Confronting Fascism and Fear: Media's Role in the 2024 Election

Timothy Snyder examines how media bias and fascism shape perceptions of Biden's presidency and influence the 2024 election landscape.

Confronting Fascism and Fear: Media's Role in the 2024 Election
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Timothy Snyder's article "Fascism and Fear: The Moment, The Media, The Election" delves into the media's treatment of President Biden and the pervasive influence of Trump’s fascism on American journalism. Snyder argues that the mainstream media's focus on Biden's age over his achievements stems from a deep-seated fear of confronting Trump’s authoritarian tactics.

"If you accept that a fascist is beyond your reach, you have normalized your submission."

Trump's cult of personality, party dominance, and use of violence create a dangerous environment for journalists. Snyder explains, "Trump is on the record as regarding reporters as enemies of the people." This environment pressures the media to scrutinize Biden harshly while often ignoring Trump's transgressions.

On Tyranny

The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. Today, our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century. We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience.

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The unequal standards applied to Biden and Trump generate a "fascist aura," making Trump seem untouchable. This media bias promotes a fear-driven narrative, undermining democratic discourse. Snyder emphasizes that Democrats can freely express dissent without fear, unlike Republicans under Trump’s influence, who face threats and coercion.

To counter this fascist narrative, Snyder calls for journalists to acknowledge Biden's accomplishments, provide a clear plan for Democratic leadership if Biden steps down, and recognize the real threat of regime change posed by Trump. Only by confronting these fears can the media offer a balanced and constructive perspective on the election.