MSNBC host Katy Tur took a trip to Georgia ahead of the midterm elections to get information from local voters, telling them to put more trust in the mainstream media because of its commitment to the facts.
Tur centered her point on "53,000 votes that are on hold right now," although there are no such votes being "held." She was apparently referencing 53,000 voter registrations currently deemed "pending" by the state of Georgia, but eligible voters with pending status can still cast regular votes if they bring identification to the polls. That didn’t stop Tur from castigating one man for not believing her and the media, however.
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The first man Tur interviewed in Georgia said he didn’t believe Tur’s account of the facts.
"I don’t think there’s much truth to [the allegations of voter suppression]," the man said. "I don't believe that. Where I'm from, anybody can vote."
"You don’t believe the news?" Tur asked him. "You don’t believe the mainstream media?"
"When 90-something percent is negative toward Trump, what do you think?" he asked.
"Most of the coverage for any politician is negative because it’s not our job to be a PR person for you, for any politician," Tur said.
"Your job is to tell the truth," the man replied.
"Exactly," Tur said, pointing the microphone toward the man for an answer but then bringing it back to her own mouth to go on further. "But if you think the truth is negative, that’s not our fault."
"If you’re leaning 90 percent one way, how can that be the truth? It can’t be," the man said.
"But that’s the way you read the facts, if you read the facts as negative, maybe you should take issue with the problems," Tur said, suggesting the media coverage is equivalent with "the facts."
"I watch both sides," the man said, saying he trusts Fox News' Tucker Carlson but also looks into the facts himself.
A second man said he believes Democrats are trying to get illegal immigrants to vote, but said he doesn't hear that information from CNN. (Georgia's Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said the "blue wave" will partly be comprised of people who are "undocumented.")
"How do you decide who you're going to to trust?" Tur asked the second man, who said you have to pray, think, and use common sense. After all that, he said, "if it sounds right, it is right."
Tur seemed increasingly exasperated by the Trump supporters, saying she knows MSNBC viewers must feel the same way.
"I can almost feel a lot of you snickering at home, snickering at those two Trump supporters, but I will tell you it's not just Trump supporters who retreat into their own echo chambers," she said.
Tur then said too many MSNBC viewers expect the network to have an anti-Republican agenda, but she told them "we are not your safe space" from conservatives.
"Every time I have a Republican on this show, I get a flood of angry tweets," she said. "‘MSNBC is my safe space,’ someone said on Twitter. Public service announcement: We're not your safe space. We are a news organization."
She concluded with a call for people to hear "both sides," even if they hate the other side, arguing journalists have a responsibility to "make you uncomfortable." This seemed to echo the man she spoke to in Georgia who said he didn’t want to only listen to the mainstream media.
"News comes from both sides," Tur said. "Opinions, even if you hate them, come from both sides. Yes, a journalist's job is to find facts, but it is also our job to shed a light on what is happening in the country, what is happening in our communities, shed a light on what people are saying and thinking, what motivates them, even if you disagree with them. The news should make you uncomfortable. If everything you read or watch gives you comfort, you're doing it wrong."
Fellow MSNBC host Ali Velshi used the first moments of his show to thank Tur for her "rant."
"I think that is amazing. That is exactly what people need to hear. The news is not meant to be comfortable—the truth might be negative, but it’s the truth nonetheless," Velshi said.
Tur finished the segment by castigating people who get their news from Facebook.