Author and commentator Mark Steyn weighs in on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’
As the mainstream media struggles to find a new identity without President Trump to criticize at every turn, critics have noticed many liberal news organizations have attempted to make the QAnon conspiracy theory its latest foil in the post-Trump world.
“The media have lined up with Democrats to share the talking point that the Republicans are the party of QAnon,” NewsBusters executive editor Tim Graham told Fox News, noting that it’s absurd to paint QAnon as the new face of the GOP.
“QAnon folks were Trump backers, but to equate that with the Republicans writ large is a bit like saying the Democrats are communists because factions of the old Communist Party USA endorsed a strategy of voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016,” Graham added.
“No one ever would ask the Democrats to explicitly denounce the Communist Party endorsement because it’s ludicrous anyone would assume Democrats and Communists are the same thing.”
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But the mainstream media has spent significant time in recent weeks tying QAnon to the GOP. Liberal CNN host Chris Cuomo was perhaps the most egregious when he recently dubbed Republicans the official party of QAnon, the conspiracy theory centered on the baseless belief that Trump was waging a secret campaign against enemies in the “deep state” and a child sex-trafficking ring run by satanic pedophiles and cannibals.
“I say the new party is the GOP-Q,” Cuomo said last week, continuing to mock the Republican Party by adding, “And it shows that they actually embrace diversity because they just created the QAnon wing.”
CNN host Chris Cuomo recently dubbed Republicans the official part of QAnon.
Cuomo’s colleague, CNN host Don Lemon, responded that he prefers the moniker “Q-Trumplican Party” when attempting to belittle conservatives.
Grabien Media founder Tom Elliot monitors the media industry for a living and has noticed a trend since President Biden took office.
“With Trump gone, the media need a new boogeyman, and the last two weeks of coverage show they’re swapping Trump for his diehard base, whom they accuse of being conspiracy-fueled yokels,” Elliot told Fox News, noting that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., has been “the obvious point of focus” from liberal cable news hosts.
“There are of course obviously troubling conspiratorial trends in modern America, but it’s false and counterproductive to suggest this is a phenomenon unique to the right,” Elliot said.
“What this represents is a much larger problem than QAnon and the Republican Party, as the media wrongly suggest. The actual issue is the breakdown in trust between average Americans and institutions like the media itself.”
Elliot feels that trust in the media eroded during Trump’s tenure in the White House and, as a result, Americans are more likely to believe outlandish and irrational theories.
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“When the supposed source of fact-checked information becomes a front for obsessive conspiracy peddling — as happened during the entirety of the Trump Era via the fake Russiagate scandal — the people, quite rationally, stop trusting the news, and once that happens, they’re more willing to believe just about anything,” Elliot said.
“If the major media wants to fix a problem like QAnon, they must first look at their own role in this mess.”
Conservative strategist Chris Barron told Fox News that QAnon is simply the “new catch-all for anyone who opposes dogmatic leftism” and liberal pundits like Cuomo and Lemon are happy to tie it to the GOP.
“It’s a pure fabrication by a media desperate to continue their 24/7 Trump derangement,” Barron said.
The hyper-partisan CNN has aired specials dedicated to QAnon, sent reporter Donie O’Sullivan to a meeting of supporters in Arizona, enlisted a former cult member to write an op-ed comparing his experiences to QAnon believers and even invited a former QAnon supporter onto the network to speak with Anderson Cooper.
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In a bizarre moment that presumably thrilled CNN overlords, the former QAnon believer, Jitarth Jadeja, told Cooper he once believed the liberal CNN host “drank the blood of children” and “ate babies” because he was singled out by Q. CNN used the interview to promote an hour-long special, “Inside the QAnon Conspiracy,” that aired last month.
CNN is not alone in its endless QAnon coverage, as much of the liberal media is infatuated with the unhinged theory. Recent New York Times opinion pieces headlined, “The QAnon delusion has not loosened its grip,” “QAnon Believers Are obsessed with Hillary Clinton,” and “Three weeks
inside a Pro-Trump QAnon chat room” have all hit the Gray Lady since Inauguration Day.
MSNBC’s “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” even referred to NBC News staffer Ben Collins as a “reporter covering QAnon” for an on-screen graphic. Meanwhile, pictures of the so-called QAnon Shaman — a man who was arrested in the Capitol riot wearing a Viking costume and facepaint and is now jailed in Virginia — have become ubiquitous with the coverage.
NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” which typically coincides with far-left ideology and relentlessly mocked Trump for years, referenced QAnon on Saturday during a mock pizza commercial, indicating that the conspiracy theory is essentially a household name among progressives.
Washington Times columnist and political satirist Tim Young thinks the mainstream media’s obsession with QAnon has resulted in reporters and pundits who are essentially experts on the conspiracy.
“Not only do I think the mainstream media is trying to make QAnon the face of the republican party — I’d be willing to bet that most members of the mainstream media know more about Q and its theories than most Republicans,” Young told Fox News.
“They’re obsessed with it because now that Trump lost they’ve had to move their goalposts from winning to silencing all republicans, Young continued. “And what better way to do that than try to make it seem as if all members of the GOP, not just an infinitesimally small group, believe this nonsense.”
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Controversial freshman Rep. Greene has received a ton of attention from the media in recent days. Last week House Democrats took the unprecedented step of removing her from two committee assignments for espousing violence and QAnon conspiracy theories on social media before she was elected to Congress in November. Greene has since tried to distance herself from the movement.
Republicans have widely disavowed Greene’s past comments, but ties to QAnon have made her a household name among cable news viewers. MSNBC’s Joy Reid recently spent half of her hour-long program discussing nothing but Greene.
While Greene has been condemned by many prominent members of the GOP, the party largely panned the House vote to remove Greene from committees because they didn’t want Democrats interfering with GOP matters and setting a new precedent for penalizing members for statements and postings they made prior to entering Congress.
CNN’s Cuomo acknowledged on Friday that he spends a lot of time covering a freshman member of Congress, but insisted her story illustrates “everything that is wrong” with the Republican Party.
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“Now, many of you say, ‘Why give so much attention to the QAnon lady?’ Because she is everything that is wrong with them, and our state of play. A QAnon kook, and the GOP-Q, just fought for her to be a leader in their ranks. It is the most flagrant example of how toxic things have become,” Cuomo said on Friday.
Last month, CNN’s media pundit Brian Stelter maintained that Greene would open doors for other “QAnon-curious” Republicans.
“It’s important to recognize that Congresswoman Greene is a smaller piece of a larger movement, of a larger phenomenon, other Republicans who are also QAnon-curious and are playing to a base that is conspiracy-minded,” Stelter said.
The New York Times reported last week that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent $500,000 on advertisements tying Republicans to QAnon, signifying that the media and Democrats are on the same page.
However, Cornell Law School professor and media critic William A. Jacobson doesn’t think the tactic is anything new.
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“Obsessing over a fringe element and trying to turn it into the face of the Republican Party is a well-developed media and Democrat strategy,” Jacobson told Fox News.
“We saw this during the Tea Party movement, where you could have a rally with thousands of people and hundreds of signs, but the media would focus on the small number of oddballs and occasional offensive sign, and plaster it all over coverage,” Jacobson continued. “So trying to make QAnon the face of the Republican Party is in keeping with this strategy.”
Fox News’ Evie Fordham contributed to this report