The Alt-Left Media Landscape

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With guest host Ray Suarez.

It’s not just the alt-right. A vibrant alt-left media landscape is peddling conspiracies to politicians and news consumers alike. We’ll go inside.

(Screen capture via Facebook)
(Screen capture via Facebook)

By now, you might have seen stories from some of the best known and most read right wing news sites — they get huge numbers of hits and routinely go viral. At the same time, less covered, still gathering steam, a suite of alt-left bloggers and sites and click bait is zipping around the net, and maybe, heading to an inbox near you. How is this world different — and the same — as its mirror image? This hour On Point: The rising alt-left. -- Ray Suarez


McKay Coppins, staff writer at The Atlantic. Author of the recent piece, "How the Left Lost Its Mind." (@mckaycoppins)

John Schindler, national security columnist for The Observer. (@20committee)

Brendan Nyhan, Professor at Dartmouth College who studies the spread of false political beliefs. (@BrendanNyhan)

From The Reading List

The Atlantic: How the Left Lost Its Mind — "The Trump era has given rise to a vast alternative left-wing media infrastructure that operates largely out of the view of casual news consumers, but commands a massive audience and growing influence in liberal America. There are polemical podcasters and partisan click farms; wild-eyed conspiracists and cynical fabulists. Some traffic heavily in rumor and wage campaigns of misinformation; others are merely aggregators and commentators who have carved out a corner of the web for themselves. But taken together, they form a media universe where partisan hysteria is too easily stoked, and fake news can travel at the speed of light."

The Upshot: Why More Democrats Are Now Embracing Conspiracy Theories — "Even as Democrats decry the false claims streaming regularly from the White House, they appear to have become more vulnerable to unsupported claims and conspiracy theories that flatter their own political prejudices. The reason isn’t just that a Republican now occupies the White House. Political psychology research suggests that losing political control can make people more vulnerable to misinformation and conspiracy theories."

BuzzFeed News: Democrats Confront Lefty Fake News — "If it began during the election with ad revenue-hungry hoax sites and false information campaigns directed largely at Hillary Clinton, fake news in the Trump era has seeped into the liberal online ecosystem in the form of viral posts on Medium, Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook — with progressives elevating anonymous social media accounts, floating outlandish conspiracies, and seizing on stories that don’t hold up to the facts."

This program aired on July 12, 2017.


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