Here is a real segment that aired on CNN today, November 21, 2016. Watch it. Drink it in. Let your jaw sink to the floor as its horror oozes all around you.
As you know by now, having watched it, the segment concerns Richard Spencer, a neo-Nazi who has somehow been rebranded as the hipster lothario of the so-called “alt-right.” Host Jim Sciutto, analyst Rebecca Berg, and the Boston Globe‘s Matt Viser are discussing a recent conference Spencer and his crew held where they did the Nazi salute, cheerfully revived Nazi propaganda in the original German and, in the charming words of a real CNN caption, questioned “if Jews are people.”
A better caption might have been, “Nazi says Nazi things,” but I digress.
You will notice that nowhere on the screen do the words “neo-Nazi” or “Nazi” appear. Why? Good question! It’s hard to figure out what more you’d need to be able to comfortably call someone a Nazi, but CNN clearly just couldn’t go there.
What’s even worse, though, is the surreal nature of the conversation taking place. The panel wonders whether Donald Trump disavow these people. What will that mean for his “coalition”? What will that mean for the “narrative” surrounding his presidency? Will Trump “assure” people that the alt-right won’t influence him? Nobody says anything sensible, such as, “OMFG THERE ARE LITERAL NAZIS RUNNING AROUND D.C. AND NOW THEY HAVE ACCESS TO THE WHITE HOUSE.” Instead, we are in fantasy-land, where highly paid Washington analysts sit around chatting comfortably about politics like they always have and always will, like nothing really matters and nothing can ever go wrong.