Like the obedient lap dogs they are, MSNBC immediately took up Barack Obama’s call for the mainstream media to fight conservative media misinformation when Joe Biden is in the White House. That directive came not only from the former president’s new book but also a series of interviews this week where he warned our democracy was in peril because many Americans reject the mainstream media’s “set of facts.”
On Monday, MSNBC Live host Hallie Jackson gushed over Obama’s warning about the conservative media and movement with one of his former press secretaries, Robert Gibbs at the end of the 10am EST hour. She quoted from an Atlantic interview but didn’t include the more blatant parts where Obama essentially called for social media platforms to censor conservatives.
Jackson eagerly asked Gibbs how the media can monitor conservative “confirmation bias” in the wake of the election:
I want to ask you about something the president said in an interview with the Atlantic… He talks about this knowledge crisis he believes we’re entering. If quote, ‘We don’t have the capacity to distinguish what’s true from what’s false, then by definition the marketplace of ideas doesn’t work and by definition our democracy doesn’t work.’ That’s interesting in light of the fact that we’re seeing more fringe networks, more conservative social media platforms pop up and get more popular in the wake of the election as Politico puts it, ‘trying to be at the center is an impulse for confirmation bias,’ right, according to misinformation and extremist researchers. I wonder as someone who’s dealt with the media and knows President Obama, where we are as a country right now, looking for information? How you see this sort of conservative confirmation bias if it exists shaking out?
No irony here in that every major newspaper and news network aside from Fox spent the past four years operating under a liberal confirmation bias by refusing to accept that Donald Trump had legitimately won the 2016 election without Russia’s help.
Gibbs immediately went to low-hanging fruit by bringing up birther conspiracies about President Obama from the fringe as if to suggest this was the kind of news being spread by most conservative media outlets, (when actually Hillary Clinton supporters actually started these conspiracies about Obama in 2008.) He touted how Obama didn’t see how democracy could work if there wasn’t a shared “set of facts and knowledge” between the left and right.
But Jackson wanted more advice on how to the Biden administration could “deal with” conservative media outlets like OAN. Gibbs suggested the new press secretary be selective on what outlets they call on:
HALLIE JACKSON: So what do you do then if you’re the incoming press secretary? What advice would you have to the person who’s going to be at the podium who’s going to be dealing with some of these outlets that are more conservative that have spread in some instances, misinformation, places like OAN, for example?
GIBBS: I think you have got to be real careful about where you go, and I think you’ve got to do some work in lifting up those — it doesn’t have to be a partisan outlet on the democratic side, but lifting up those that are willing to have a conversation about a base level of fact that’s out there. It’s going to take a long time. It’s going to take far more than one person at the podium to wash this away. But I think really understanding and lifting up some basic level of truth and calling on the right people to make sure that there’s–that information flow–rather than looking at and saying everything we don’t like is fake news.
So there you have it. According to Obama and MSNBC, only the right is guilty of spreading dangerous misinformation and its the liberal media and Joe Biden’s job to make sure conservatives don’t have a platform because of it.
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