Republicans who support President Trump’s challenge of the 2020 election results should not be referred to as “conservative,” according to a Politico reporter.
In fact, the outlet’s chief political correspondent, Tim Alberta, called on fellow journalists to label GOP lawmakers who choose to do their jobs and investigate claims of fraud as “extremists” and “radicals.” Alberta declared that “words matter” in a pair of tweets on Sunday directed to other members of the media.
“Words matter. It’s past time we reformed our political terminology,” Alberta tweeted.
His comments came amid ongoing challenges to the election results in several swing states and as Senate Republicans joined more than 140 GOP House lawmakers in announcing their plans to object to Wednesday’s certification of the Electoral College votes in Congress.
“We should not—for the rest of their careers—refer to any of these Republican E.C. objectors as ‘conservatives,'” Alberta wrote.
“They are radicals. They are extremists. There is nothing conservative about subverting democracy,” he added.
Words matter. It’s past time we reformed our political terminology.
We should not—for the rest of their careers—refer to any of these Republican E.C. objectors as “conservatives.”
They are radicals. They are extremists. There is nothing conservative about subverting democracy.
— Tim Alberta (@TimAlberta) January 4, 2021
The author and political commentator followed up with another tweet, reiterating his stance and calling out others in the media for “misleading” the public by referring to the Trump-supporting lawmakers as “conservatives.”
“I’m serious,” he doubled down. “Writers and broadcasters need to think critically about how to describe people like Ted Cruz and Jim Jordan without defaulting to ‘conservative.’ When in doubt, use ‘far-right.’ I’m open to other ideas. But calling any of this ‘conservative’ is profoundly misleading.”
I’m serious. Writers and broadcasters need to think critically about how to describe people like Ted Cruz and Jim Jordan without defaulting to “conservative.” When in doubt, use “far-right.” I’m open to other ideas. But calling any of this “conservative” is profoundly misleading.
— Tim Alberta (@TimAlberta) January 4, 2021
He took on the subject again on Tuesday, defending his argument in another tweet.
I’m laying this out, plain as possible, because Fox News wrote a story about my tweets re: the meaning of “conservative.” So let’s be clear.
What Hawley, Cruz and dozens of House Rs are planning is not—by any definition—conservative.
It is—by any definition—radical and extreme.
— Tim Alberta (@TimAlberta) January 5, 2021
Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan echoed the narrative with an article on the “radical right” and Trump’s “enablers,” which was published on Monday.
“In applying this innocuous-sounding description, the reality-based media does the public a terrible disservice. Instead of calling out the truth, it normalizes; it softens the dangerous edges,” Sullivan wrote.
“Too much of the reality-based media has gone along for the ride, worried about accusations of leftist bias, wanting desperately to be seen as neutral, unwilling to be clear about how lopsided these sides are … We should take one small but symbolic step toward repairing the damage by using the right words to describe it. It would be a start,” she added.
In a surprising departure, unapologetic Trump critic Mika Brzezinski actually called Democrats out over their whining about the president and GOP lawmakers battling vote results.
“The last three times a Republican has been elected president, Democrats in the House have brought objections to the electoral votes in states the Republican nominee has won,” the co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe said as she cited examples and read quotes.
(Source: MSNBC via Media Research Center)
“Democrats should probably hold their criticism on this one. Leave the criticism to the true conservatives,” she concluded.
Meanwhile, Alberta and Sullivan found plenty of liberal support for their views on social media. But many other Twitter users fired back, noting the hypocrisy of Alberta as a former conservative reporter. The Twitter account for the House Judiciary Republicans fired back with a stinging tweet.
The American people need to think critically about how to describe some in the mainstream media without defaulting to “journalist.”
When in doubt, use “left-wing activist.” https://t.co/TfCTvxb8nz
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) January 4, 2021
Someone should ask former conservative reporter @TimAlberta if he’s going to disavow “far-right” (Alberta’s term for Ted Cruz now) @tedcruz‘s complimentary review of his book:https://t.co/mlQOGLHuxY pic.twitter.com/Yp43iuYL2R
— Doctor Sarcastic Cupcake (@SarcasticCupcak) January 4, 2021
Just one look at @TimAlberta twitter feed will tell us why we shouldn’t be surprised by his opinion on this. He hates Trump.
— William M D 🇺🇸 (@wmdavid66) January 5, 2021
If believing in the founding principles of freedom is radical…if believing in truth is radical…I think most of us will accept that label now…
— Tim Newport (@logic_101) January 5, 2021
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