Somehow, we don’t recall CNN ever telling us that Obama’s supporters were a “cult,” even though they seemed absolutely enchanted by the former president – absent any particular reason for that adoration. Few people have ever won the presidency on a platform as thin as the one Obama ran on in 2008, but we must have missed all the concerned thinkpieces on how voters were being led to slaughter by a charismatic pied piper. No, no, we don’t remember CNN doing a single piece on that phenomenon.
But then, who is surprised at this point?
In his closing segment on “Reliable Sources” on Sunday, CNN host Brian Stelter explained that experts as diverse as Anthony Scaramucci and Dan Rather have called Trump supporters a “cult.” Perhaps sensing that the opinions of those two would not quite make a convincing argument, Stelter turned his attention to “mental health expert” Steven Hassan, who has penned a book called “The Cult of Trump.” And with a title like that, you can guess what he was there to say.
Hassan told Stelter that President Trump is a “destructive cult leader” who leads a herd of supporters who “are not being encouraged to really explore and look at the details and arrive at their own conclusion.”
Right, as opposed to all of those other politicians who, instead of defending themselves against their critcs, simply shrug and say, “Well, I dunno, maybe I am as bad as they say. I encourage everyone to come to their own conclusions, lest I be accused of starting a cult!”
Hassan continued: “Much of what they’re hearing is emotionally driven, loaded words, thought-stopping, and thought-terminating-type clichés.”
Uh-huh. Like…”yes, we can”?
“It is frightening to hear a cult expert say that you see all of these signs right now today in American politics,” Stelter said. “So, finally, the first step, if you say this is a cult, what’s the first step of deprogramming?”
“The first step with anyone who’s a true believer is contact with people that are outside the bubble,” Hassan said. “Cult leaders want to isolate their people. They want family and friends to just disappear rather than keep engaged. Hey, did you read this article? What do you think of it? You know, I’ll watch one of your shows, watch one of my shows. In other words, appealing to the person’s true self, their authentic self, that wants to be a good person, that wants — that believes in America and democracy and truth.”
Well, that’s not the worst advice we’ve ever heard, but does Hassan and Stelter not think liberals are just as much “in their bubble” as Trump supporters? How many of them are balancing their CNN/MSNBC/NY Times/Salon/Slate diet with a snack of National Review or a dessert of Breitbart News?
If anyone needs to undergo “deprogramming,” it’s the poor viewers who are still tuning into CNN’s nonsense after all this time.