Political division cannot simply be traced back to Trump

 

Political division cannot simply be traced back to Trump

Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough may be an outspoken critic of Donald Trump, but he doesn’t think the accusation-plagued former president is that one only Reason for the currently so large political division in the country. In fact, the MSNBC host argued Wednesday morning that the media there really should “look at ourselves as a driving force,” too.

Scarborough’s thoughts came as Morning Joe analyst Steve Rattner detailed how Republicans and Democrats have grown farther apart over the past few decades, citing factors like educational attainment and more.

When Rattner elaborated on how Trump took this into account, Scarborough noted that people “can’t just attribute that to Trump” (although he conceded that he was certainly a big piece of the puzzle).

“I would suggest that we consider a lot of external factors,” Scarborough said. “We should look at the media, we should look at ourselves, we should look at the world that has been created since the early 1990s.”

Citing the rise of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, Scarborough said the “ideological sorting” of the media only began when voters could tune into specific programs to hear their views being reflected. Host Willie Geist readily agreed.

“That’s what sells, just telling the audience what they want to hear,” Geist said. “That’s what sells, whether it’s reviews, clicks, or anything else.”

Still, Scarborough argued that the media – like consumers – had a “responsibility” to “figure out how to break down those walls, how to reach the public, and how not just to preach to the choir.”

He added that his goal is always to look at issues from both sides and to criticize everyone fairly. Citing the high ratings of “Morning Joe” as proof, he said those numbers “don’t just appear in a vacuum.”

“People are actually turning their heads,” he said. “It’s harder than it used to be, but they turn around and watch shows, Willie, where you can meet both sides. Here, too, people are still sorted. But man, it’s depressing to think we’re just preaching to the choir.”

He continued, “I have no interest in preaching to the choir. And when I start thinking I’m just preaching to the choir, I’ll stop and do something else.”

You can watch the full discussion of Morning Joe in the video above.

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