The Fascist Underpinnings of Pro-Trump Media: An Interview With Author Jason Stanley - 2020-08-27
Stanley's wide-lens analysis of the Trump years has felt particularly incisive in 2020. On June 1, Trump staged an authoritarian display in Washington, D.C., when National Guard troops and U.S. Park Police deployed tear gas against a crowd of peaceful antiracist demonstrators. The Trump administration did this so the president could stage a now-infamous, propagandistic photo op. Trump also deployed a collection of federal officers to Portland in July in response to protests in that city, leading to violent, sometimes one-sided clashes – like when Trump's officers slammed a young woman to the ground while she screamed. On July 30, Trump floated the possibility of delaying the 2020 presidential election, something only Congress has the power to do. Also, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, Trump adviser Stephen Miller has pushed draconian, anti-immigrant policies, doubling down on White House policy.
Stanley, the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University, focuses acutely on fascist propaganda in his work. Hatewatch sought his point of view on a number of stories we have reported out or followed closely that deal with pro-Trump media figures. In July, Hatewatch started running a series about Jack Posobiec, a correspondent for the pro-Trump television channel One America News Network. Posobiec met, worked with and amplified a range of far-right extremists, including neo-fascists. Hatewatch also reported on the degree to which Trump adviser Miller pushed racist, anti-immigrant stories onto the electronic pages of the pro-Trump website Breitbart News during the 2016 election. CNN reported in July that Blake Neff, the top writer for Tucker Carlson's Fox News show, made racist and sexist remarks on a private forum. Carlson's show is extraordinarily popular with Trump's base, and white nationalists in particular praise his commentary.