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Biden is president, but Trump's election lies are still being amplified by his media allies

The former president is continuing to lie about the election he lost. But fact-checkers are now focusing on Biden, not Trump. PolitiFact editor-in-chief Angie Drobnic Holan says her team is still fact-checking Trump, but "will be judicious about our choices."

Posted: Feb 22, 2021 5:51 PM
Updated: Feb 22, 2021 5:51 PM

A version of this article first appeared in the "Reliable Sources" newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.

USA Today and Suffolk University conducted a survey of 1,000 Trump voters, identified via 2020 polls, in the past week. The results reaffirm that Donald Trump's big lies are now part of the bedrock of the Republican Party. Riot denialism, for example:

"Most Trump voters embrace a version of events on Jan. 6 that has been debunked by independent fact checkers and law enforcement agencies," USA Today's Susan Page wrote Sunday. "Asked to describe what happened during the assault on the Capitol, 58% of Trump voters call it 'mostly an antifa-inspired attack that only involved a few Trump supporters.' That's more than double the 28% who call it 'a rally of Trump supporters, some of whom attacked the Capitol.' Four percent call it 'an attempted coup inspired by President Trump.'"

Trump sometimes told the public not to believe their eyes and ears — and some of his fans evidently agreed. The day of MAGA terror at the Capitol has been flushed down the memory hole by Trump's base. "Only 4% say the impeachment trial made them less supportive of Trump; 42% say it made them more supportive," Page wrote. "Fifty-four percent say it didn't affect their support."

Rinse and repeat

The Big Lie about Trump winning the election, and Biden "stealing" it, largely lives on because some people want to believe it and because a constellation of Trump propaganda sources pump out a diet of dishonest info that props it up. But it is also important to see how the Big Lie is still being rinsed and repeated on respectable TV shows.

Matt Negrin, a longtime critic of public affairs shows, called out ABC's booking of Rep. Steve Scalise on Sunday: "He was rewarded with 10 minutes of airtime and pushed the lie again," Negrin wrote. "The networks are actively helping Republicans spread this lie."

Negrin also pointed out that election-denying lawmakers have been welcomed on other network TV shows in recent weeks, and said that "the only Sunday show that doesn't book these Big Liars is 'State of the Union'" on CNN.

ABC representatives would say Scalise was challenged, again and again, by host Jon Karl. They'd say viewers saw how Scalise evaded the questions and saw how Karl held him accountable. They'd say that Monday's "GMA" aired an exclusive interview with a police officer who defended the Capitol on 1/6. They'd say that all of this is part of a news outlet's mission. But are those defenses persuasive to you when democracy is on the line?

The new "Lost Cause"

-- Garry Kasparov wrote in reaction to Negrin: "This is like giving air time to people selling bleach as a miracle cure, except even more dangerous." He said that "denying the integrity of the 2020 election is the new Lost Cause" and "the media will be partly responsible if it takes root."

-- "Somehow," CNN's Jim Sciutto observed, "acknowledging the truth today -- on Jan 6 and the election -- has become an outlier position in GOP and beyond."

-- Agree or disagree? "The greatest threat of misinformation and disinformation is domestic, currently spearheaded by the leaders of a political party and platformed daily by a media outlets pressured into 'both sides-ism' via decades of bad-faith pressure," Jared Holt wrote. Holt is a resident fellow at The Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab.

A "classic disinfo campaign"

Researcher Kate Starbird wrote Sunday: "The 'big lie' (claiming massive voter fraud in 2020 election) has multiple features of a classic disinfo campaign, including: designed to sow doubt (rather than convince of a single explanation), pushes multiple (even conflicting) narratives, functions to undermine democracy."

"This isn't about finding a coherent narrative," Starbird wrote. "It's about creating doubt via throwing voter fraud spaghetti at the wall. And quite unsurprisingly, the next move is to use these same false and misleading narratives for future voter suppression, making it harder for people to vote next time." CNN's Zach Wolf recently wrote about that...

Tale of two GOPs

Saturday night on "Judge Jeanine," Lara Trump said her father in law "is the head of the Republican Party. He is really the person that everyone will continue to turn to in order to help them get across the line -- whether we are talking about 2022 or beyond."

Sunday morning on "Meet the Press" Chuck Todd asked Will Hurd, "What role should former President Trump have in the future of the Republican party? Or should he not have a role?" Hurd said "I think very little, if none at all."

Another takeaway from the new poll

"In a USA TODAY/Suffolk Poll in October 2016, 58% of Trump voters said Fox was their most trusted source of news. In the new poll, that drops to 34%," the aforementioned Susan Page reported. "Trust has risen in two relatively new outlets that have made their reputations by championing Trump. Newsmax is the most trusted among 17% of Trump voters, followed by 9% for" One America News.

Here's what Suffolk's David Paleologos said: The findings could reflect a "a seismic shift in the landscape of trusted news sources for conservatives."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 293542

Reported Deaths: 6638
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19560229
Hinds18674385
Harrison16512276
Rankin12595262
Jackson12451217
Lee9663160
Madison9400195
Jones7891145
Forrest7140136
Lauderdale6784225
Lowndes6008137
Lamar584480
Lafayette5707113
Washington5159128
Bolivar4594120
Oktibbeha439991
Panola426892
Pearl River4116128
Warren4114113
Pontotoc407368
Marshall399492
Monroe3980126
Union392873
Neshoba3767166
Lincoln3464100
Hancock339973
Leflore3358118
Sunflower317185
Tate300874
Pike298393
Scott292567
Alcorn290360
Itawamba288871
Yazoo283862
Tippah275665
Copiah274557
Coahoma272766
Simpson271778
Prentiss268658
Leake251770
Wayne251340
Marion250778
Covington247878
Grenada245876
Adams233277
George230645
Newton224751
Winston220275
Jasper211844
Tishomingo211765
Attala206269
Chickasaw200650
Holmes181670
Clay178149
Stone171429
Tallahatchie169839
Clarke168671
Calhoun156428
Smith151831
Yalobusha142936
Greene126833
Walthall123540
Noxubee122729
Perry121434
Montgomery121237
Lawrence119321
Carroll117623
Amite110832
Webster109929
Jefferson Davis100531
Tunica98623
Claiborne97729
Benton93124
Humphreys91626
Kemper89522
Quitman77014
Franklin75519
Choctaw69516
Wilkinson62226
Jefferson61427
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 491110

Reported Deaths: 9831
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson706291356
Mobile35894721
Madison32255442
Tuscaloosa23996409
Montgomery22462494
Shelby21820215
Baldwin19670274
Lee14900150
Morgan13599249
Calhoun13175285
Etowah13143319
Marshall11226206
Houston10048259
Elmore9337183
Limestone9335134
Cullman8869179
St. Clair8783220
Lauderdale8581210
DeKalb8429174
Talladega7481163
Walker6504251
Jackson6477102
Autauga620389
Blount6086125
Colbert5978118
Coffee5230102
Dale4621106
Russell401831
Franklin397876
Covington3956106
Chilton384298
Escambia377172
Tallapoosa3572141
Clarke342949
Dallas3397141
Chambers3392108
Pike293071
Lawrence281384
Marion280894
Winston246166
Bibb244260
Geneva238670
Marengo233354
Pickens223954
Barbour209951
Hale208868
Fayette199756
Butler195165
Henry182041
Cherokee176438
Monroe165938
Randolph163140
Washington156634
Crenshaw143554
Clay143354
Macon140943
Cleburne136839
Lamar131732
Lowndes130648
Wilcox120825
Bullock116336
Conecuh106523
Perry105327
Sumter98431
Coosa87823
Greene87032
Choctaw54823
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