CNN's Brian Stelter explains how right-wing media's "anti-Mueller, anti-FBI feedback loop" with Trump works

CNN's Brian Stelter explains how right-wing media's "anti-Mueller, anti-FBI feedback loop" with Trump works

Stelter: Conservative media commentators' anti-Mueller and anti-FBI rhetoric is dangerous and "sounds like propaganda"

Video ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

From the December 17 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources:

Loading the player reg...

BRIAN STELTER (HOST): But first, [special counsel] Robert Mueller is investigating Russia's attack on the American election, but now he is under attack. And this new assault is not coming from Moscow. It's coming from Fox News headquarters right here in New York. And it's coming from the White House. It's an anti-Mueller, anti-FBI feedback loop, claiming that Mueller's probe is hopelessly biased and downright corrupt. Let's cue Fox. 

[BEGIN VIDEO]

RACHEL CAMPOS-DUFFY: I think what we have here is potentially one of the biggest scandals in American history where we're seeing our justice system being used to really change the outcome of an election. 

[END VIDEO]

STELTER: That's from Fox & Friends just today. Now let's cue Trump aide Kellyanne Conway last night.

[BEGIN VIDEO]

KELLYANNE CONWAY: The fix was in against Donald Trump from the beginning. And they were pro-Hillary. 

[END VIDEO]

STELTER: This is the feedback loop in action. I want you to see it over and over again. Fox, Trump, his aides, GOP lawmakers, all of them, they're taking a legitimate issue, which is the discovery of a Mueller team member who expressed his hatred of Trump in text messages, and then they're blowing it up, trying to discredit the entire probe. Now remember, that team member was removed from the probe when the text messages were found. But every day it's something new, some new reason to claim the special counsel is illegitimate. 

So as you watch the coverage, try to notice how this works. Notice how right-wing commentators and GOP lawmakers are echoing each other. And pay close attention to the banners on the bottom of Fox's screen. Last night -- I can't believe this -- Fox is asking if the FBI is engaged in a coup. This morning, the banner said the "investigators are in the hot seat." This isn't just an alternate reality. This is a reversal of reality. Obviously it's Trump world that is on the hot seat. Four Trump associates have been charged with crimes. Two of the four have pled guilty. Mueller is investigating a massive fire and everyone can see and smell the smoke. But this, instead, is what the president's hearing.

[BEGIN VIDEO]

JEANINE PIRRO: The only thing that remains is whether we have the fortitude to not just fire these people immediately, but to take them out in cuffs. 

[END VIDEO]

STELTER: That is Jeanine Pirro, one of Trump's informal advisers, not just calling for firings but arrests. Look, I don't say this lightly but these FOT's, these friends of Trump, they are -- they're talking like propagandists. This sounds like propaganda, and it sounds dangerous. Pirro's demanding a "cleansing of the FBI." Sean Hannity's calling Mueller "the head of the snake." Other Fox hosts are calling the FBI corrupt and out of control. Rush Limbaugh's describing it as a coup, and guests on these programs are comparing the FBI to the KGB. The conservative media choir is telling Trump that "Mueller is out to get you, trying to reverse the outcome of the election." It doesn't get any more dangerous than that.

Previously:

Study: Hannity's crusade against Robert Mueller and the Russia probe, by the numbers

Fox's Gregg Jarrett: Mueller is using the FBI "as a political weapon ... like the old KGB" 

Fox's Lou Dobbs: “We have the most corrupt” FBI and DOJ in our country's history investigating Trump

Right-wing media attack FBI Russia probe special counsel Robert Mueller

Posted In
The Presidency & White House, Justice & Civil Liberties, Criminal Justice
Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
Brian Stelter
Show/Publication
Reliable Source
Stories/Interests
Trump/Russia
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.