Trump and the right-wing media are distracted by bad news about viruses with alternate reality

Why are people drawn to Covid-19 conspiracy theories?

More than 82,000 Americans have died of coronavirus since Tuesday. A top model now predicts that 147,000 Americans will lose their lives by August. Millions of people are out of work. And the nation’s greatest infectious disease expert, dr. Anthony Fauci, is warning that reopening the country too early could have serious consequences.

All this to say that the news is not good for President Trump. Death and despair threaten to swallow his hopes of reelection. A CNN poll on Tuesday found that most Americans (54%) believe that the United States government is doing a bad job by preventing the spread of the virus. And a majority (52%) still think the worst is on the horizon.

Major news organizations are reflecting this sad reality with clear reports, bold headlines and historic front pages. What are Trump, Fox News and the right multimedia machine doing? They are building a separate alternative reality to keep their fans distracted by the news and outraged by longtime criminals in the right-wing media universe. The general idea is that President Obama and others have misused the government levers to conspire against Trump to win the 2016 election, with the “deep state” that later worked to kneel him when he was in office.

It’s called “OBAMAGATE”. And like Tim Miller explained in his superb piece, the key principles of the theory don’t make much sense: “The main ones being (a) when they are all explained in one place is absurd on his face and (b) if anything, the alleged actions of the deep-staters in 2016 have served to politically help Donald Trump, particularly in the last few weeks of the election, when the FBI reopened the investigation into their alleged favorite candidate, Hillary Clinton, and then acquitted Donald Trump of the actions that allegedly were framing him in the New York Times. “
David Frum to put it this way: “The” Obamagate “that Trump on Twitter – like the comic book universes he seems to be modeled on – is a tangle of backstage. The main characters do things for reasons that have no objective meaning, things that can only be decoded by superfans. obsessive about long Reddit threads. “

But while you may simply wipe it out while Trump and his allies rage senselessly, you should know that there is a real effort to blow this up. Trump is obviously making fun of him on his Twitter account and elsewhere. And although Monday was unable to explain it consistently, its allies in the right-wing media are intervening.

In the past few days, they have begun to publicize the alleged scandal as if it were actually worse than Watergate. The coverage is on all Fox News programming, covered by both alleged “direct news” anchored to commentators of opinions such as Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham. Like WaPo’s Phillip Bump noticed earlier this week, the mentions of Michael Flynn – who plays a central role in all this – in the last few days have passed the mentions of the coronavirus on Fox News.

“As the mainstream press moves on to other issues or simply makes fun of the absurdity of the president’s scream blowing on #Obamagate, the right-wing media are more deeply immersed in their audience,” Miller explained, adding, “The result is that President Trump manages to live in an alternative reality of his choice. “

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Will it help you with a large audience? Frum doesn’t think so, writing “The consequences are here. The tales Trump tells on Twitter will not hide those consequences from the voters Trump needs.” It may be right. But it will certainly distract Trump’s base from the concrete facts of the coronavirus. And that seems to be the point.


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