The Republican effort to contest the presidential election results on the Senate floor this week is raising questions about how media outlets should cover the moment, and whether the Trump-supported action should be called an attempted “coup.”
“Should TV networks show the proceedings live when the GOP objectors are boldly lying?” asked CNN Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter. Should they call it a “coup?”
“I’ve been using that word for months now,” historian and author Timothy Snyder told Stelter on “Reliable Sources” Sunday.
“Because he announced in advance, it numbed us all and then we’re scared to use the word,” Snyder added.
A dozen GOP senators have announced that they will object to counting votes in Biden’s clear Electoral College win during what has traditionally been a ceremonial exercise on Capitol Hill. The effort comes despite no credible evidence suggesting widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.
“Is it accurate to call this a coup attempt? … Is President Trump betraying his oath of office? Are the lawmakers supporting him seditious? These words matter a lot right now,” Stelter said at the start of his show.
A whopping 83% of Fox News viewers say Biden was not elected legitimately, according to a new Suffolk University/USA TODAY poll, but Snyder said that “unlike previous elections, we actually did have an election in 2020 that people around the world could admire.”
“The coverage has to keep reiterating what is true, what is real.”
Before Election Day, right-wing media outlets said “Trump would win and he would only lose if it was rigged,” Stelter said. In the “MAGA bubble,” the only people you hear from are “Trump supporters and experts who sound very smart,” he added.