More Charlie than Kevin, McCarthy now tries to polish a turd about the insurrection, tiptoeing a fine line between Trumpists and “post-trumpist” GOP constituencies. McCarthy is just not good with shiny objects to distract the media, as he defaults to the GOP’s more covert racial messaging.
Most Americans reject the mob’s actions in storming the Capitol, though, as a Washington Post-ABC News poll found, 15 percent of Republicans at least somewhat support the storming of the Capitol itself. A HuffPost-YouGov poll taken shortly after the attack found that most Republicans viewed the mob’s actions as being mostly right or simply having gone too far in pursuit of a valid point.
But again, that white nationalists and far-right extremists were mixed into the Capitol mob has been portrayed as a suggestion that all of those who participated in pro-Trump protests are racist and extremist. Why? Because it is at times politically useful to portray criticism of racists as criticism of Republicans, for the same reason that it is at times politically useful to portray people as racists.
This is Carlson’s shtick: They, the elites, are attacking you as racist when you’re just an average American with real concerns. It’s how he has built and sustained his audience and expanded his power in conservative media.
The part of Biden’s speech most directly targeting Carlson wasn’t the part about the white nationalists. It was the part about lies being told for power and profit. Carlson appears not to have heeded the message.
DISINFORMATION PERSISTS — “‘They Have Not Legitimately Won’: Pro-Trump Media Keeps the Disinformation Flowing,” NYT: “Forgoing any appeals for healing or reflection, right-wing media organizations that spread former President Donald J. Trump’s distortions about the 2020 election continued on Wednesday to push conspiracy theories about large-scale fraud, with some predicting more political conflict in the months ahead.”