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How The Right-Wing Media Helped Trump Voters Warm Up To Putin

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How The Right-Wing Media Helped Trump Voters Warm Up To Putin

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Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

A new YouGov/Economist poll found that among registered Republicans and Trump voters, more than a third now hold a “favorable” view of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Though a majority still view Putin negatively, right-wing media — which spent years holding Putin up as a “better leader” than President Barack Obama — set the stage for Republican opinions to shift in the autocrat’s favor, leading to a nearly 50-point swing in support from conservatives in just over two years. And after the United States intelligence community publicly disclosed that its members believe Russia interfered in the 2016 election, many right-wing media figures doubled down on their support for Putin and are downplaying Russia’s involvement in the election.

Putin is an authoritarian “strongman” who has cracked down in Russia on freedom of speech and freedom of the press, signed into law draconian anti-gay legislation, and invaded and annexed the Crimean Peninsula, part of Ukraine. Nevertheless, for years, right-wing media have praised Vladimir Putin as a great leader, comparing him favorably against Obama.

Fox figures have consistently lauded the Russian autocrat as “a real he-man” and have claimed that Putin has “come to the diplomatic rescue” of President Obama. One Fox host even went so far as to proclaim that she would like Putin to be president of the United States “for 48 hours,” so he could fight ISIS. In 2014, conservative commentator Pat Buchanan suggested that Putin is “one of us” and applauded him for “planting Russia’s flag firmly on the side of traditional Christianity” with his policies against reproductive rights and LGBTQ rights — evidence, Buchanan suggested, that God is on Putin’s side in his clash with the West. Even conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh once admitted that Putin was “saying things I agree with” when the Russian president announced that he “opposed the adoption of Russian orphans by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender foreign couples.”

Primed by right-wing media, Trump voters now hold a more positive view of Putin and Russia. Since July 2014, Republican voters’ opinions overall of Putin have improved by 56 points, and in 2016 they voted for a candidate in Trump who is openly sympathetic to the autocrat and even invited his government to hack personal emails from Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. According to the poll, 35 percent of Trump voters and 37 percent of registered Republicans now hold a “favorable” view of Putin.

Now, even though the U.S. intelligence community has stated that its members are “confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations,” some right-wing media are siding with Putin and downplaying the severity of the hacks. Security experts have characterized the Russian interference in the 2016 election as “Watergate 2.0” and “a concern to all those who share democratic values,” but the president-elect, who has consistently been enabled by those same conservative media figures, insists the claims of Russian interference are “just another excuse” and that he does not “believe it.” It seems, that right-wing media will follow Trump’s lead and continue to use Putin’s personality to advance partisan goals over the national security of the United States.

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40 Comments

  1. deanne.mcdonald December 15, 2016

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    Reply
    1. yabbed December 16, 2016

      Spam really should be controlled by the moderators. Flagged.

      Reply
  2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth December 15, 2016

    The plug should be pulled on the heinous media outlet called FOX, once and for all. Not only is it’s founder one of the most lewd men spawned on American soil, but its newscasters are simpletons and crackpots in the purest sense of the words.
    No redeeming features are to be found in FOX, Breitbart, and other farcical media, and they should be brought before a special formal hearing before impartial judges to explain themselves in their collaboration with Russia. Ordinarily, treason would be the sentence for such a collaboration.

    Reply
    1. Jim Samaras December 17, 2016

      Yeah, another voice you want pulled so that nobody can hear another point of view? You didn’t seem to be a safe space kind of guy Aaron. I’m shocked!

      Reply
  3. Thoughtopsy December 16, 2016

    President-Elect Loser:
    “I don’t believe it… therefore it’s not true. (Despite being briefed on it multiple times before the election)”

    So sad.

    Reply
    1. dpaano December 16, 2016

      This is not something new…..he’s denied MANY things that he’s said despite the fact that they’ve been recorded and proved beyond a reasonable doubt!!! He is an out-and-out liar and wouldn’t know the truth if it hit him in the face like a dead fish! I don’t think he even KNOWS how to tell the truth!

      Reply
  4. Dominick Vila December 16, 2016

    Hearing an American presidential candidate praise the Russian leader responsible for genocide in Chechnya and Syria, the occupation of the Crimea, the invasion of Ukraine, a man who does not hide his expansionist agenda, and a man who has amassed a fortune (some believe he is the wealthiest man in the world) because of his dealings with the oligarchs and the Russian mafia that now control Russia, is beyond belief, and makes you wonder about Trump’s ability to rationalize thought, his values, and his agenda. Is he really as naive as many of us think, or does he share the same objectives his pal from the East does?

