Trump-supporting media outlets turn on each other as they pick through the wreckage of his losing campaign
On Saturday, Politico reported that the right-wing news ecosystem is heading for a shakeup as pro-Trump outlets struggle for supremacy in the aftermath of the president's defeat.
Two of the big shakeups are the decline of viewership for Fox News, long the center of the right-wing media universe, and the gravitation of right-wing social media content to Parler, a self-described "pro-free-speech" website that promises not to fact-check content as Facebook and Twitter increasingly remove or flag viral fake news and misinformation.
"While Fox News still easily bests newer networks like Newsmax in viewership, a Newsmax show on Thursday night drew more than 1 million viewers for the first time, according to Nielsen TV ratings. And since Fox News network committed the ultimate heresy — being the first to declare Biden had flipped Arizona, and later acknowledging Biden's victory — the network's disenchanted viewers may now be up for grabs," reported Tina Nguyen. "So the race is on to determine which outlet — cable, radio, internet or otherwise — will embrace Trumpism the tightest. And the competition is driving the far-right MAGA echo chamber to cannibalize itself."
"At the center of it all is an impulse for confirmation bias, according to misinformation and extremist researchers," said the report. "Trump supporters, they said, are looking for a place to migrate that promotes their theories on why their candidate lost. That's why they've increasingly gravitated to places like One America News Network and Newsmax, two Trump-friendly conservative outlets that are more inclined to embrace the debunked ballot-fraud conspiracies Fox News will not touch. Similarly, Parler has fewer compunctions on fact-checking the evidence-challenged claims about fraudulent ballots that Twitter has started regularly flagging."
Adding to the chaos, according to the report, "Populist news sites like Big League Politics have attacked the organizers of Stop the Steal, a loose network of Trump-affiliated groups organizing mini-protests against the election results. MAGA influencers have razed conservative allies expressing slightly more realistic expectations."
One possible consequence of Trump's loss, said the report, is that the various far-right elements that made up MAGA culture will factionalize.
"Without Trump in office — or even in public life — it's more than likely that these disparate groups fragment back into their own separate zones online," said the report. "White nationalists, after all, can't exist in the same movement as hardline pro-Israel activists. Anarcho-libertarians don't naturally fit with more extreme evangelicals. And QAnon supporters can hardly stomach anyone reporting any unfavorable news about Trump, even if it's from Newsmax."
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