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: 350070

Reported Deaths: 7590
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds24512449
DeSoto23513283
Harrison21172335
Rankin15798293
Jackson15735254
Madison11171227
Lee10903180
Jones9223169
Forrest9027163
Lauderdale8087244
Lamar724890
Lowndes7199152
Lafayette6631125
Washington5661140
Pearl River5357154
Oktibbeha503198
Bolivar5004134
Warren4817128
Panola4812112
Marshall4739106
Pontotoc452473
Hancock440388
Neshoba4401181
Union438979
Monroe4369138
Lincoln4228116
Pike3739114
Leflore3676125
Alcorn355374
Tate354988
Sunflower351094
Adams347490
Scott346677
Yazoo342977
Copiah330869
Simpson327191
Itawamba317281
Coahoma315685
Tippah312869
Prentiss302563
Covington302384
Marion289882
Leake288676
Wayne280945
George277351
Grenada272188
Newton266864
Tishomingo240770
Winston238084
Stone235338
Jasper234748
Attala228674
Chickasaw221460
Holmes202574
Clay201954
Clarke189580
Tallahatchie185642
Calhoun183232
Smith183036
Yalobusha173641
Walthall150449
Lawrence145426
Greene141935
Amite139144
Noxubee137235
Perry136138
Montgomery133944
Carroll127031
Webster124332
Jefferson Davis119834
Tunica116127
Benton107825
Claiborne105931
Kemper104429
Humphreys102333
Franklin88424
Quitman86319
Choctaw83119
Wilkinson79332
Jefferson72228
Sharkey51918
Issaquena1746
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 592417

Reported Deaths: 11542
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson861091591
Mobile49771865
Madison37714533
Shelby27501259
Tuscaloosa27344465
Montgomery26343628
Baldwin25860329
Lee17336181
Calhoun15498334
Morgan15225291
Etowah15060370
Marshall13198236
Houston12191293
Elmore10977219
St. Clair10852252
Limestone10816158
Cullman10610206
Lauderdale10305254
DeKalb9594192
Talladega9005188
Walker7840288
Autauga7615114
Jackson7431117
Blount7417139
Colbert6752142
Coffee6443132
Dale5723117
Russell482243
Chilton4810117
Covington4804125
Franklin462781
Tallapoosa4571156
Escambia451083
Chambers3987125
Dallas3751163
Clarke372263
Marion3470107
Pike334079
Lawrence3277100
Winston300773
Bibb292865
Geneva288383
Marengo262967
Barbour253761
Pickens247762
Butler242472
Hale236778
Fayette228165
Henry216545
Monroe204541
Randolph202844
Cherokee200748
Washington186839
Macon171552
Crenshaw170658
Clay167159
Cleburne161845
Lamar151938
Lowndes146255
Wilcox132331
Bullock126542
Conecuh122132
Coosa119529
Perry111228
Sumter110633
Greene99337
Choctaw64425
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