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Right-wing media ruptures over Marjorie Taylor Greene’s threat to oust Mike Johnson

Updated:2024-05-14 08:59    Views:187

20240421-SPLIT_marjorie taylor greene mike johnson.jpg Getty Images

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New York CNN  — 

Marjorie Taylor Greene has exposed the fault lines in right-wing media.

As the extremist Republican congresswoman threatens to oust House Speaker Mike Johnson’s over his support for Ukraine aid, a rift has ruptured wide open in the MAGA Media landscape, separating the hardline and absolutist faction from the establishment wing.

On one side are outlets controlled by media mogul Rupert Murdoch. His powerful media properties — Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post – have spent the last two weeks leveling blistering criticism against Greene and those who support challenging Johnson’s authority over the House leader’s move to pass funding for Kyiv.

As the extremist Republican congresswoman threatens to oust House Speaker Mike Johnson’s over his support for Ukraine aid, a rift has ruptured wide open in the MAGA Media landscape, separating the hardline and absolutist faction from the establishment wing.

While The Journal has showered Johnson in glowing praise, Fox News and the Post have gone different routes. Fox News published a scathing editorial on its website last week, referring to Greene as an “idiot” and contending “she is trying to wreck the GOP.” The Post went further, putting Greene on its cover over the weekend and blasting her as “MOSCOW MARJORIE.”

All the while, the insurgent bloc of the right-wing media universe have taken the opposite approach. They’ve subjected Johnson to an onslaught of ugly attacks and portrayed Greene as one of the only members of the Republican Party who dares to stand on principle.

Steve Bannon, host of the influential “War Room” podcast and Donald Trump’s former chief political strategist, has leveled some of the harshest attacks against the embattled House speaker. Earlier this week, he referred to the Ukraine aid package as “a desecration” and urged listeners to call their representatives to voice support for firing Johnson.

<p>Rose Gottemoeller, former NATO Deputy Secretary General, tells Christiane Amanpour that Kyiv has a pathway to victory in its war against Russia.</p>

Rose Gottemoeller, former NATO Deputy Secretary General, tells Christiane Amanpour that Kyiv has a pathway to victory in its war against Russia.

Clipped From Video video

Bannon is far from alone. Charlie Kirk, the MAGA personality and radio host who has a close relationship with the Trump family, accused Johnson of having “lied in the name of God” and wondered, “Where’s the evidence that this guy’s actually a Christian?” Meanwhile, Tucker Carlson questioned if Johnson is “being blackmailed to do the bidding of the left.” Over at Breitbart, the outlet published a hit piece on a member of Johnson’s staff, characterizing her as a RINO turncoat. And The Gateway Pundit has slung untold amounts of mud at Johnson, with one headline this week exclaiming, “WHAT A SNAKE.”

Greene, a savvy information warrior, has leveraged the platforms wielded by media allies to make her case against Johnson to the conservative base — a strategy that has further fueled their attacks and underscored the division in right-wing media. Over the last few weeks, she has made appearances on the programs hosted by Bannon, Kirk, and Carlson. And she has granted interviews to other supportive outlets, including the far-right One America News.

Yet, it’s unlikely she will emerge from this battle victorious — a reality that has underscored the importance of Murdoch’s right-wing media empire. While its influence has unquestionably waned in recent years, the power of Murdoch’s outlets — Fox News in particular — is still great. If not for Murdoch’s blessing, Johnson would find himself in much hotter water and in far greater jeopardy of losing his position as speaker.

That said, the coverage of Johnson from the hardliners in MAGA Media has certainly hurt his reputation amongst much of the base, with many now surely under the belief he is a squishy D.C. swamp creature. He may exit alive, but he has been badly wounded by the fight.

And his opponents are not only left unvanquished, but continue to see their powers balloon each and every day — all while the legacy media model that crowned Murdoch GOP kingmaker continues to erode. Greene might not prevail in her battle against Johnson this time around, but it has served as a harbinger of things to come amid a larger war for the soul of the Republican Party. While the winds might not entirely favor Greene and the MAGA Media hardliners in this very moment, they do appear to be shifting.

The Murdoch-influenced GOP empowered Trump. That could very well pale in comparison to what the rising, more extremist wing of right-wing media delivers in the years ahead.





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