Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Citations Needed, Episode 33: Liberals' Obsession with the Phantom Reasonable Republican

Jeffrey Goldberg, Leon Wieseltier, and James Bennet

The unlikely rise of Trump in the past three years has created a chasm in the Republican party: those who embrace the President’s wild, unorthodox, nativist style and those who––with much posturing and self congratulation––reject his brand of conservatism. The latter group, generally called “NeverTrump” Republicans occupies a special, protected status in Serious Centrist media––despite representing only 5% of the American population.

Major outlets like The Washington Post, The Atlantic and the New York Times employ roughly 20 #NeverTrump conservatives between them; there is no greater affirmative action policy in U.S. media than for anti-Trump conservatives. So long as they reject Trump, #NeverTrump pundits can get away with the most odious points of view––anti-Arab racism, climate change denial, literally suggesting women be hanged en masse for having abortions.

What accounts for this? Where does the institutional obsession with finding a Reasonable Republican come from and why is there such a widespread denial that Donald Trump does, in fact, actually and accurately represent the GOP as it exists today?

We are joined by Slate's Osita Nwanevu.


The Show

Episode transcript available here.


The Guest

Osita Nwanevu is a staff writer at Slate.


Citations Needed is available on iTunes, Soundcloud and LibSyn (here’s the RSS feed). You can also check us out on Twitter and Facebook.


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Citations Needed is a media criticism podcast, hosted by Adam Johnson and Nima Shirazi, political commentators and media analysts working to call bullshit on (usually corporate) media’s ubiquitous reliance on and regurgitation of false and destructive narratives, tropes and stereotypes.

Citations Needed is produced by Florence Barrau-Adams. Our Production Consultant is Josh Kross. Our research assistant is Sophia Steinert-Evoy. The theme is ‘Nonphenomenal Lineage’ by Grandaddy.


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