This week on the Sunday news shows: The New York Times executive editor said journalists need to do a better job of understanding religious people, presidential candidate Andrew Yang said he is open to the possibility of prosecuting President Donald Trump once he's out of office, and Washington Free Beacon founding editor Matthew Continetti discussed the growing distrust between voters and the media.
NY Times Exec: We Need to Figure Out Religious People, Trump Voters
New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet said it's "odd" to be called a member of the elite, but he acknowledged journalists must do more to understand religion.
"We have to do a much better job … understanding some of the forces that drive people in parts of America that maybe are not as powerful in New York or Los Angeles," Baquet said on NBC's Meet the Press. "We have to do a better job covering religion. We have to do a better job understanding why some people support Donald Trump."
Earlier in the segment, anchor Chuck Todd read a letter to the editor from the Lexington Herald Leader in which the writer mocked Trump voters for being gullible.
"Why do good people support Trump? It's because people have been trained from childhood to believe in fairy tales. This set their minds up to accept things that make them feel good. The more fairy tales and lies he tells the better they feel. Show me a person that believes in Noah's ark, I will show you a Trump voter," the letter said.
Chuck Todd plucks a Letter to the Editor to make the point that voters want to be lied to…especially numbskulls who believe fairy tales like Noah's Ark. If it's Sunday, it's contempt for religious people. pic.twitter.com/l022cz8p9l
— NewsBusters (@newsbusters) December 29, 2019
Todd said the letter reflected a belief that voters want to be lied to and don't want to be told "hard truths." Baquet didn't agree with that sentiment.
Yang Open to Prosecuting Trump If He Wins: Depends on What the Attorney General Advises
Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang said he is open to the possibility of prosecuting Trump, depending on what his attorney general would advise.
ABC's This Week host Jonathan Karl asked Yang whether Trump should be pardoned if a Democrat wins in November.
"My focus is on solving the problems that got Donald Trump elected and moving the country forward," Yang said. "It's developing countries that have fallen into a pattern of the new president or the new leader prosecuting and sometimes imprisoning the former leader. That's not a precedent that's been set here in the U.S., and to me that's something I would be interested in maintaining."
"So you don't want to proceed with prosecuting Donald Trump after he left office, and you would be open to a pardon?" Karl asked.
"We would have to see what the facts were. We would have to see what the charges were and what the attorney general advises," Yang said.
After the December Democratic debate, Yang said he would consider a pardon for Trump.
Continetti: Cultural Disconnect Between Media and Voters Is Decades Old
Washington Free Beacon founding editor Matthew Continetti was asked about the lack of "cultural connection" between the right and the media.
"That cultural disconnect is decades old," Continetti said. "What gives us this perfect storm of alt truth is a few things. One is you have the technological change, which Kara mentioned. Another is you have the institutional breakdown … confidence in these big institutions is just totally failing."
Continetti added that Trump benefits from both of those changes. He argued this has resulted in a "place where no one can really agree on the very basic material governing our democracy."