MSNBC Applauds Civil War Fan Fiction From CBS About Violent Texans

News & Politics

MSNBC’s Katy Tur welcomed CBS chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett and the executive director and founder of the Center for Election Innovation and Research, David Becker on to her Tuesday program to discuss their new book, The Big Truth, which contains a bit of civil war fan fiction.

Tur wasted no time getting to the hyperbole, “And we are 42 days until our democracy faces its next big test and it is not hyperbole to say we’re in a bit of a scary moment. The book, The Big Truth, goes over three Januarys. What did not happen in 2017. What did happen in 2021. And what could happen in 2023.”

Getting to the book’s contents, Tur added:

The cautionary tale about a possible and avoidable American unraveling. Authors Major Garrett and David Becker start this tale, 42 days from now on Election Day in Texas, an open carry state where millions believe voter fraud is rampant and where poll watchers now have wide authority to move around polling places, question procedures and exercise authority. In their story, an argument, a gunshot, and the death of a poll worker lead to the cleaving of the country from Nancy Pelosi refusing to seat the Texas delegation because of an election tainted by violence and suppression to Texas and other sympathetic states bordering themselves off from the federal government. It is the beginning of a modern day civil war. It is fiction, but that could change. 

It is fiction and it will stay fictitious as claims of “suppression,” but Tur still had to pretend this was a legitimate idea worth discussing. After introducing Garrett and Becker, she asked the former, “If you can tell me in a concise way because I know it goes on for many pages what could happen come January ’23?”

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Garret began by denouncing election conspiracy theories, but there is a big difference between that and civil war fan fiction, which is he followed up with:

And those combustible forces, we argue, are not tamable. They will continue to run and fester in unpredictable and ultimately destructive ways and we paint a scenario. It’s all fiction. And it’s not a prediction. But what could happen in a highly pressurized state like Texas and you outlined what we say might happen. Those pressures in the national political bloodstream are mounting and we could see ourselves becoming more and more separate from one another over questions of election legitimacy when there’s no basis for those questions in the first place. It is a place we are heading toward. We don’t have to be there and that’s why we wrote the book.

If a conservative journalist wrote a book about a Stacey Abrams supporter shooting someone at a place over “suppression” concerns, they would be rightfully condemned. However, when a CBS reporter does it, MSNBC welcomes them with open arms and tells them how profoundly insightful they are and when Election Day comes and goes without violence in Texas, Tur will almost certainly not have Garrett back on to question him.

This segment was sponsored by Google.

Here is a transcript for the September 27 show:

MSNBC Katy Tur Reports

9/27/2022

2:36 PM ET

KATY TUR: And we are 42 days until our democracy faces its next big test and it is not hyperbole to say we’re in a bit of a scary moment. The book, The Big Truth, goes over three Januarys. What did not happen in 2017. What did happen in 2021. And what could happen in 2023.

And we’re going to begin with that 2023 what if. The cautionary tale about a possible and avoidable American unraveling. Authors Major Garrett and David Becker start this tale, 42 days from now on Election Day in Texas, an open carry state where millions believe voter fraud is rampant and where poll watchers now have wide authority to move around polling places, question procedures and exercise authority.

In their story, an argument, a gunshot, and the death of a poll worker lead to the cleaving of the country from Nancy Pelosi refusing to seat the Texas delegation because of an election tainted by violence and suppression to Texas and other sympathetic states bordering themselves off from the federal government. It is the beginning of a modern day civil war. It is fiction, but that could change. 

Joining me now are the authors, Major Garrett, chief Washington correspondent for CBS News and David Becker, executive director and founder of the Center for Election Innovation and Research. 

Gentlemen, it’s good to have you, it’s nice when you write a book and I get to steal you from another network for a few minutes so I appreciate you being here. 

MAJOR GARRETT: Thank you, Katy.

TUR: Major, in reading the book, you start off with these what ifs and you talk about January, so January 2017 is the January after the 2016 Election. 2021, the January after the 2020 Election when the insurrection happened. And then you look ahead to what might happen after this midterm election in ’23. 

If you can tell me in a concise way because I know it goes on for many pages–

GARRETT: Right.

TUR: — what could happen come January ’23? 

GARRETT: Well Katy, our overarching argument in the book is that this election denialism, which is baseless, the 2020 election was not stolen. It wasn’t an act of fraud. Millions of Americans voted, we had the highest turnout and the election was secure and verified. So any lie about that is creating combustible forces in American society. 

And those combustible forces, we argue, are not tamable. They will continue to run and fester in unpredictable and ultimately destructive ways and we paint a scenario. It’s all fiction. And it’s not a prediction. But what could happen in a highly pressurized state like Texas and you outlined what we say might happen. Those pressures in the national political bloodstream are mounting and we could see ourselves becoming more and more separate from one another over questions of election legitimacy when there’s no basis for those questions in the first place. It is a place we are heading toward. We don’t have to be there and that’s why we wrote the book.

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