CNN host Brian Stelter spewed one outrageous conspiracy theory after another Sunday night about the possibility that former President Donald Trump might run in 2024 and how this might destroy democracy. The CNN host whose ratings have been flatlining, outlined a conspiracy involving "MAGA media" outlets, "insurrectionists" and the former President would all conspire to destroy the republic.
"Donald Trump is in complete control of the GOP and his entire political existence is premised on the 'Big Lie.'"
Stelter then outlines his prophesy.
"He launches his own version of Twitter and he streams a talk show on the web and it doesn't get as many viewers as Fox, but it sets the agenda on the hard right. And the agenda is revenge. Taking back what he says was stolen."
"The 'Big Lie' as rallying cry, supplies years worth of content for MAGA media and establishment GOP figures have to play along in order to keep their jobs. Trumpers Like Sean Hannity are enforcers attacking dissenters for daring to stray. Some have to leave the party."
"Trump continues to traverse the country holding rallies under the banner of 'Save America.' meaning America is under such dire threat that it needs to be saved from Democrats. These rallies are alive on Newsmax and OAN and they are streamed all over the place. And to 'save America,' red states continue to place new restrictions on voting rights with local radio hosts and commentators providing all the rhetorical cover that’s needed."
"The savvy ones say it's about voter integrity. The cruder ones say it's about making sure real Americans are heard and illegals are not. Even when Republicans are charged with illegal voting, even when it's the Republicans doing it, they claim its Democrats. So the real criminals in the rights media echo chamber, growing evermore extreme the words Democrats and criminals are conflated constantly. So the other side loses legitimacy bit by bit."
"The GOP media is on board with this they're on board with a power grab at all costs driven by fear of a changing country. Fear propelled by the likes of Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingram who bring up things like caravans, right at key moments."
"During the election and all of this in 2022 helps the GOP regain control of the House. Members of the January 6 'sedition caucus' are now in control of the body that completes the Electoral College process."
"Now some Democrats fret about what's going to happen in 2024. They worry if the insurrectionists will have the upper hand next time. But remember in Trump world up is down and day is night. And Trump keeps saying the insurrection was Biden's election, his propaganda machine so thoroughly rewrites the story of January 6, the most Trump fans now say the riot was legitimate. It was a virtuous attempt to right or wrong. The felonies, the brutal injuries, the suicides have been written out of this story. The rioters have been turned into the victims and most people by the end of 2022, have a sinking feeling that more riots are ahead."
"Now imagine it's 2023. Trump officially announces he is running again. He faces some younger challengers, but it is still his party, partly because he's great for right-wing ratings and clicks. He has convinced his base that he is the only one who can restore them to power. When critics derived the Trump cult, his super fans embraced that word. They start printing cult. T-shirts some guzzle red Kool-Aid at rallies to troll the libs. New fan groups organized in private Facebook groups. They call themselves 'The Trumpets.' They pledge to share only real news about the candidate to get around the CNNs of the world."
"Of course, their real news is largely misinformation. Meanwhile key local election boards are being reshaped in Trump's favor and the mega media machine gins up even more hatred against secretaries of state and other local officials who don't pledge allegiance to Trump."
"Intimidation is one of the key weapons, cars, buses, boats, all wielded in menacing ways. But when reporters cover these episodes, pro-Trump Twitter stars say, 'Hey, liberals tried to threaten us too. So we're just getting even.' There's always an excuse provided for undemocratic behavior. 'What about-ism' is the name of the game. Conservative publishing houses turn out shelves full of books with justifications for every illiberal instinct and religious broadcasters blast out daily prophecies about Trump being God's vessel against demonic Democrats."
The average New York Times reader almost never sees any of this, but it's out there every single day. Remember it's 2023 now... GOP primary season. Columnists who point out that Trump is one of the autocrats are insulted by Fox stars triggering hate campaigns against them. Reporters are trying to counter Trump's lies are jeered and smeared more than ever before."
"His verbal attacks against the media are so pervasive now, the physical violence erupts more often beatings at rallies bombs and newsrooms. The bombs don't explode, but that's beside the point. Fear is the point silence through force."
"Let's continue down the road a little further. Let's imagine it's 2024. Now Trump is the GOP nominee. He's feeding off Biden's missteps in a foreign crisis. His big life from 2020 has become absolute accepted truth in his party. There's a clear difference between the people who pay for news, who subscribed to news sources and want to know what is true versus people who pay for views, incendiary views, what they want to be true. And that's what MAGA media is all about. Incendiary news."
"There's a market for this. It's a giant grift, even more Save America websites start launching to sell affirmation and merch to the faithful. These sites don't gather news, they spin the news in Trump's favor. They start to publish explicit enemies lists. And in the comments section of the websites, people dream up What they'll do if Trump has denied power, which weapons they'll use, who they'll hurt. At far right conferences, people ask, when do we get to use the guns? And how many elections are they going to steal before we kill these people, Americans already today? Spun up by the sick stuff they see on social media."
"Every day, some random hyperlocal story about a migrant from Haiti or a refugee from Afghanistan is blown out of proportion into some doomsday international story about the death of white America's way of life. This is all you hear about on right wing radio and on Rumble. 'They are killing us.' That's the general election narrative, and this stuff trickles down destroying civil discourse, even on the local level."
"Neighbors, turn on neighbors. Normally easygoing local elections turn into existential battles. It feels that there's Republican diners and Democrat diners, Republican bars and Democrat bars, common ground erodes, largely because there's no common media ground anymore. It says if America has been swallowed up by Q Anon, conspiracy theories, freedom of expression feels trampled muffled."
"And remember, as all of this has happening as democracy deteriorates in 2024. Trump's enablers claim, they are the ones protecting democracy. They think, or at least they pretend that they are upholding the Declaration of Independence. They cloak their autocratic actions in the language of the founding fathers. They claim to be the most patriotic Americans of them all. And this narrative is advanced 24 hours a day by the 'ABC,' the apps, the broadcasters, and the commentators, who justify stomping all over the constitution as an attempt to save it."
"Now, imagine it's election day 2024. Trump is the leader of a new lost cause movement. Every single voice on Fox has his back, but outlets like OAN still called Fox liberal, commie, pinko, whatever it takes to steal viewers away from the top channel and Fox responds by running even further to the right, quadrupling down on red meat opinions over news."
"There will be no repeat of the Arizona race call telling the truth.It's too risky. The GOP or is it used to be responsible party? Officials are cowering to Trump. He election boards are to borrow, rigged a Bavaro word, rigged. The country is on pins and needles. Landlords board up downtown windows, maybe alluding starts shooting starts."
"I'm not saying that all of this will happen, but I'm saying it could. We know it could happen because it has all happened before. Almost everything I have described has already happened in one form or another. Books, like parallel have all the evidence. And the next big book about Trump and elections, aversion is betrayal. That's by ABC's, Jonathan Karl. It comes out in November and it has even more evidence of Trump betraying democracy.
"Karl writes in his final chapter that America came so close to the edge. Last winter, closer. The most Americans appreciate. I just want to read you one line from what Karl says. He says, 'I didn't realize it at the time, but as I reported on this book, I became convinced that the peaceful transfer of power that happened as scheduled on January 20th was something of a miracle.'"
"We know what Trump will do. So what will the rest of us do? That's the story for the American media for the next three years."