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Conservative media figures jump to Trump’s defense

Conservative media figures jump to Trump’s defense


NEW YORK — Conservative media leaders leapt to Donald Trump’s defense Thursday with apocalyptic language. They claimed that Trump was being unfairly persecuted in Manhattan by a grand jury’s indictment, and predicted that his 2024 bid for White House would be boosted by his perceived martyrdom.

Jesse Watters, Fox News Channel host, said that “this is completely unacceptable and a disgrace for this country.”

Three days after Trump was interviewed on Fox’s Sean Hannity, Sean Hannity said that “this is repulsive.” “This is a disgusting political hit-job the likes of which this country has never seen.”

Eric Bolling, Newsmax’s Eric Bolling, said that it was “incredible”.

The grand jury indictment against Trump has not been made public. To silence any claims of an extramarital affair, the Manhattan district attorney’s office investigated payments made during 2016 presidential election.

For conservative-oriented media, Thursday’s fury represented a rapid turnaround. Trump had previously complained about being overlooked by Fox, the most popular media outlet for conservatives. He had not been there for an interview for months before Hannity spoke with him earlier this week.

“This is an awful night for the republic, however, it’s a great evening for Donald Trump,” said Pete Hegseth, commentator. He predicted that college dorm rooms would display mug shots of the former President and T-shirts would feature them.

On Thursday night Hannity hosted a live studio audience that clapped and shouted while he and his guests lashed out at Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney. Fox and Newsmax broadcast wall-to-wall coverage. Guests seemed to be competing for the most heated language. U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham used an obscenity that was unbleeped to discuss the charges.

Commentator Mark Levin shouted, “The Democrat party has now dragged this country into tyranny!”

Numerous conspiratorial commentators suggested that viewers would be pursued by unnamed authorities if they were done with Trump.

“Somebody’s going do something stupid,” Adam Carolla, disc jockey, said to Tucker Carlson on Fox, “and then there are going to be storm troopers.”

“They want to strike out. Glenn Beck asked Glenn Beck why. “Because then they will be able to close the cage.”

Beck, who was fired by Fox in 2013 by Roger Ailes, the late CEO, made a statement on Carlson’s program to suggest that the U.S. would go to war with China, Russia, and Iran by 2025, and that the country’s currency will collapse.

Many commentators dismissed or ridiculed the accusations against Trump, even though they were not publicly stated. Chris Swecker, a Fox commentator, said that Trump’s attorney general would defend his law license before the trial was over.

Sebastian Gorka, a former Trump aide, stated on Newsmax that the Secret Service had a duty of protection and would not allow him to appear in Manhattan for an arraignment.

He said that “the extremists were out there” and “they want to hurt this person.”

Fox’s Fox screen headline under Carlson stated that Trump’s Indictment was a Turning Point For America. Another headline said, “Third World Banana Republic.”

Carlson stated that American politics had been “thrown into complete chaos, possibly permanently”.

Newsmax stationed Mike Carter, a reporter, outside Trump Plaza. He described it as “pretty much an ordinary Thursday night” with reporters hanging around and “a few people that are excited about the events tonight.”

Online, Drudge Report’s home page featured a photo of handcuffs.

Breitbart.com’s headline was “The Longest Witch Hunt: Trump Indicted.” A second headline asked “Next, Mugshot – and Handcuffs?”. It featured a photo of Trump holding his fist in his hands.

Experts expect a well-planned and fast process to turn Trump in next week and release him without bail. An ex-president is unlikely to be paraded through a crowd of courthouse hallways or on a sidewalk in handcuffs.

Howard Polskin, who blogs about conservative media on his website “The Righting,” said that many right-wing sites took a while to respond to Thursday’s story.

“Most stories I saw were essentially plain-vanilla reporting that an arrest was handed down,” Polskin stated, adding that he expected that to change over the weekend.

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