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Liberal Media Scream: New CNN low, comparing Trump ‘cult’ to Jonestown massacre

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This week’s Liberal Media Scream features CNN’s Brian Stelter’s Trump Derangement Syndrome hitting a new low, inviting a comparison of the “cult” of Trump to the Jim Jones cult killings in Jonestown, Guyana, in 1978.

On his Sunday show, Reliable Sources, the liberal media nag brought aboard Rep. Jackie Speier, who survived the Jonestown massacre, to equate the “cult of Trump” with the mass murder-suicide of 918 followers of Rev. Jim Jones. “I wanted to hear her thoughts about the comparison, the notion of the cult of Trump,” Stelter said in setting up the welcoming California lawmaker.

Speier, who was shot five times as she tried to escape at an airfield when she was a member of the staff of Rep. Leo Ryan, welcomed the spin. “There's no question” you “could compare” the two “charismatic leaders,” she said.

Stelter played along: “It’s scary to hear that when you have observed the Trump phenomenon, you have seen similarities to Jonestown.”

Stelter had opened the segment by relaying feedback from international viewers asking, “Why doesn’t the American media just call out Trump for what he is, call Trump fandom for what it is? Sometimes they use the word, cult.”

From the start of the segment on the Aug. 1 Reliable Sources on CNN:

BRIAN STELTER: Welcome back to Reliable Sources, live in the U.S. and all around the world. And one of the great things about being shown on CNN International is that I hear from viewers who observe American political dysfunction from an outsider’s point of view. These citizens in other countries sometimes email me and say, you know, why doesn’t the American media just call out Trump for what he is, call Trump fandom for what it is? Sometimes they use the word, cult. I know that’s a sensitive word. It doesn’t come up a lot in American news coverage.

So, I wanted to put it to an expert, an unfortunate expert, Congresswoman Jackie Speier started out her career in politics, working for a lawmaker. She’s on a fact-finding mission to Jonestown. She sadly knows firsthand about the weight of that word, cult. She was able to escape with her life, others were not able to that day. So, I wanted to hear her thoughts about the comparison, the notion of the cult of Trump, especially in the light of January 6th, and the mass delusion that led people to a riot of lies on Capitol Hill. When I brought this up with her, she did not mince words.

Jackie Speier, former aide to late Congressman Leo Ryan, D-Calif., poses in her home in suburban San Francisco with a bust of the congressman, Nov. 13, 1979. On a fact finding mission with Congressman Ryan to Jonestown, Speier's arms and legs were ripped with bullets on the Port Kaituma airstrip in Guyana. Congressman Ryan was killed. The bust, sculpted by Bruce Kueffer of Belmont, Calif., was delivered to her recently. Sal Veder/AP

REP. JACKIE SPEIER: There’s no question that you could compare Jim Jones as a charismatic leader, who would bring his congregation together, forced them to do things that were illegal, and then took 900 of them into the jungles of Guyana, where over the course of time, he then convinced them that they should die. I’ve never been able to say they committed suicide because I don’t think they were in control of their faculties, to be quite honest with you.

So, you look at Donald Trump, charismatic leader, who was able to continue to talk in terms that appealed to those who are disaffected, disillusioned, and who were looking for something, much like those who became part of Jim Jones’s congregation, the People’s Temple. They were lost souls. And the only difference between Jim Jones and Donald Trump is the fact that we now have social media. So, all these people can find themselves in ways that they couldn’t find themselves before.

So, he basically was a merchant of deceit, both of them merchants of deceit, both of them making people not look at facts, not think independently. And sowed a story for them that was indeed destructive.

STELTER: It’s scary to hear that when you have observed the Trump phenomenon, you have seen similarities to Jonestown.

Brent Baker, vice president of research and publications for the Media Research Center, explains our weekly pick: “The longer Trump is out of the White House the more Trump Derangement Syndrome seems to grow among his biggest haters in the media, with Stelter taking it to a whole new level each week. Last week, he featured Carl Bernstein calling Trump a 'war criminal.' This week, Trump’s just like a cult leader who led hundreds of followers to commit mass suicide and murder a congressman. Only Trump has never done that. Maybe Stelter should look a little closer to home to see who is in a personality-based cult.”

Rating: FIVE out of FIVE screams.

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Tags: Washington Secrets, CNN, President Trump

Original Author: Paul Bedard

Original Location: Liberal Media Scream: New CNN low, comparing Trump ‘cult’ to Jonestown massacre