    Reply
    1. Mama Bear December 16, 2016

      Good questions, Dominick. While T-rump is a lot of things, I do not believe he is naive. He knows what he is doing and I honestly think he and Putin are completely in bed together.

      Reply
    2. yabbed December 16, 2016

      Trump is no match for Putin. DoofusDonald is not a smart man, just a mercenary one. His hunger is just to enrich himself. Putin wants the world and he has taken the USA out of the game.

      Reply
      1. dpaano December 16, 2016

        I wonder how much he’s promised to pay Trump for selling him the U.S.!

        Reply
        1. PrecipitousDrop December 17, 2016

          Whatever it is, Trump will chisel and whine for MORE.

          Reply
      2. PrecipitousDrop December 17, 2016

        You will not convince me that Putin has done anything but sway an election to his favored, feckless grasping candidate.
        We have two years to prepare to seat a new House of Representatives, and restore a Democratic majority in the Senate. Putin can’t possibly sway all of those elections. People vote, yabbed, not dollars.
        We have four years to promote the candidate who will finally deny Putin further access to our federal officials, resources, and treasury.
        The only thing that will stop us is fighting among ourselves.

        Reply
        1. Jim Samaras December 17, 2016

          You will only lose more seats as the country sees growth and improvement under Trump. Even the cities will fall into line as they become more prosperous and safe unless the democrats in the city councils fight the results and convince their constituents that what they see is not reality. But they’ve been pulling the wool over the voters eyes for years and I see that changing rapidly

          Reply
          1. PrecipitousDrop December 17, 2016

            So, for you, Trump and Putin are the same guy?
            Interesting…

            Reply
          2. Jim Samaras December 17, 2016

            Trump will sway them with positive results not fear if that’s what you’re alluding to

            Reply
          3. PrecipitousDrop December 17, 2016

            “…positive results not fear…”
            What is the “positive result” of being the candidate of the KKK?
            What is the “positive result” of branding every Hispanic citizen a ‘criminal’ or ‘rapist’?
            What is the “positive result” of using the office of the president to fatten the Trump family’s bank accounts?
            What is the “positive result” of openly insulting China by continuing to negotiate a Trump resort deal directly with Taiwan?
            What is the “positive result” of allowing Vladimir Putin free and unrestricted access to the federal government?

            Reply
          4. Jim Samaras December 17, 2016

            He cannot help being a candidate of the small KKK group in this country anymore than BO could control his backing by the Black Panthers although he’s actually met with todays racists the BLM movement in our WH. Let me know when Trump meets with the KKK.

            He never branded “every”. Spreading fake news are we now?

            What evidence is there of his “fattening” the familys bank accounts? H’e’s not president yet so how can this be? More fake news?

            China may need a wake up call from the US after decades taking advantage of us. Let it play out before judging.

            More fake news about Putin huh? Your imagination is vivid

            Reply
    3. FT66 December 16, 2016

      You are right Dominick. I have read it somewhere, the richest man in the world at the moment is Vladimir Putin. His wealth is 85 Billion dollars.

      Reply
    4. dpaano December 16, 2016

      I have no wonders at all about his ability…..he has none! He has NO values, NO viable thoughts, NO idea how to run this country, and an agenda that scares the bejeezus out of me and should scare everyone as well!

      Reply
  5. yabbed December 16, 2016

    Just as the right wing fascists in Germany flocked to the tough talking Hitler …

    Reply
  6. FT66 December 16, 2016

    Any president that doesn’t side with the country he is leading and instead he is on the side of a foreign country, doesn’t deserve to lead. It is my sincere hope electors can see through this and stop the country being, this time hijacked and not hacked or may be both. Of all the countries, USA being brought to its kneels! Our forefathers must be turning non-stop in their graves.

    Reply
    1. dpaano December 16, 2016

      Don’t expect much from a Republican Senate and House or any of the Trump’s cronies! The Democrats in this country have been screwed and will continue to be screwed until we learn to stand up and REFUSE to vote for anything that is against what is good for this nation!

      Reply
      1. PrecipitousDrop December 17, 2016

        One of Democrats’ biggest problems is that we refuse to vote, period. When we fix that, when we learn to vote more often than once every four years, we’ll have a chance to rebuff the staggering Republican majorities in our statehouses, governors’ mansions, congress, and White House.

