According to Holland, Trump’s early dismissal of the severity of the coronavirus is linked to the alleged positive feedback loop created by his tendency to consume right-wing media like Fox News, which previously pushed optimistic assessments of the pandemic.
“But what seems like an incomprehensible strategy on its face makes perfect sense when you consider that, according to multiple reports, Donald Trump is an avid consumer of conservative media who tends to be impervious to advice from experienced Republican campaign hands. And it’s becoming increasingly clear that he’s been led astray by the conservative press.”
Holland also noted Trump’s narrative of the protests, which he claimed mirrors the “overwhelming majority of right-wing discourse” that suggests they are primarily driven by looting and rioting as opposed to an uprising against systemic discrimination in American law enforcement.
The journalist argued that this kind of discourse creates a “significant reality-gap.”
“While there were scattered instances of vandalism and rioting early on, real reporters on the ground in cities across the country consistently describe mostly peaceful protests, with small numbers of people occasionally crossing the line and damaging property.”
Although the journalist acknowledged that Trump’s appeal to the Republican narrative appeases his base, who follow Trump’s assertions that they should fear the dangers of socialism, immigrants, and expansions of health insurance, he suggested the strategy could backfire, as it may prevent the president from using assessments of reality to making accurate course-corrections for his campaign.
In a piece for The Guardian, Tom McCarthy noted the perspective divide between Americans who consume right-wing media and those who don’t.
McCarthy argued that these media outlets amplify Trump’s current theme of chaos and focus on the violence and killings taking place across the country.
Notably, Rush Limbaugh recently highlighted the purported violence and viciousness of the “anti-American protesters” attacking federal buildings. As The Inquisitr reported, Limbaugh previously expressed empathy for some of the Minneapolis looters who surfaced in the wake of George Floyd’s death. At the time, Limbaugh criticized the media for framing protestors in a way that did not distinguish them from looters.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson has also primarily focused not on the issues that sparked the protests but the violence and looting that has come in their wake. According to Erik Wemple, Carlson’s attacks on the Black Lives Matter movement are a reaction to his fear that his world is falling apart.