Video: Watch As America’s News Media Meticulously Covers Birthright Citizenship

Yesterday morning I asked:

Will the Media Fall For Trump’s 14th Amendment Stunt?

More than 24 hours have now passed, which means I can render a judgment: they did not just “fall for it,” they morphed into an army of unflagging zombies who cared about nothing except ravaging the countryside for victims who would comment on the birthright citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment. Go see World War Z if you want to get the general gist of things:

But as the pitch guys say on TV, there’s more! I didn’t know this when I wrote my post yesterday, but Donald Trump himself didn’t even bring up the subject of birthright citizenship. It turns out that Jonathan Swan of Axios was interviewing Trump and decided to bring up the subject out of nowhere. Why? God knows. But after Trump blathered about it for a bit without actually committing to anything, Swan asked when it would happen. “It’s in the process,” Trump said. “It’ll happen.”

Everyone on the planet knows that this is Trumpspeak for “No one is working on it and I haven’t thought about it for a long time.”

But it didn’t matter. Nor did it matter that everyone knows Trump can’t overturn birthright citizenship with an executive order anyway. Coverage was everywhere. Panels were hastily convened on cable TV. Learned academics wrote op-eds for the New York Times. Lawyers weighed in for the Washington Post. The usual suspects threw chaff in the air by insisting that it was an open question whether the 14th Amendment could be repealed by Trump’s signature. It was on the home page of every newspaper, every blog, every cable net.

In short, it was insane. It started with a reporter who thought he was being clever and ended up with the collective might of America’s news media weighing in on a topic with less actual substance than Kim Kardashian. Is the entire industry embarrassed by how they handled this yesterday? I guess there’s no telling. But they should be.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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