We may no longer see Donald Trump in front of cameras or feel the impact of his late-night tweets, but his infamous label of ‘fake news’ lives on as much as ever before.
“This is a news media that will look you in the face and say that they are a news media but they’re nothing of the sort any longer,” says Brent Bozell, founder of the Media Research Center. “They are unquestionably the megaphones for the far left in America today.”
When Trump departed, he left a gift of inflated exposure and better ratings to several conservative media outlets including Newsmax and One America News. Meanwhile, Fox News only got lumps of coal from the outgoing president saying that at times they’ve become ‘fake news,’ too.
While Fox remains the major conservative voice, things have changed since the events of January 6, especially when it comes to staying away from so-called flame-throwers like U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. CBN News asked her what her experience has been with Fox News post-January 6.
“Well, if you notice, I’m one of the most conservative members of Congress and I’m never invited to be on Fox News,” Greene said. “Everyone knows that Fox News changed drastically after the election. Republicans all over the country constantly talk about how Fox has changed, and they don’t see it the same as they used to.”
The congresswoman from Georgia seems to be part of a growing distrust of the media. A recent poll shows that of those who voted for President Trump, 92% of them see the media today as just a part of the Democrat Party. Another poll shows since January 6, that feeling among Republicans has increased even more, up roughly seven percent.
Washington Post Media Reporter Paul Farhi says the Trump faithful have totally tuned out the mainstream media over issues such as coverage of election integrity issues during the 2020 election. “In some ways, it’s hard to argue with the faithful and the beliefs of the faithful,” Farhi says. “The facts don’t seem to really matter and the evidence doesn’t seem to matter…and here’s why they’re not covering; it’s difficult to cover something that is not there.”
So where do ‘Trump Conservatives’ go? Some are looking to alternative outlets, which have refused to back away from charges about a rigged election. At first, social media served to get around the mainstream influence, although with Twitter and Facebook leading the censorship charge, it’s becoming trickier. Options to fully speak out have become limited.
“Obviously Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, there are a lot of social media outlets that have proven to suppress the voices of conservatives,” says Lara Trump, former senior advisor to the 2020 Trump Campaign.
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“I think we have all felt, well, gosh, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a platform available that would allow us to say what we want? Oh my gosh, the First Amendment! Imagine that! Our freedom of speech not being stifled,” she said.
That could change very soon as the former president, among others, prepares to take on social media by launching his own version.
“He wants a space where everyone can feel welcomed, where people don’t feel like the fact-checkers are going to be all over them even though these things are factual oftentimes.” Lara Trump says. “So I think it’ll be really exciting to see sort of this next phase for my father-in-law.”
The next phase will be fought primarily online as a battle against big tech censorship.
“There’s a lot of fear out there,” says Fox Nation host Tomi Lahren. “If we can’t talk to each other, and we can’t express our opinions, how are we ever going to mount a great challenge for the midterms or take back the White House? It’s a very helpless feeling.”
Lahren and other conservatives say the key will be multi-tasking: staying engaged on Twitter and other platforms despite big tech’s roving eye, while also looking for new viable conservative alternatives in this new media landscape.
“A lot of folks I know are boycotting Twitter, they don’t want to be on it and that’s understandable,” Lahren says. “But for me, I’m not going to give up an inch of a place that I still have a voice so I’m going to keep talking for as long as I can until they de-platform me. The same thing goes with Facebook and Instagram…unfortunately, it’s kind of the best option we have right now, to just keep it up for as long as we can until we no longer have a voice on those platforms. And then we’re going to have to get creative.”
That is a reality millions of conservatives and voters live in today.