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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: 307519

Reported Deaths: 7096
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20772248
Hinds19888408
Harrison17489302
Rankin13311275
Jackson13097243
Madison9895210
Lee9856169
Jones8290160
Forrest7523146
Lauderdale7187237
Lowndes6262144
Lamar610584
Lafayette6027117
Washington5280132
Bolivar4769129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4442103
Pearl River4419139
Warren4280118
Marshall4273100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4057132
Union403675
Neshoba3987176
Lincoln3869108
Hancock372085
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322681
Pike3180104
Scott310572
Yazoo304368
Alcorn297764
Itawamba296776
Copiah292965
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284668
Prentiss275659
Marion265779
Wayne261341
Leake261073
Grenada254982
Covington254580
Adams245882
Newton244859
George237847
Winston225981
Tishomingo222067
Jasper219748
Attala213273
Chickasaw204857
Holmes186471
Clay182454
Stone179131
Clarke176876
Tallahatchie175240
Calhoun163230
Yalobusha158836
Smith158534
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126223
Noxubee125933
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite120041
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95226
Humphreys94332
Franklin81823
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 518899

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753641487
Mobile37763798
Madison33859494
Tuscaloosa25266443
Montgomery23962565
Shelby23106238
Baldwin20631300
Lee15524165
Calhoun14284311
Morgan14139268
Etowah13662345
Marshall11957219
Houston10380278
Elmore9993200
Limestone9811147
Cullman9470188
St. Clair9426234
Lauderdale9215227
DeKalb8746181
Talladega8058171
Walker7087275
Jackson6754110
Autauga6723103
Blount6483135
Colbert6203130
Coffee5399112
Dale4767110
Russell428838
Franklin419982
Chilton4083109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3893146
Escambia387674
Dallas3527149
Chambers3499122
Clarke346360
Marion3065100
Pike305875
Lawrence295395
Winston272372
Bibb256258
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224755
Hale218775
Butler212266
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176941
Monroe171440
Washington164038
Macon154548
Clay149354
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146041
Lamar139234
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99228
Greene90734
Choctaw58724
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