From the May 24 edition of MSNBC's MSNBC Live:
CHRIS HAYES (HOST): He has a habit, Trump, of anything that’s raised to him, anything --
CATHERINE RAMPELL: Any conspiracy theory
HAYES: Doesn’t matter, like --
RAMPELL: I like to picture his e-mail inbox, as being like, all subject line forward, forward, forward, read, colon, all caps, “Benghazi sex scandal," or something, you know. Like, any conspiracy theory, no matter how ridiculous it is.
JOAN WALSH: He likes to get the audience too, right? It is a crowd sourced campaign, and he is just throwing this stuff back out there and so far with the Republican primary it's worked. I mean, I just think that bringing Vince Foster into the context of the general election is ridiculous and it is going to backfire.
BASIL SMIKLE JR: And this is a guy who, what did he -- raised the specter that Ted Cruz's father had a hand in the Kennedy assassination.
HAYES: But this also just feels very narrow cast to me. I really think -- it has been amazing to watch this. I mean, you have Alex Jones who I’ve been watching a lot recently, he’s like the sort of -- the sort of main conspiracy theorist, probably the most popular in American life right now. You know, Roger Stone goes on that show every day. There's this crazy vortex of all that stuff back from the '90s, Dan Burton firing a gun into a pumpkin or whatever the hell it was. All of that stuff which has been simmering there forever and Drudge has stoked and now is just exploding through the channel of Trump. And part of the challenge, Michael, it strikes me is -- and you just, Basil, referenced it, the press covers what candidates say. It’s almost like, you know on the floor of the House or the floor of the Senate you can say whatever you want. Right? Like there’s total protection for libel and things like that and for slander. Here is Donald Trump and he can say whatever and it’s going to get covered because he’s the candidate.
MICHAEL BRENDAN DOUGHERTY: Yea, and it’s incumbent on the press to sometimes, I think, just step out of this mode of plain vanilla PolitiFact research and just say like --
HAYES: Fact check --
DOIUGHERTY: Say like, you know, during the Indiana race when or Illinois when he accused Ted Cruz's father of being involved in the Kennedy assassination, reporters went on television and just kind of said, “Okay, record scratched, pay attention. This is ridiculous.
RAMPELL: But the issue is that the Republican attack dog machine has for years been discrediting the institutions that we use to try to fact check, to try to hold politicians accountable. And so the general electorate, and more so the Republican base just doesn't trust what journalists say, when they debunk things and when they fact check things.