One longtime Democratic operative decided to spend an entire week consuming nothing but pro-Trump media -- and he came away feeling as though he had traveled to a "parallel universe."
Philippe Reines, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and adviser to Hillary Clinton, writes in The Daily Beast about his experiment spending an entire week watching Fox News, listening to Rush Limbaugh, and reading right-wing blogs such as Gateway Pundit to get an idea of what the average Trump voter was learning about the world around them.
What Reines found was an entire media ecosystem dedicated to downplaying the COVID-19 pandemic, hyping up the Mike Flynn unmasking as the scandal of the century, and relentlessly attacking presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
While he found himself enjoying some of what he watched, heard, and read, he said he found Sean Hannity's radio show "unbearable," and he found it creepy how so many pro-Trump blogs never wavered even once in justifying whatever the president happened to be saying at a given moment.
Most disturbing, according to Reines, was the upstart One America News, which he said was even more aggressive about injecting misinformation into the political discourse than Fox News.
"OAN -- the newest media outlet to join the fray -- is more dangerous than I believed in 2018 when I tweeted that its emergence was not to be ignored," he writes. "It by far creates the most web content. Between the volume and the steady tenor, it can easily feel like one-stop shopping."
In conclusion, Reines writes that he felt tempted to take the president's advice and inject bleach after watching nothing but right-wing news.
"As a State Department official I traveled to 111 countries," he writes. "All felt less foreign than the parallel universe I visited for a week. When it was over I was left with one overarching thought: if someone develops an ingestible disinfectant, I volunteer for clinical trials."