How Fake News Is Used to Undermine Trump & Divide America—Accuracy In Media’s Carrie Sheffield

August 15, 2019 Updated: September 17, 2019

Just what is the significance of the recent New York Times front page headline change, prompted by twitter commentary? And what might this tell us about the media environment today?

In the view of Accuracy in Media’s National Editor Carrie Sheffield, what are some of the core problems facing so-called “mainstream media”? And what are some of the double standards she sees among them?

What are the roots of the cultural divide we see in America today?

This is American Thought Leaders 🇺🇸, and I’m Jan Jekielek.

Today we sit down with Carrie Sheffield, National Editor and spokesperson for Accuracy In Media, a non-profit media watchdog.

We discuss fake news and mainstream media bias, the “fine people” hoax, and what Carrie describes as the “democratic media industrial complex.”

Jan Jekielek: Carrie Sheffield, wonderful to have you on American Thought Leaders.

Carrie Sheffield: Thank you, Jan. So great to be here.

Mr. Jekielek: So, Carrie, Accuracy in Media, you’re the spokesperson. You’ve been studying media for years. I want to talk about this recent front page headline change on The New York Times. Just so I get it right, the headline originally was “Trump Urges Unity Vs. Racism,” and which struck me anyway when I saw this headline as factual. It got changed to “Assailing Hate But Not Guns” after a massive Twitter and, otherwise, backlash. And then afterwards I noticed there were still a heck of a lot of people that were not satisfied with the second headline. It feels unprecedented to me that The New York Times would change its front page headline because of–can we call it a Twitter mob? What are your thoughts?

Ms. Sheffield: Well, in terms of media bias, we’ve been looking at media bias for 50 years, at Accuracy in Media. So there’s nothing unprecedented about liberal media bias in that respect, but it is taking new forms, like you mentioned, the Twitter mob. So this headline change happened in the wake of the horrific El Paso shooting. And you had President Trump calling for racial reconciliation, which he did. And so this was an accurate headline in the original by The New York Times.

And so to then hear the executive editor, Dean Baquet, say in his first iteration of his response to the pushback and the change, he said, the New York Times–this was in an interview he gave with Columbia Journalism Review–he said, well, it’s not our job to be the opposition party. And I thought that was a shocking display of honesty in terms of how the American public views what the press should be. It should be an independent Fourth Estate holding the three branches of government accountable.

That was the way that I studied journalism as a student. I had these stars in my eyes, and then I moved to Washington and I was stunned at how biased the National Press corps was in Washington, D.C. So for then to see the second iteration of Dean Baquet having to walk back his robust defense of journalism initially, which I can’t even repeat what he said in walking back, he basically said this was a whole meltdown and they should never have written that original headline and completely backpedaled on everything. I thought that was a cop-out and a big disappointment.

Mr. Jekielek: So is this The New York Times admitting that it’s not just doing straight journalism in your view? I’m trying to figure this out.

Ms. Sheffield: Well, I mean that’s where when he says, oh, it’s not our job to be the opposition party, but then they changed their headline in response to people who are the opposition party. It kind of leaves you scratching your head, but then it’s not that surprising all because you see poll after poll, whether it’s Pew Research or the Knight Commission, they found over and over, Pew found that three-quarters of Republicans say that the National Press does not understand people like them. And then more broadly, Monmouth University found that 77 percent of Americans believe that the news media creates fake news, and 65 percent say fake news includes biased information.

So that’s where I think there’s a big disconnect [with] the National Press corp. because for a lot of them they hear the words fake news and they think that that’s factual. Mischaracterizations are just actually factually wrong information or conspiracy theories when for many, many people, the majority of the country fake news actually has to do with bias coverage, slanted coverage.

Mr. Jekielek: So tell me a little bit more about Accuracy in Media and its kind of purpose behind looking at this stuff, or where did this all come from?

Ms. Sheffield: So we’ve been around 50 years. We’re celebrating our 50th anniversary. We’re having our gala dinner November 13th here in Washington. Dr. Ben Carson will be speaking. Diamond and Silk, the web sensation commentators, will be getting an award, as well as Dr. Carson. And also Lynne Patton who has pushed back enormously against bias against African American conservatives–she’s going to be getting an award as well. And then also Neil Patel, who is Tucker Carlson’s business partner at the Daily Caller, and he’s the publisher of the Daily Caller, Indian-American. And, again, just this notion within the liberal mainstream media that if you’re conservative, you have racial issues. I mean, it’s absurd.

