Perhaps aware of the allegation that her network lives in a bubble, MSNBC’s Katy Tur ventured out of the studio for Friday’s MSNBC Live to interview voters who support President Trump to see for herself if they are the sort of conspiracy theorists that MSNBC constantly portrays them. Predictably, Tur came to the conclusion that indeed they are.
Tur introduced her segment to host Craig Melvin, “The time for truth has never been more critical. We have a saying in this country that, no matter what, the truth will win out, but given all the unreliable and nefarious sources of information out there, I’m wondering in this unprecedented moment if that saying is wrong.”
A video then played of Tur at a Staten Island grocery store talking to Trump voters. The first conspiracy theory Tur tried to debunk wasn’t even a conspiracy theory, but simply the voters’ opinions of whether Biden will be beholden to the far-left. She whined, “Voters here told me that Joe Biden wasn’t really a candidate at all.”
After three individuals claimed Biden is a “puppet,” the anchor for the network that has never seen a Trump-Putin conspiracy theory it didn’t embrace declared, “The belief was widely held but it wasn’t rooted in evidence.”
Tur then tried to prove a man wrong when he alleged that Biden has not condemned public violence, but of course, Tur also works for a media that still thinks Trump has refused to condemn white supremacy.
Turning to Facebook-based misinformation, Tur got one person out of six shown on tape to say she believes that Democrats are involved in child trafficking rings.
Presumably if that belief was more widespread Tur would have amplified it as she did in the puppet portion, but one conspiracy theorist was enough to bring on psychology professor Jay Van Bavel to say that believing in conspiracy theories are more prevalent in right-wing corners because, “[l]eaders and elites in the party are pushing these and so when you have an ecosystem and norms that re-enforce these conspiracy theories, they’re going to spread more powerfully in those identity groups.”
While Tur may have succeeded in getting one person to say something crazy on camera, one can only assume the reason she didn’t interview Biden supporters about their conspiracy theories is because MSNBC agrees with them.
This segment was sponsored by Fidelity.
Here is a transcript of the October 9 show:
MSNBC Live with Craig Melvin
11:35 AM ET
KATY TUR: Hey there, Craig. It’s not just on mail-in voting. It’s mail-in voting to the coronavirus, almost everything we’re consuming. We’re living in an extraordinary moment. We’re 25 days from the election, 211,000 Americans are dead. The President of the United States has been infected along with dozens of his White House staffers. Infections are spreading throughout the country again and millions of Americans are worried about voting in person. The time for truth has never been more critical. We have a saying in this country that, no matter what, the truth will win out, but given all the unreliable and nefarious sources of information out there, I’m wondering in this unprecedented moment if that saying is wrong.
TUR: Sir, do you want to talk about the election?
TUR (VOICEOVER): At a grocery store parking lot in Staten Island, I went looking for the kind of information you don’t get from polls.
NICHOLAS JENNINGS (NY VOTER): You say you want to hear?
TUR: I do want to hear.
TUR (VOICEOVER): A sense of not only what voters believe but why.
TUR: How important is the election.
JENNINGS: Very important.
JENNINGS: Because we can’t have Biden. You sure you want me to say this on camera?
TUR: Yeah go ahead, I want you to say anything.
JENNINGS: We can’t have Biden as president.
NOREEN TAYLOR (NY VOTER) Of course it’s important. I’m an American. I’m free and I want to stay free. Believe me, there’s no way I’d vote for Biden.
TUR (VOICEOVER): There was a pretty clear consensus in this Republican pocket of liberal New York City where 57% of the 2016 vote went for Donald Trump, but it went beyond the belief that Trump was the better candidate. Voters here told me that Joe Biden wasn’t really a candidate at all.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, he’s a puppet. He’s a puppet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 1: He’s their little puppet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 2: Just a puppet.
TUR (VOICEOVER): The belief was widely held but it wasn’t rooted in evidence.
TUR: Who is controlling him?
TOM MARENDA (NY VOTER): I think the Clintons.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: AOC and all of them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 1: Nancy Pelosi.
TUR: The voters I spoke with were committed to their version of events, even when that version departed from the public record.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 2: This country is in a big mess because the Democrats get in, God knows, their supporters, most of the people supporting them are looting and burning down businesses… these guys are a bunch of thugs.
TUR: You didn’t hear Joe Biden condemn the violence?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 2: He should have did it from the beginning.
TUR: You didn’t hear him do that from the beginning?
JOE BIDEN (JUNE 2): There’s no place for violence or looting property or burning churches, destroying businesses.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 2: No, I didn’t. I didn’t hear anybody.
TUR (VOICEOVER): In the absence of public record in cases where one simply doesn’t exist, some people were prepared to believe seemingly anything about the opposing party?
TUR: There’s a lot of stuff on Facebook that talks about how Democrats are running child trafficking rings.
TAYLOR: I believe it.
TUR: You believe it?
TAYLOR: I do. I believe a lot of the movie stars — I do. I believe it. I believe it. I mean, come on. Go look at Epstein’s island.
TUR (VOICEOVER): Jay Van Bavel is a professor of psychology at New York University and expert on what he calls false beliefs.
JAY VAN BAVEL: So, there’s conspiracy theories across the political spectrum. This is not just an issue of the right, per se. One of the reasons you’re seeing it more on the right at this particular moment is that leaders and elites in the party are pushing these and so when you have an ecosystem and norms that reenforce these conspiracy theories, they’re going to spread more powerfully in those identity groups.
TUR: So, this whole idea that Joe Biden is trying to convince Trump voters to vote for him, I guess this makes you wonder if it’s even possible among some of those voters who believe there is a deep state out to get him.
VAN BAVEL: Yeah, it’s also dangerous to even sometimes try to correct those conspiracy theories because you can accidently amplify them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 2: I said to the fact checkers, you better fact check yourself.
TAYLOR: Where did you get your facts.
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