CNN, the most anti-Trump cable channel, stuck to its playbook Sunday in bringing on NeverTrumpers to bash the soon-to-be-former President Donald Trump and the Republican Party.
Host Ana Cabrera discussed with conservative pundits and fellow CNN personalities Margaret Hoover and John Avlon, a new poll which CNN commissioned, that showed just 19 percent of Republicans surveyed believe Democrat Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 election.
Just as newsy is what CNN didn’t reveal about its poll.
Cabrera said the results “just about took my breath away.”
“It shows only 19 percent of Republicans believe Joe Biden won the election legitimately, compared to 75 percent of Republicans who believe he didn’t.” To which Cabrera added, “Margaret, this is apparently the new fringe of your party, the 19% who believe the election was legitimate. How is that possible?”
Hoover replied with the appropriate contempt for “her” party. “There is nothing defensible; the fact that such a small number of people in that particular poll registered as understanding the truth as it happened in this current election,” Hoover said.
“What it yields, Ana, is, I think, a real reckoning with in the Republican Party, which is the Republican party is going to have to look at itself in the mirror and recognize that there is a rot in the party. A rot that has been happening under our noses during Donald Trump.”
Hoover continued, “There are NeverTrumpers who have known this has been happening. But there are many reasonable Republicans who decided to go along with the flow, to take the tax cuts, to take the judges, to take the policies, and to ignore the Twitter, to ignore the rhetoric, to ignore the rallies, and forget what was actually being fomented under the guise of this president, which was a radical extremism that was creating and making Donald Trump the leader of a white extremist movement, under the guise of the Republican Party in this country, and there is a real reckoning that Republicans are going to have to begin.”
“To the extent that the media has covered a Republican civil war in the past, they’ve got nothing on what’s coming,” she concluded.
But what CNN didn’t tell viewers about its poll was that suspicions about the legitimacy of Biden’s victory are broader than the network acknowledged.
For one thing, in its methodology, CNN explained that only 26 percent of those polled were Republicans, the smallest ratio among the three groups surveyed, including Democrats and people who identified as Independents or members of another party. Perhaps if they had asked more GOP members, the 19 percent figure would be higher.
For another, when CNN asked respondents if Biden “legitimately won enough votes to win the presidency,” 32 percent – fully one-third of the nation – answered no. Within that group, 31 percent of independents agreed that Biden did not legitimately capture enough votes to be president. Independents, by the way, comprised the biggest share of those included in CNN’s poll, with 41 percent of respondents.
Another 29 percent of total respondents, who again are disproportionately not Republican, said they have zero confidence that “elections in America today reflect the will of the people,” while 11 percent were “just a little confident.”
Finally, of course, CNN failed to take a little trip down memory lane.
In March 2018, 14 months into Trump’s term, a YouGov poll found, “Two out of three Democrats also claim Russia tampered with vote tallies on Election Day to help the President – something for which there has been no credible evidence.”
This was still being recognized as late as October 2019, when two University of Kansas researchers – communications professors Brett Bricker and Jacob Justice – released a paper on the casual use of the term “hacked” to describe Russia’s social media disinformation campaign during the 2016 election.
In a press release, Justice said, “If we adopt this broad definition, not just that the Democratic Party was hacked, but that the entire nation or our democracy was threatened by Russia, that could do Putin’s work for him by convincing the public that our democracy has been irreparably harmed, or that their votes not going to be counted because the Russians can change voting results with the push of a button.”
In their actual paper, Justice and Bricker faulted “the insular nature of much of the liberal media,” including the Washington Post, CNN, and MSNBC, for enabling “the spread of this misleading definition.”
“If progressive forces aim to be champions of reasoned decision making, they must avoid engaging in the very behavior that they criticize by propagating the misleading notion that ‘Russia hacked the election.’ The willingness of trusted figures in the liberal media and elected officials to participate in the perfunctory spread of this definition is disturbing,” they wrote.
“Without rebuke, conspiratorial thinking may become increasingly mainstream,” a development that “has deleterious effects on democracy in the United States, raising the prospect that politics could become a permanently ‘fact-free’ affair as both sides of the political spectrum prioritize short-term political benefits over the long-term health of the nation’s public discourse.”
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