Journalist Carl Bernstein, who is famed for his role in investigating the Nixon-era Watergate scandal, called for greater coverage of Donald Trump by cable news networks even while he doubled down in his criticism of the Republican frontrunner.
Speaking to Brian Stelter on CNN today, Bernstein said Trump is “a new kind of fascist in our culture” who has an “authoritarian demagogic point of view.” He said that Trump appeals to nativism, bigotry and racism in America.
Bernstein compared to George Wallace, a segregationist governor of Alabama and 1968 Democratic presidential candidate. The veteran journalist said that Wallace was “merely a racist.” while Trump’s appeal “goes to authoritarianism, this goes to despotism.” He said that in the current political environment, there is a desire for “despotism and a strong man who doesn’t trust the institutions of democracy.” While Bernstein did not link Trump to Hitler’s German National Socialism or Mussolini’s Italian Fascism, he said nonetheless that Trump represents an “American fascism that we haven’t seen before.”
He called on media outlets to seriously consider and report on Trump’s alleged fascistic tendencies, while saying that the leading GOP presidential candidate may number among fascist political leaders in history.
Bernstein wants cable news to start having serious debate on what “Fascism was and is, and how Trump fits into that picture” of fascist leaders throughout history. The debate about Trump, said Bernstein, has been widespread online but as far as he knows, no one on cable television has held a discussion about the issue. Donald Trump, said Bernstein, is a “neofascist, in the sense of his appeal and methodology that has to do with authoritarianism, nativism, incitement…and we’re seeing that now.”
Bernstein added that never before has he said this of any living American politician.He added that never before has he said this about any other living American politician.