On Saturday, journalism expert Brian Rosenwald told CNN’s Michael Smerconish that the real seeds of Trumpism were planted decades before Trump took office — in right-wing talk radio.
“You said it was not the ride down the escalator, but actually August 1, 1980,” said Smerconish. “How come?”
“That’s the day that Rush Limbaugh takes to the radio,” said Rosenwald. “And people tune in, what they hear every day is calls for action. It doesn’t make for good radio to say, hey, nuance, compromise, that stuff is boring. But fighting, that’s good radio. And Donald Trump captured that.”
Limbaugh, Rosenwald said, “was simply giving voice to the bedrock conservative sentiments that he had grown up with or that his audience had. That doesn’t mean he didn’t shine the spotlight on issues that his audience might have obviously heard. It didn’t mean that he didn’t shape expectations for what it was for Republicans. But it wasn’t like he was a puppet master who directed his audience to believe things. His audience already believed them.”
“There’s this mindset out there … that the whole landscape was controlled by those eager to spread wisdom or ideology,” said Smerconish. “What was the motivation.”
“The motivation was to charge advertising rates which is how can we make the most money,” said Rosenwald. “What’s the best, most engaging show that we can put on every single day? And that didn’t always work with what Republicans wanted to do. At times, Republicans would say, hey, this is the best deal we can cut. And talk radio would say, no, stand up and fight for us. Fight for our values. They’re rolling over again. For the mainstream media, the Democrats, that’s all they do, they just roll over. And that’s the sentiment that helps give us Donald Trump.”
“They were frustrated by both Bushes. They were frustrated by John Boehner and Paul Ryan,” said Rosenwald. “These guys made promises and they got to the campaign trail and they didn’t actually deliver. The reason they didn’t deliver, the whole country wasn’t with them. We have a lot of checkpoints and veto points in our government. But that’s not what the folks heard on the airwaves. They heard frustration. They heard anger. They were afraid, hosts were saying, just to pick one issue, immigration, they were saying this is going to destroy the fabric of America. And the end result was they were looking for someone like Donald Trump. Someone who sounded like their favorite host. Someone who the most important thing was punching back against the liberal elite. Not just people on television, but in the democratic parties. And Donald Trump gave them that.”
Trump is ‘capable of reading’ a unifying message — but it’s doubtful he’ll mean it: Atlanta mayor
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Monday expressed little confidence that President Donald Trump could unify the nation at a time when the United States faces a triple threat of a recession, a pandemic, and civil unrest.
During an interview on CNN, host Alisyn Camerota asked Bottoms about actions Trump could possibly take to calm nerves and bring the country together.
"What about the debate that we are told is going on in the White House, as to whether or not the president should at this moment make some sort of national statement and call for unity?" she asked. "Would you like to see that?"
Racist cops, COVID-19 and unemployment are sending black Americans into ‘despair’: Charles Blow
The multiple crises hitting the United States at the moment are hitting the black community particularly hard, and New York Times columnist Charles Blow said on Monday that it's sending people into deep despair.
While appearing on CNN, Blow said that the nationwide protests that have erupted in the wake of George Floyd's killing last week were about much more than the death of just one man.
"You add on top of that all the other conditions, which you spoke before, about this happening in the middle of a pandemic," he said. "Everybody's at home. 40 million people have filed for unemployment. They don't know where their next check is coming from... The idea that [unemployment] is disproportionately affecting black people, that COVID is disproportionately affecting black people that, police brutality is disproportionately affecting black people, it's all part of the despair."
Trump’s Confederacy-loving fans accused of treason in brutal new Lincoln Project ad
In another no-holds-barred ad from the Lincoln Project -- headed up by Republicans Rick Wilson, George Conway and Steve Schmidt -- Donald Trump is linked to the Confederacy and, by extension, treason against the United States.
The ad notes the prevalence of the Confederate flag at Trump rallies -- some even bearing his name -- and notes, "The men who followed this flag 150 years ago knew what it meant: Treason against their country. Death of the United States,” in the voiceover.
With clips showing the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, the ad goes on to ask, "What does it say that they’re all in for Trump?"