge of the fringe right Breitbartwebsite and bragged just this summer about making it the home of the “alt-right” white nationalist movement. J Street and other Jewish groups condemned the “horrifying” hiring. Not only did Fox News and Republicans and conservative media rally aroundBannon, but white nationalist media did as well, including David Duke. (In fact, the man who cited Japanese internment was the same person tasked with rehabbing the image of Bannon after all of this information came out.) Yet mainstream outlets whitewashed Bannon, giving him a pass on years of promoting and engaging in bigotry. It is crucial that mainstream outlets call Trump’s appointees what they are — white nationalism and anti-Semitism in the White House cannot be normalized.

Donald Trump

Our Failing Media

Now more than ever, we need news outlets to stand strong. So far, the results are not encouraging. 60 Minutes did an absurd puff piece on Donald Trump that did not press him at all. Megyn Kelly, in order to sell books, revealed a series of anti-Trump facts that she concealed until just after the election. CBS Evening News gave a welcoming platform to a white nationalist, and Univision did the same for a member of a hate group. NPR let Breitbart editors downplay their website’s white nationalism and anti-LGBTQ extremism. There is an understandable instinct to talk to supporters of the new president elect. But if that instinct becomes abject moral relativism, then we are all in danger.

Featured Video

After it was reported that Donald Trump picked Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as his Attorney General, Ana Navarro spoke out: “I’m not sure there’s a statute of limitation[s] for racism.” Watch: http://mm4a.org/2fcnbql

Featured Post

After Trump was elected, one gay man wrote on Facebook about how he was worried about living in Trump’s America. Bill O’Reilly and conservative media fabricated a quote to try to get him fired: http://mm4a.org/2g3XkBy

About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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