Now he says the press is failing our democracy.

I put this in line for posting maybe today (Monday), asked Joel to look at it and offer an opinion on it, and was wondering if it had any consequence. By that I mean, the term fascism, fascist, etc. is becoming a popular term in people’s commentary, and is not a scary label when applied anymore.

The not so supreme court decided today, our last president is immune from any prosecution for his criminal activities. For all intents and purposes, he walks away from all responsibility of things he has instigated. This is the man, the person who instigated an attack on the capitol, to replace Joe Biden? Yeah, right . . .

He used to edit political stories at the Chicago Tribune. Now he says the press is failing our democracy, PressThink

“You don’t get a lot of complaints if you just write down what everyone says and leave it at that.”

Jay Rosen of PressThink interviewing Mark Jacob

Without suggesting that the term cannot be used because it is always and everywhere over-the-top — which is a view I do not share, especially after reading Jason Stanley’s 2018 book, How Fascism Works — I want to conclude this interview by asking you: How did you come to the conclusion that fascism is the proper term for what is happening on the right wing of American politics, and what are the events that led you to that conclusion? 

Mark Jacob: Let’s look at the characteristics of fascism and whether they define MAGA Republicanism.

– There’s a cult of personality. Check.

– There’s demonization of “outsiders” as a threat to the culture’s survival. Check.

– There’s the mindset that political opponents pose such a danger that stopping them justifies all means necessary, including lying and cheating. Check.

– There’s propaganda overwhelming or extinguishing journalism. Check.

– There’s coercion of businesses to force submission to the autocrat’s wishes. See Disney and Ron DeSantis.

– There’s social regimentation.

See the efforts to roll back rights for women and LGBTQ people and impose Christian values in a country that’s supposed to have separation of church and state. Fascism also means there’s a drumbeat of violent rhetoric and corresponding violent actions. See January 6, 2021. 

I grew up in a country where you’d occasionally hear the word “fascist” used as a joke. Now it’s an accurate term for what’s happening in our country. I invite people to read William Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and see how much the description of the Nazi erosion of a civilized society reminds them of what they see on America’s news every day. I’m sure a lot of people in early 1930s Germany thought the warnings about the Nazi threat were overblown. You know, the very first reference to Adolf Hitler in the New York Times assured readers that “Hitler’s anti-Semitism was not so violent or genuine as it sounded.” 

Fascism is real, Jay. The only question is whether enough Americans will realize it before it’s too late.