CNN Host Yawns as Guest Compares Trump to Rise of Fascism

On Monday afternoon, CNN anchor Brianna Keilar led a discussion about the alleged weaponization of the word “socialism” against both Democrats and self-avowed “democratic socialists.” Former Bernie Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver launched into a tirade against President Trump, comparing him to the fascist leaders of the 1930s and alluded to Sanders being America’s knight in shining armor who will vanquish the evil “authoritarian” leadership of Trump. Keilar didn’t bat an eye.

 

 

Weaver went on a socialist propaganda fueled rant about Trump being the face of the rise of authoritarianism, xenophobia, and racism, not just in America, but around the world:

There is a worldwide movement toward authoritarianism, and right wing thinking, and division, and xenophobia, and racism. And it is all being fueled by the increasing concentration of wealth at the top and desperation at the bottom. And this is not unlike the challenge that confronted the world in the 1920s when we had this huge explosion wealth at the top and desperation at the bottom and people were gravitating to the right wing people with disastrous results. And in the United States of America, Donald Trump represents that. This is part of a world-wide movement. This is not something that’s unique to America. And Bernie Sanders is saying what we did then to pull the rug out from underneath right wing extremists in the 1930s, we need to do that again and that is how we defeat them.

Weaver’s assessment of Trump was not only ignorant, but also dangerous. Keilar letting Weaver’s comments stand unopposed left the audience to believe that maybe his unhinged ramblings were the truth, and not merely the opinion of a fanatic ex-campaign manager. His suggestion that Trump needed to be defeated in the same fashion of the fascists of old was a radical stance that could become normalized when left undisputed.

Imagine for a moment if Kellyanne Conway went onto CNN and compared Hillary Clinton to Augusto Pinochet. The segment would have ended before she could have pronounced the second “o.” The media has a responsibility to fact check both sides of the aisle when they come onto their platform to pontificate. Keilar’s unwillingness to rebut Weaver’s comments was either a case of extreme left leaning bias, or a degradation of her duties to the American people as a journalist.

Here’s the full transcript:

CNN Right Now

06/12/2019

1:35 PM EST

[1:35:11 – 1:38:52 3 min 41 sec]

BRIANNA KEILAR: I think that we can say that that theme is going to go over very well with Democrats. But then there’s this issue of democratic socialism, the word socialism, which I mean we're looking at some of the recent Monmouth University poll. Socialism is not seen as compatible with American values, but opinion not overwhelmingly negative. So that is not as, I guess, inspirational as what Jeff was describing here. So is this something that is going to be well received by Democrats broadly do you think?

DANA BASH: Well, we'll see. This is – this is the Bernie Sanders that the Democratic electorate and country certainly learned a lot about for the first time even though he has been talking about it for decades, and decades, and decades in 2016. And the fact that he wants to go out and put his stamp on this and explain what democratic socialism is again even though he did a speech like this four years ago is quite telling. And he says in the excerpts that the campaign provided that he understands that the Republicans are using the socialism part of democratic socialism against him and against Democrats. And he is trying to define it in a different way. Having said that, he is very clear in a way that I don't think -- maybe Elizabeth Warren and a couple others are, but he is very clear in a way most others are not what he wants to and it is redistribute wealth. He’s very – I mean, you correct me if I'm wrong, but he is very, very open about it, that the 1%, the richest people in the country should not be able to keep all this wealth when the people who can't afford to eat or can't afford just basics of life should be able to get some of that because he says that it is an economic right. It is a very specific way of thinking which is not totally in line with all of the Democratic candidates.

JEFF WEAVER (2016 SANDERS CAMPAIGN MANAGER): But I mean, this goes back to the conversation you all were just having about Poland and the slipping back. The speech will lay out a -- there is a worldwide movement toward authoritarianism, and right wing thinking, and division, and xenophobia, and racism. And it is all being fueled by the increasing concentration of wealth at the top and desperation at the bottom. And this is not unlike the challenge that confronted the world in the 1920s when we had this huge explosion wealth at the top and desperation at the bottom and people were gravitating to the right wing people with disastrous results. And in the United States of America, Donald Trump represents that. This is part of a world-wide movement. This is not something that’s unique to America. And Bernie Sanders is saying what we did then to pull the rug out from underneath right wing extremists in the 1930s, we need to do that again and that is how we defeat them. We were all shocked about the Nazis marching in Charlottesville. In 1939, there were 20,000 fully dressed Nazis at a mass rally at Madison Square Garden in New York City and the way we defeated that was by addressing the desperation that people were feeling in their lives.

KEILAR: But President Trump is using this socialism as a weapon against Bernie Sanders and a weapon against Democrats. We heard him say it yesterday in his appearance in Iowa at his campaign rally. I mean, to your point, are you talking about battling authoritarianism and he going to draw these connections back to that, but I do want to focus on some of the things that he has been for in the past. Because I think that it is important especially as we listen to Bernie Sanders himself answering a question back in April at the town hall, the CNN town hall that featured him when a young woman questioned him as there are many even Democrats concerned about anything that has a whiff of communism or socialism. Let's listen to this:

[CLIP]

NB Daily 2020 Presidential Brianna Keilar Bernie Sanders Donald Trump

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