        Reply
        1. yabbed December 17, 2016

          We voted. Hillary Clinton had the most popular vote count in history.

          Reply
        2. Jim Samaras December 17, 2016

          Now if only the republicans would come out in the bigger cities something may get done! Oh, I forgot, there are no republicans in the bigger cities. They’re controlled by non thinking dumbocrats…..therein lies the problem, hmmmm

          Reply
  7. 1Zoe55 December 16, 2016

    Remember the Russian spy who was poisoned by a jab of an umbrella that contained the toxin? Just maybe Putin will have his minions over here, getting rid of or disappearing certain people who are no longer useful to him. Putin could start with O’Riley, Hannity, Rush Limpballs and Steve Bannon etc. Perhaps the Grifter Family Supreme known as the Trumps could move to Russia, there to open all sort of businesses. Trump and his entire family view the presidency as a moneymaking business venture. There is no pride amongst these stupid rich people about representing what is good for America. How have we sunk so low as a nation that most of the Trump voters would prefer a Russian government rather than a mixed race president?

    Reply
    1. PrecipitousDrop December 17, 2016

      They don’t care about freedom or liberty, or any of the other ideals that died with John F. Kennedy. They value power and wealth, and idolize the people who seem to jealously possess the most of it. They scoff at leaders like Barack Obama or Angela Merkel who seek to protect the wealth and political power of the general citizenry.

      Reply
      1. Jim Samaras December 17, 2016

        The key word there being “citizenry”, Obama and Merkel seem to protect the illegals more than their citizenry which is just one of the reasons the democrats are a dying breed in the US

        Reply
        1. PrecipitousDrop December 17, 2016

          Citizens are not undocumented residents, Jim.
          Think better, if you can.

          Reply
          1. Jim Samaras December 17, 2016

            Exactly! My point was those two clowns protect illegals more than their own……yours?

            Reply
          2. PrecipitousDrop December 17, 2016

            Would it help if someone read it to you, Jim?

            Reply
          3. Jim Samaras December 17, 2016

            Spare me the flippant retorts and explain your point or go away

            Reply
  8. dpaano December 16, 2016

    Can someone tell me who we need to consider as right wing media? I know there are a couple of newspapers that are definitely right wing, but I would LOVE to have a list of all right wing media sources if someone can give me that. It would be greatly appreciated. As it stands, I read the L.A. Times, and I consider it to be relatively non-partisan….and I may be wrong.

    Reply
    1. PrecipitousDrop December 17, 2016

      Right wing media generally self-identifies as such. Just take a look at how they describe themselves to the readership under website “about us” tabs. Many publications — like LA Times, Washington Post and others — have a conservative editorial bent, but they take great pains to assure factual reportage and include opposing editorial voices.
      I value the mix more than the slant. I can make up my own mind regarding a candidate or an issue. It’s helpful to hear both sides.

      Reply
  9. Barack is, by far, the BEST Presidential speaker in the history of the USA! ★♥☻★♥☻★
    BLACK LIVES MATTER! for EVER and EVER and EVER! Heck yeah!!!

    Reply
  10. FireBaron December 17, 2016

    Here is the formula.
    Teflon Donnie appearances draw viewers.
    Viewers generate revenue by supporting the sponsors of those shows.
    Teflon Donnie will refuse to appear on a show or network if they do not somehow support his positions.
    The shows that want him the most (generally on Faux News(?)) sponsor stories that agrees with his views.
    Teflon Donnie praises Vladimir Vladimirovich, Tsar of All Russias.
    Faux News (?) have “stories” that praise Vladimir Vladimirovich, Tsar of All Russias.
    Done.

    Reply
  11. 788eddie December 17, 2016

    Republicans sound more and more like they’re right out of Animal Farm.

    So sad.

    Reply
  12. Ed December 17, 2016

    How The Right-Wing Media Helped Anti-Trump Voters Cool Up To Putin

    Reply
  13. The lucky one December 17, 2016

    Putin is a thug. Trump is a thug. Why wouldn’t they get along?

    Reply
    1. dpaano December 19, 2016

      I don’t mind if they get along, but not on MY time! He’s the president now, NOT some fly-by-night businessman who can just willy-nilly negotiate with Putin! I don’t appreciate his putting my country on the line for this demagogue!

      Reply

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