PBS's Barron-Lopez Crowns Biden Savior of Democracy vs. Trump's 'Stochastic Terrorism'

January 9th, 2024 11:17 AM

The PBS NewsHour on Friday ran with the anti-Trump talking points from the Joe Biden re-election campaign, with Biden posing as defender of democracy at the historical site Valley Forge, painting Donald Trump as a danger to democracy (never mind Biden’s Democratic Party throwing Trump off the ballot in two states and counting).

Nawaz used loaded liberal language, claiming Biden was “marking the three-year anniversary of the January 6 insurrection” by “condemn[ing] political violence,” then turned to White House correspondent Laura Barron-Lopez to confirm Biden’s overheated accusation against his likely presidential opponent at face value.

Nawaz: So, President Biden said -- among many other things, he said, Trump is willing to sacrifice democracy. Why is the president making this the central theme of his reelection campaign now?

Barron-Lopez eagerly signed onto Biden’s “democracy” talk.

Barron-Lopez: Because he really believes that this is the most important issue facing the country right now, that it's an existential threat, and that President Biden decided to run in 2020 because of the neo-Nazis that he saw marching on Charlottesville. [Editor’s note: Meanwhile, anti-Semites are marching in the United States under Biden] And he and his campaign see a throughline from that to now….

Nawaz fluffed up Biden’s intellectual bona fides by noting Biden had met with historians before the speech...as if they weren't the usual MSNBC historians, like occasional Biden speechwriter Jon Meacham. Barron-Lopez even cited Eddie Glaude, a Morning Joe regular:  

Barron-Lopez: I spoke to multiple historians who met with President Biden this week. And these are historians that have met with presidents in the past. And they say that their meetings with Biden are much more urgent, that they're very serious, given the moment that they see the country facing. The president asks a lot of questions. He wants to understand, potential historical parallels throughout U.S. history. I spoke to Princeton's Eddie Glaude Jr., who said that he sees this moment as a second lost cause, that lost cause being the myth that was perpetuated after the Civil War that romanticized the South, that tried to revise the history of slavery, and drew that parallel to the revisions of January 6….

Nawaz added: "You have been talking to experts who monitor political violence and monitor extremist groups. What are they saying about this moment in time and what is ahead in 2024?"

Barron-Lopez blamed Republicans, citing a poll from the leftist Public Religion Research Institute, showing more Republicans than Democrats answered that American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save the country.

Rachel Kleinfeld of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who came off like a liberal hysteric, extrapolated wildly.

Kleinfeld: But what we are likely to see is very directed violence at the people involved in the court cases against Trump, the prosecutors, the judges, the juries. We're likely to see broad violence against minorities and immigrants that are being directed by really ugly campaign rhetoric. We're likely to see a lot of violence in schools, because kids tend to take on the polarization of their parents, but they're much more impulsive and more willing to act.

In the Obama years, Kleinfeld was appointed by Hillary Clinton to a State Department advisory board. 

Barron-Lopez dredged up the phrase “stochastic terrorism” (which she mispronounced), a pseudo-scholarly attack line from left-wing academia – a convenient way to blame anything bad that happens to a Democrat in America on Trumpian rhetoric, no matter how tenuous the connection. 

Barron-Lopez: The other type of violence she told me that she believes could be seen is something known as stochastic terrorism, Amna. And what that is that, when an individual hears former President Donald Trump attack migrants, attack Colorado judges, attack anyone that he perceives as a political enemy and essentially places a target on their back, that then that individual may then go out and act on it….

Barron-Lopez said Kleinfeld "she has hope that maybe more Republicans, like we have seen from Senator Mitt Romney, like we have seen from Congresswoman Liz Cheney, would go — come out and forcefully condemn violence. But, at this stage, Amna, we haven't seen much of that."