The right-wing's “deep state” narrative is sounding way too much like Joe McCarthy talk from the 1950s to me.
That was my observation on CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday in a conversation with host Brian Stelter, CNN's Hadas Gold and Yahoo's Michael Isikoff.
We were focused on some of the larger issues connected with how media covered the release by U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes of California of a memo alleging FBI bias and improprieties. Short answer: It went into overdrive with conservative media going somewhere well beyond that.
Stelter led off with a provocative opinion piece on how Sean Hannity, the bombastic Fox News host, “won” with his coverage last week. It wasn’t “won” in a good way for democracy, if you were wondering.
I talked about the messaging loop from Fox news hosts like Hannity to right-wing politicians like Sen. Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, and President Trump.
It is easy to mock cable news for its countdown clocks, endless loops of the same images playing repeatedly on breaking news, and occasionally over-the top prime-time hosts. But I have also been finding some of the smartest discussions and most in-depth coverage there as well.
Hearing Johnson talking about a “secret society” in the FBI and an “informant” who was telling members of Congress about it sounded like McCarthy, the Republican senator from Wisconsin in the ‘50s, who said he had a secret list that showed that the State Department was filled with Communists.
You can see the the two parts of that video here and here with further comments from Gold and Isikoff.
And here’s another video from the show with Julian Zelizer, Princeton University professor, and me talking about Trump by the numbers.