Beltway publications like Politico and others love to send their reporters out across the country to interview these delusional Trumpers who are living in an alternate universe, but they never ask them about the source of the problem, which is who is feeding them the lies and disinformation that got them that way in the first place.
Case in point, this interview from this Friday's Deadline White House with Nicolle Wallace on MSNBC. Wallace spoke to Politico reporter Tara Palmeri who is a contributor to their Politico Playbook, and who was sent out to do some man-on-the street interviews in Wyoming following Matt Gaetz's rally there where he went after his fellow GOP Rep. Liz Cheney over her impeachment vote.
Palmeri was extremely dismayed with the maskless Trump supporters she spoke to, who don't want to get vaccinated (of course), refused to talk to her while she was wearing a mask, downplayed the severity of the pandemic, and who really don't like Liz Cheney right now:
“Definitely, and I think they see themselves now on a crusade for Donald Trump,” Palmeri said. “Donald Trump is way more popular than she is, from the people that I spoke to, and I actually went out of my way to try to find someone who would defend her and I really couldn’t.”
Wallace then asked if the Trump supporters Palmeri spoke with believe President Joe Biden won the 2020 election.
“No,” Palmeri said bluntly. “I literally — people wouldn’t talk to me with my mask on. They think Covid is — the numbers are grossly inflated. I had three guys, three ranchers in their 70s telling me, take your mask off, we don’t want to talk to you with your mask on. [...]
“It’s just the same talking points that you’re hearing from QAnon and Trump supporters and they’re gospel,” she added. “I couldn’t say anything. I was like, do you know anyone who died from Covid? Because I do. And they just — you couldn’t reason. You know? It was hard. It was really difficult for me.” [...]
“I hate that they’re so distrustful,” she told Wallace. “It feels like another world, but that’s what’s on the ground, and I don’t think we can ignore it. And I’m really happy I went out there and saw it because I think there’s a huge disconnect right now between Washington and the rest of the country, and you know, Trump people don’t want to hear anything against Trump.
As someone with a brother who is living in the Fox bubble right now, I can definitely relate to the dismay with the distrust and the alternate universe these people are living in, but if you've got a national platform as these reporters do, and you're going to go out and take the time to talk to these people living in the right-wing bubble, you need to start asking them one more question, which is where they're getting their "news."
It's not just "QAnon and Trump" that they're getting these talking points from. It's Fox, OANN, Newsmax, right-wing hate talk radio, right wing blogs, their Facebook feeds and a host of other sources, and until we start to shine a light on the liars that are pouring poison into their brains, and call them what they are, dangerous propaganda, this problem is just going to continue to get worse.
We can't fix the problem if we refuse to even identify the problem. The rest of the media needs to quit dancing around just how dangerous and vast the right-wing disinformation loop is right now and how that information its being disseminated.
And if you're going to go out and interview these Trumpers, start asking them why they believe what they believe, where they heard it, what publications they read, what television stations they watch, and how much time they spend on social media. Then take some time to call the liars they cited out by name and debunk the garbage they're pushing into the right-wing ecosystem.