MSNBC contributor accuses mainstream media of ‘normalizing’ Trump’s image

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By Carina

MSNBC contributor Jennifer Rubin, also a columnist for the Washington Post, articulated on Saturday her view that mainstream media has contributed to a softened image of former President Donald Trump. 

In a discussion with MSNBC host Ali Velshi, Rubin argued that the media has “normalized” Trump, making his public statements appear more coherent than they are. 

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Media’s portrayal of Trump criticized for diminishing Democratic threat

Velshi shared that viewers often resist watching Trump clips, feeling that he has been portrayed as a “quirky abstraction” rather than a democratic threat.

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Rubin expressed concern that media outlets have failed to represent Trump’s rhetoric accurately. 

“They have made an effort to treat the Republican Party like the Democratic Party,” Rubin stated, implying that this created a perception of Trump as less harmful, almost cartoonish. 

Rubin criticizes media for ‘false balance’ labels Trump supporters as ‘fascist cult’

This approach, according to Rubin, represents a failure of the media to align with truth, instead maintaining a “false balance.”

Furthering her critique, Rubin described Trump’s supporters as participants in a “fascist cult.” She highlighted the irrational behavior often associated with authoritarian regimes. 

“Millions of people, sometimes even a majority of the country, become intoxicated with an authoritarian figure,” Rubin explained, emphasizing the lack of logic and rationality in such support.

Maddow explains MSNBC’s decision against live Trump broadcasts

Rachel Maddow, another MSNBC figure, spoke about the network’s decision not to broadcast Trump’s speeches live. 

After Trump’s victory in the Iowa caucuses, Maddow clarified that the choice was not out of spite but a matter of journalistic integrity. 

“There is a cost to us, as a news organization, of knowingly broadcasting untrue things,” Maddow said, underlining the impact on MSNBC’s brand.

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Trump expresses pride, satisfaction following Iowa caucus victory

In contrast, Trump, after his Iowa caucus win, expressed honor and satisfaction. “It really is an honor that, minutes after, they’ve announced I’ve won—against very credible competition—great competition, actually,” Trump said. 

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He described the win as “a tremendous thing and a tremendous feeling,” showcasing his usual style of self-congratulatory rhetoric.

MSNBC debate on media’s softened portrayal of Trump

The discussion on MSNBC highlighted a critical view of how mainstream media, through its portrayal of Trump, may have inadvertently downplayed the severity of his actions and rhetoric. 

This critique raises essential questions about media responsibility and the portrayal of political figures in modern journalism.

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