Left-wing journalists and media figures are stepping up their rhetoric against Americans who support former President Donald Trump using Stalineque language in calling for them to be politically “deprogrammed.”
Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson used the term in relation to Trump supporters in an interview on MSNBC with Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of the oft-fact-checked “1619 Project,” earlier this year.
“We have — there are millions of Americans…almost all, white, almost all Republicans who, somehow, need to be deprogrammed,” he said. “It’s as if they are members of a cult, the Trumpist cult and [they] have to be deprogrammed.
“Do you have any idea how we start that process much less complete it?” Robinson asked Jones, roughly a week after the Jan. 6 protest in Washington, D.C., that resulted in a breach of the U.S. Capitol Building.
Around the same time, Katie Couric, a former NBC and CBS anchor, used the same terms during a panel discussion on Bill Maher’s HBO program.
Maher began the conversation by remarking that Trump had overwhelming support from GOP lawmakers during a second impeachment vote in January following the protest, with only 10 Republicans peeling off and voting with all Democrats.
“It is so shocking. … Not only are they not conceding, Bill, but their thoughts — that there might have been some collusion among members of Congress, some are refusing to go through magnetometers … to check for weapons, they’re not wearing masks during this siege,” she said.
“I mean, it’s really bizarre, isn’t it, when you think about how AWOL so many of these members of Congress have gotten. But I also think some of them are believing the garbage that they are being fed 24/7 on the internet by their constituents, and they bought into this big lie,” she continued. “And the question is how are we going to really almost deprogram these people who have signed up for the cult of Trump.”
Deprogramming is a term most often associated with “reeducation camps” that are utilized by authoritarian regimes to punish political opponents and force them to get on board with the regime’s ideology.
Shortly after the November election, Democratic National Committee member David Atkins argued that someone needed to “deprogram” Trump supporters.
“No seriously…how *do* you deprogram 75 million people? Where do you start? Fox? Facebook? We have to start thinking in terms of post-WWII Germany or Japan. Or the failures of Reconstruction in the South,” he tweeted.
“This is not your standard partisan policy disagreement. This is a conspiracy theory-fueled belligerent death cult against reality & basic decency. The only actual policy debates of note are happening within the dem coalition between left and center-left,” he added.
And earlier this week, MSNBC “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski became the latest left-wing journalist to call for ‘deprogramming’ Trump supporters.
MSNBC’s Brzezinski (@morningmika) is the latest to media personality to demand Trump supporters be “deprogrammed”
“That firehose of falsehoods has been spewing propaganda & lies for well over a year, & it’s time to turn that spigot off. It’s time to deprogram the cult leaders” pic.twitter.com/eBUjbXNjWj
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) July 21, 2021
After railing against Trump, Fox News host Sean Hannity and “talk-radio freaks,” she said, “That firehose of falsehoods has been spewing propaganda and lies for well over a year, and it’s time to turn that spigot off. It’s time to deprogram the cult leaders.”
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