On MSNBC's All In, Angelo Carusone explains conservative media influence on Trump's national emergency declaration
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From the Februrary 15 edition of MSNBC's All in with Chris Hayes:
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CHRIS HAYES (HOST): Angelo, this is your vocation, your area of study. So I guess my question is who is -- who is listening to whom? I can't figure it out. Does the president take the marching orders from Sean Hannity and the arguments? Does Hannity run the interference for him? Like how does this work?
ANGELO CARUSONE (GUEST): I get this a lot and here's one way to think about it: Fox News in particular but Hannity and some talk radio, it's the lens through which he sees the world. So imagine if I had the power right now to make you think that a baseball was coming at your face, right? There's a reflex, you will react to that. And I think a lot of it is less about this direct instruction and more about shaping the world that Trump sees. And so the reactions are much more instinctual and consistent with what he's seeing. And so that's to me that's the biggest part about it. It's not so much that they're the grand puppeteers but in fact it's even deeper than that, in some ways scarier, it's that they're actually shaping his entire worldview because that's the lens through which he sees it all.
HAYES: You also saw, I thought, Angelo today that -- people always say, people need to confront the president and call him on his lies, and people do that. People did it today at the press conference. There's no shame and there's no him saying 'I'm caught.' He just says I have better statistics than you when, for instance, he's called out on making statistics.
CARUSONE: That's right. And the other part about it, because there's the other side of that coin, or the foundation for that, is that he has a really a deep propaganda operation and an entire infrastructure around him that will reinforce that for the people that matter the most to him. If you're a politician, the people that have the most power over you are your supporters - that's why he always talks about his base. And if he thinks his base is shored up and with him, he can get away with anything. That's why you're going to see Rush Limbaugh on the Sunday shows this Sunday, right, because he's going to get out there and make sure that the base is seeing it the same way that Trump is.
HAYES: I can't help but note, Angelo, she omitted the promise was also that Mexico would pay for it.
CARUSONE: In some ways the word pay for it can mean multiple things to Trump supporters. Initially it meant they were going to physically pay for it with money but now it could just mean that he's going to make them pay for it, revenge. As long as they feel like he's sticking it to them in some way, his base will be satisfied with that. And it's interesting that Coulter would go against him in this way. The part about it that I find interesting is that it will have a marginal effect but not really. And that's because unlike Hannity and Limbaugh, she doesn't have a platform. She only gets to borrow a few minutes of other people's platforms.