Right-wing activist, pundit, and would-be politician Ed Martin called CNN reporters purveyors of fake news and “traitors to America” in his “Pro-America Report” podcast Friday. Martin is himself a former CNN contributor.
Martin was upset that his mother was “sucked into” believing what Martin characterized as “a CNN lie” that President Donald Trump had told Americans to drink bleach. Trump did in fact suggest that ingesting disinfectants might be a way to combat the coronavirus. Martin encouraged his mother and other people to stop listening to “fake news.” Surprisingly, he included Fox News as media to avoid, saying its “model is to make people crazy, too.”
Martin promoted his rant in his email newsletter Monday morning, which included a link to a clip of his Friday podcast. Here’s an excerpt from the podcast:
It is no longer acceptable to say that the fake news is funny, that the fake news is silly. We are actually in a cataclysmic moment in American life because of this disease … People are really hurting, they’re really nervous, they’re really anxious, and the fake news is actually making people crazy. These people—it’s treasonous what they’re doing. They’re traitors to America … They’re traitors to this country. They’re not misleading, they’re not unhappy, they’re not cognitive dissonance—all those phrases. No, they’re traitors to the country, and they’re destroying people. They’re making people unhappy, unhealthy, unwell–they’re destroying them.
Martin said “fake news” is destroying human beings and damaging the country and is both “terribly unkind” and “terribly un-American.” Martin cited news corporation owners as well as journalists, calling out targets of Trump’s wrath, including Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos.
“We’ve got to do something about it,” Martin said. “I’m not sure what to do about it yet, but I’m gonna do something about it, I can tell you that.”
Martin runs Phyllis Schlafly Eagles, an organization born out of a messy split among the late right-wing activist Phyllis Schlafly’s colleagues toward the end of her life. Earlier this month, he blamed multiculturalism for the COVID-19 pandemic.