CNN’s Brian Stelter compared the “radicalization” of President Donald Trump’s supporters by the “right-wing media machine” to that of ISIS members.
Stelter made the comments on his Sunday CNN show “Reliable Sources,” during which he blamed conservative media for radicalizing America. Fox News, Newsmax and One America News Network are among the networks responsible, Stelter said – Facebook, he added, harbors some blame as well.
“First, the best word for what is happening in America right now is radicalization. That’s what it is. That’s what this hyped-up, right-wing media machine is doing. That’s why it feels harder to talk about politics with other people,” Stelter began.
“When Trump lifers are calling for troops in the streets because they lost an election, that’s radicalization. When they start speculating about breaking off and creating their own country, that is radicalization. All of this election denialism talk is radical. And yet, it is infesting the airwaves. It’s everywhere in the pro-Trump media.”
Stelter said that discussing this “radicalization” isn’t easy, but assured viewers that “it’s way past time to talk about this honestly.” He quoted anonymous sources from Fox News who have allegedly told him that “they are worried about what the channel’s most popular, most incendiary shows are doing.” (RELATED: ‘The Best Way To Cut Through All The Noise’: Brian Stelter Claims CNN Does Opinion To Expose Lies)
The CNN host continued his media and pro-Trump slamming by comparing the “radicalization” to members of ISIS, a terrorist group. He wondered aloud how ISIS members and “the shooters in El Paso or Orlando or Las Vegas become radicalized,” noting that “the answer very often is the internet.”
“The body of research about radicalization is very clear,” Stelter said. “The internet creates more space for extremism and the echo chamber effect accelerates the process. Qanon is one really clear recent example. Bu so is ‘Stop the Steal’ and so are some corners of the anti-vaccination movement. Reporters see what’s going on. They are seeing signs of this radicalization in American politics, and some are calling it like it is.”
Some pro-Trump people have backed the president in his claims of mass voter fraud and “Stop the Steal” protests have popped up across the country. The president had continued to push the claims even after the electoral college officially declared President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election.
“I worry about the country having an illegitimate president, that’s what I worry about. A president that lost and lost badly,” Trump said during a recent interview with Fox News.
Throughout Stelter’s lengthy discussion of “radicalization,” he did briefly note that it is not all from members of the right.
“Now, are all the radicals on the right?” Stelter said before diving into his comparison of ISIS and Trump supporters. “Of course not. Do some liberals have radical ideas? Of course. Radical thought is nothing new in America. But radicalization is specific because it is a process.”