On CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday, Brian Stelter lamented that Facebook was “radicalizing” people with allowing all this divisive speech on its platform. Then he welcomed on longtime PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers, who suggested it was a popular T-shirt at Trump rallies to suggest journalists should be lynched.
First Stelter lamented Trump using the “racist” term “Kung Flu,” and asked Moyers “Have you ever seen as a former White House Press Secretary yourself such a personal, hostile relationship between reporters and government officials?”
MOYERS: Well, there's always some tension between them, sometimes there's some open feuding between them, but I've never seen anything like this. I mean, you probably know that one of the most popular t- shirts at Trump's rallies has Trump urinate -- a cartoon character like Trump urinating on the CNN logo. [Surely a ‘Calvin & Hobbes’ ripoff.]
You probably -- if you watch the Tulsa rally from start to finish last week, you will -- you will have seen Trump. He didn't have the crowd in the beginning. They weren't engaged yet. So how did he get their attention? How do they get their passion engaged? He pointed to a CNN reporter and said the cruelest things about her and the crowd came alive. The crowd was passionate again because he had made an enemy out of the person sitting in their midst.
WRONG. First, Trump mocked a supposed CNN reporter in minute 12, and the crowd was passionate before that. Second, he was mocking “the CNN anchor, you know, did a little shave job on the head…standing in front of a burning building, saying things are very peaceful here.” That’s not female, and not even CNN: it was MSNBC’s Ali Velshi.
Moyers, stumbling through false claims at age 86, also complained Trump puts the press corps in the middle of the crowd so he can pick on them, the poor powerless people:
MOYERS: You know, if you make -- if you make a fool or clown out of the press, then you have persuaded their viewer -- your viewer, your followers, they do not have to listen to that person or learned from him. They can only make fun of him.
And that's what Trump is doing. Brian, this is terrible to say. But there's a -- there's another popular t-shirt out in the Trump rallies that says reporters, journalists, a tree needs assembly. [Not quite.] I mean, that's a suggestion that the ultimate violence vested upon people who are trying to do their job and cover the news for the public.
It's an atrocious approach to the media and I never have seen it this way before. Nixon tried, but he didn't have his heart in it. Trump has his heart in it. He loads the media because it built him. And because it had built him, he can undo him.
Stelter didn't ask for any evidence for this smear, that this awful T-shirt is "popular." He just said “Thank you very much. Great to hear your insight.” No time for fact checks!
PS: First Stelter asked about Facebook. Moyers warned of “the Frankenstein effects of Zuckerberg’s creation, and “he brought it on himself this boycott, Brian, when he took an utterly amoral position that anything goes. No society, especially a democracy can survive with that philosophy if he have any side go -- if anything goes.”
Moyers even bizarrely called him an “autocrat” – for running the company he founded. “He has total voting control over Facebook, even the shareholders can’t fire him.”
This gunk on Reliable Sources was brought to you by (among others) Prevagen, SimpliSafe, iDTech Camps, and My Farmer's Dog food.