Actor-director turned political activist Rob Reiner warned MSNBC host Joy Reid that the wildly popular reboot of ABC’s Roseanne is a pro-President Donald Trump “megaphone” for the “lunatic fringe” media in America.
Reiner said Roseanne Barr has “tremendous power” to use her social media to push pro-Trump political messages to millions of Americans.
“You have your Fox News and Sinclair and Breitbart and Infowars — which used to be considered and thought of as the lunatic fringe — have now become the mainstream media,” Reiner said, adding that, “truthful journalists, people who are pursuing the truth, are diminished.”
“Democracy,” Reiner contends, “is really in trouble.”
“It goes back to the original sin of this country which is slavery, and we are fighting this last battle of the civil war. And those people who are the alt-right, the white supremacists are hanging on for dear life, and they’re using these propaganda tools which are not just, like I say, lunatic fringe,” Reiner continued. “They’re now invading us, and you guys in the mainstream media seeking the truth are really fighting an uphill battle. This is a real battle right here for the soul of democracy.”
Roseanne has been a record-breaking ratings phenomenon, with its first two episodes being watched by more than 25 million people. The show, much to Reiner or Reid’s chagrin, never mentioned the alt-right or white supremacy. Last week, the revival received the green-light to be renewed for its 11th season.
The show has received bipartisan praise. President Trump called Barr to congratulate her and applauded the show’s success during a speech last week.
Reiner, however, agrees with Reid in that the CBS sitcom will help “normalize the President of the United States and to ennoble his base.”
“I think it can help him because you have the star of the show, essentially, out the show, trumpeting all of the things the that Donald Trump stands for,” Reiner said. “When you take the main character and that person is a personification of Trump’s point of view, that puts that idea forward. Now 18 million people (who watched on day one) that’s a lot of people. And when you couple that with Sinclair and Breitbart and Fox, you have a tremendous megaphone.
Asked how much ABC (or its parent company Disney) can tolerate Roseanne Barr pushing her personal politics outside the show, Reiner referenced the advertisers who pulled their ads from Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show over her comments made about Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg.
“They’re going to have to walk a very fine line,” Reiner said of ABC and Disney, “and I have a feeling they’re going to try to rein Roseanne in outside the show. They’re going to run into some very severe problems if you see any of those tweets she puts out outside the show.”