Charlie Sykes: Conservative Media Provides Trump Supporters a ‘Safe Space’ From the Truth
Mediaite columnist John Ziegler spoke to Charlie Sykes this weekend, and the conservative former radio host offered some mocking commentary about people who sacrifice their credibility to always defend President Trump.
During the 2016 election, Sykes was a vocal Never-Trump conservative who worried that Trump’s political rise would have dire long-term consequences for the GOP and the country at large. Sykes currently works as an MSNBC contributor, and he frequently criticizes right-wing figures who display ideological hypocrisy by dismissing the president’s controversies.
Sykes was on to promote his new book – How the Right Lost It’s Mind – which explores how Trump came to embody the decline of traditional Republican thinking. The piece also considers how certain flaws within the conservative movement and made it possible for someone like Trump to ascend to the White House.
“I always knew there were the fringe characters, but I always believed the center would hold. I always believed we would ultimately do the rational, reasonable, principled thing, which was obviously, in retrospect, highly naïve.”
Ziegler and Sykes proceeded to discuss how conspiracy theorists and false demagoguery became mainstream viewpoints among the right. Skyes called this phenomenon a “cancer,” and he figured that Trump was able to normalize this and harness momentum by creating a campaign to mimic their rhetoric.
As the conversation continued, Sykes said it has become “so evident” conservative talk radio is a media business designed to pursue ratings over any ideological cause. He argued that people like Rush Limbaugh followed the shifting views of their audience, while Fox’s Sean Hannity is “dumb as a box of rocks” and one of those who would predictably cave in to Trump.
Eventually, Ziegler noted how often people tune out various media figures so they can pay attention to those who provide them with information that reinforces their worldview. Sykes agreed with Ziegler on this topic, and he compared the situation to conservatives who make fun of the idea of safe spaces.
“One of the things I realized was that the we conservatives have mocked the Left, I think legitimately, for safe spaces on university campuses. But the conservative audience really came to think of conservative talk radio, conservative media as their safe space, where they were not going to be confronted with the inconvenient truths, where they weren’t going to have to eat the broccoli. And anyone who fed them the broccoli, anyone who told them things that were disturbing or off message, got a lot of pushback.”
Sykes went on to lament that there were no more ideological standards or cultural footholds conservatives could rely on after falling in line behind Trump. He continued to express concerns that the current toxic political atmosphere will have negative repercussions around the country
Listen above, via Free Speech Broadcasting.
[Image via screengrab]
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