Unity was the dominant theme of President Joe Biden’s inaugural address on Wednesday, but it is not clear whether that message will resonate with members of the mainstream media.
The 46th president called for a “fresh start” and urged Americans to “listen to one another” and “show respect to one another,” insisting “politics need not be a raging fire destroying everything in its path” and that “every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war.”
“We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal,” Biden declared.
However, much of the “uncivil war” was fueled by the mainstream media during the Trump presidency and the 2020 presidential election campaign, as well as in the weeks leading up to Biden’s inauguration.
ABC NEWS CALLS FOR ‘CLEANSING THE MOVEMENT’ OF TRUMP SUPPORTERS FOLLOWING CAPITOL RIOT
There has been a growing trend among media figures that the Trump movement should be entirely erased following the defeat of the 45th president. Earlier this month, ABC News’ Rick Klein and MaryAlice Parks wrote, “The fact is that getting rid of Trump is the easy part. Cleansing the movement he commands, or getting rid of what he represents to so many Americans, is going to be something else.”
MSNBC contributor Eugene Robinson insisted during a panel discussion that “millions” of Trump supporters “need to be deprogrammed,” a statement that was echoed by longtime journalist Katie Couric on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.”
“The question is, how are we going to, really almost deprogram these people who have signed up for the cult of Trump?” Couric said, referring to pro-Trump GOP lawmakers.
An op-ed from Forbes Magazine threatened businesses that consider hiring anyone from Trump’s White House communications team. The anti-Trump super PAC The Lincoln Project launched a campaign on social media to smear anyone who worked for the Trump administration in order to prevent them from finding work.
Politico chief political correspondent Tim Alberta urged journalists to refer to any Republican who supported Trump’s election challenge, including lawmakers like Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Jim Jordan, as “radicals” and “extremists,” arguing that anyone who objected to the Electoral College result was not “conservative.”
On CNN, Don Lemon launched an onslaught of attacks against Trump supporters, calling them “mental” and insisting they have “got a problem” for defending the president during his first impeachment battle and calling on GOP lawmakers to be “shamed.”
The CNN anchor laughed hysterically as his guests mocked Trump supporters as illiterate “credulous Boomer rubes” last year.
In the weeks leading up to the election, the CNN anchor accused Trump voters of having “cognitive dissonance” to support such a “bad person,” insisting “they like the racism” and the “misogyny.” He compared them to drug addicts, saying “they have to hit rock bottom” in order to get help.
Following the violence that took place on Capitol Hill earlier Jan. 6, Lemon saw no problem in lumping all 74 million Trump voters with the “Klan” and “Nazis.”
Lemon’s CNN colleague, Jake Tapper, appeared to support the blackballing of those who wanted to challenge the election results, writing on Nov. 9, “at a certain point one has to think not only about what’s best for the nation (peaceful transfer of power) but how any future employers might see your character defined during adversity.”
Many members of the media branded the 45th president’s backers as “racist,” including Atlantic staff writer Jemele Hill, who tweeted last July, “If you vote for Donald Trump, you are a racist. You have no wiggle room,” a statement that found support from Washington Post editor Karen Attiah and CNN contributor Keith Boykin.
New York Times opinion writer Wajahat Ali wrote a piece in November complaining about his attempt to “reach out” to Trump supporters, urging others “don’t waste your time” since he failed to sway them to agree with his liberal views.
“My message was that diverse communities, including white [sic] Trump supporters, could work together to create a future where all of our children would have an equal shot at the American dream. I assured the audiences that I was not their enemy,” he wrote. “Those in the audience who supported Mr. Trump came up to me and assured me they weren’t racist. They often said they’d enjoyed the talk, if not my politics. Still, not one told me they’d wavered in their support for him.”
“The View” co-host Sunny Hostin repeatedly bashed Trump voters on the ABC daytime program, calling them “un-American” and “selfish” for backing the “misogynist,” “homophobic,” “racist” president in the election.
“I’m not going to say that 50% of Americans are racist and sexist and homophobic but I will say that that tells me that they will look the other way to that kind of behavior, to the plight of their fellow Americans, if personally they feel that they are doing OK and that they will do better under that type of presidency,” Hostin shamed the 74 million voters.
MSNBC contributor Eddie Glaude suggested on Tuesday that Trump supporters are also culpable for the devastation the coronavirus pandemic has caused the nation.
“You know, we’re at a crossroads as a nation,” Glaude said. “It’s easy for us to place all of the blame on Donald Trump. He makes it easy for us, you know? He does. But there were 75, 74-plus million people who voted for him. Selfishness, greed, you know, they run rampant across the land, but you know, there’s something that President-elect Biden said: ‘To heal is to remember. To heal is to remember.’
“So not only do we have to remember our dead, we have to remember what brought us to this moment, what got us here. And it’s not just Donald Trump. It’s not just him. And that honestly will help us walk the path that we need to walk, I hope,” Glaude continued.
Glaude’s colleague, MSNBC host Chris Hayes, took it even further, declaring that “the entire Republican Party” has “basically taken the side of the virus and are actively trying to spread it” for opposing strict lockdown restrictions over the holiday season.
The White House did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment regarding President Biden’s thoughts about the media’s attacks towards Trump supporters and whether they undercut his call for unity.
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On Wednesday, the new president described unity as “the most elusive of things in a democracy” and expressed his goal of “bringing America together” and “uniting our people.”
“I ask every American to join me in this cause,” Biden said. “Uniting to fight the common foes we face: Anger, resentment, hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness, hopelessness.”
“We can see each other not as adversaries but as neighbors,” he later stated. “We can treat each other with dignity and respect. We can join forces, stop the shouting, and lower the temperature. For without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury. No progress, only exhausting outrage. No nation, only a state of chaos.”