FACT, FICTION AND FORGERY
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jul. 20, 2020) — Editor’s Note: At 9:00 p.m. EDT Monday, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria hosted a “primetime special” detailing what he says are the “origins of a fabulist president’s biggest lies,” referring to Donald Trump, and “America’s obsession with and susceptibility to conspiracy theories.”
Clearly not an example of unbiased journalism, the promo for the broadcast states, in part:
Donald Trump uses false conspiracy theories to damage perceived enemies, explain away poor polling numbers, or to cover up his own misdoings. In a new primetime special, Donald Trump’s Conspiracy Theories, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria explores why some people are vulnerable to believing Trump’s conspiracy theories, and whether the damage the president has done to American institutions and global standing can be undone after he someday leaves office…
Although he didn’t invent the lie, Trump launched his political self-invention as the highest profile ‘birther,’ a peddler of the racist accusation that Barack Obama was not born in the United States. The sitting U.S. president has also spun tales to explain away his polls, and shake the faith Americans have in the electoral process. Trump has falsely tweeted that former President Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012 was a ‘total sham,’ and that Sen. Ted Cruz ‘stole’ the 2016 Iowa Republican caucus. Trump has claimed, without evidence, that dead people and non-citizen voters are why Hillary Clinton won nearly three million votes more than he did in 2016…
Zakaria also discusses the challenge and the danger of America’s obsession with and susceptibility to conspiracy theories. Most importantly, Zakaria asks, is Trump setting up a series of conspiracy theories to ensure that tens of millions of people refuse to accept the outcome of the 2020 election and throw America into a constitutional crisis like it may never have seen before?
Zakaria’s guests will include Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The Atlantic, for which Zakaria’s personal website states he is a “contributing editor” in addition to hosting his regular CNN show, “Fareed Zakaria GPS.”
Zakaria was educated at Yale and Harvard, his biography states, and he sits on the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). His résumé includes positions at PBS, Time, ABC News, and Newsweek International.
Zakaria’s recent columns in The Washington Post include “Biden Finds a Better Way to do ‘America First'” and “Bolton’s Book Reminds Us of the Biggest Problem with Trump,” among others.
In August 2017, Zakaria hosted a CNN broadcast titled, “Why Trump Won” in which he opined that four issues — class, communication, culture and capitalism — played a major role in the outcome of the 2016 election. Zakaria further expounded, “All these forces have been at work for decades, but in recent years, the Republican Party has been better able to exploit them and identify with those Americans who feel frustrated, anxious, angry — even desperate about the direction that the country is headed in. Donald Trump capitalized on these trends even more thoroughly, speaking openly to people’s economic anxieties, cultural fears, and class rebellion. He promised simple solutions, mostly aimed at others — Mexicans, Muslims, Chinese people and, of course, the elites and the media.”
In advance of the broadcast, citizen Tom Arnold (not the actor) contacted Zakaria and other CNN personalities, writing:
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.