And so our broad mission at Accuracy in Media is to expose liberal bias in the mainstream media. And we do that through daily content where we’re calling out specific biases, lies, slanted information.

And I will say we’re not afraid to also say when people have done things well and when they’ve been accurate. And we’re not afraid to do that. And I think that that’s something that conservatives, that we can do to reach across the aisle or to acknowledge good behavior. And we do that. We have a five-scale rating system. Our iconic symbol for our logo is a target. Whether you’ve missed the system or made the target on a five-point scale about whether it’s accurate or fake news, and we rate the news using this scale system.

Mr. Jekielek: Let’s talk about race. You mentioned how this has been a massive, massive topic recently, obviously, since the recent shootings, since the El Paso shootings and the Dayton shootings. But even before that when President Trump started tweeting about Baltimore, he was immediately accused, if I recall, of being racist for that.

Ms. Sheffield: By reporters, not just opinion journalists, but anchors, reporters with The New York Times, with CNN. These are people who should be reporting objectively. And if someone else is using the word racist, then reporting about those criticisms versus direct labeling, and that’s what they’ve done. They’ve taken that step from reporter to advocate, and the American people aren’t buying it.

Mr. Jekielek: There’s this persistent hoax basically from 2017, it’s been called many different things. I like to call it the “fine people” hoax. Basically, ostensibly, if you were to believe what a number of media have said ad nauseum, the president said that people of both sides, one of the sides being white supremacists, the other side being the protesters against white supremacists. There are good people on both sides. I mean I think even Joe Biden, I think I referenced this earlier, started his campaign with referencing that specific issue.

Ms. Sheffield: He did, yeah. And we just did a blog post at Accuracy in Media about a really excellent video from Prager University deconstructing very specifically exactly what the president said, what he did not say, and the misinformation around it. And basically there were, as the video explains, there were four major groups in Charlottesville at that time. There were two groups, pro and con, who either supported or wanted to tear down the statue of Robert E. Lee, and those were everyday American citizens. You can reasonably agree or disagree about the statue of Robert E. Lee. And so there were protesters who were not violent, they were good citizens.

And that’s the groups that President Trump was referring to. He was specifically not referring to Antifa. He was specifically not referring to the violent white supremacists. He was not giving them any cover at all because, and the logical fallacy that PragerU pointed out, was that if the president was saying there were fine people on both sides, he would have been saying there were fine Antifa people. And there’s no way in heck that the president would have been doing that.

So it’s clear he was referring to a different group of individuals, which he was. And it’s just the intellectual dishonesty that is so pervasive in mainstream media. That’s why the president has even mentioned over and over, this is why he wins. This is why people are upset is because the mainstream media … he has turned the media’s narrative on its head and said, we’re not going to allow you to be this juggernaut of hate and anger against conservatives. And through social media, he’s been able to directly talk to people instead of going around the gatekeepers who leave out very important facts.

For example, you mentioned on the Baltimore issue that there were Democrats, both black and white, who had said the exact same things that President Trump had said about Baltimore, whether it was about the rat issue. You had a former mayor of Baltimore who’s an African American female who was complaining about the rat issue and then the drug infestation of Baltimore. Elijah Cummings, the black congressman himself, who was the initial target of the president, he had said issues about a drug-infested area in Baltimore and also about children walking around like zombies and being very critical of the violence in Baltimore. And Bernie Sanders had said that if you walk around Baltimore it’s like a third-world country.

So when you see these Democrats who are able to get away with saying whatever they want without getting any sort of labels thrown at them, and you see the way the president is treated, this is really the definition of fake news.

Mr. Jekielek: And with this “fine people” hoax, when I first saw this I was stunned because I saw this being played over and over again, the president saying both people … I said, could he possibly have said this? But not 40 seconds after that in the same exact footage he’s saying, I disavow the white supremacists completely. I believe that’s the exact line even. So it’s stunning how blatant it could be. There is no inferring motive here. There’s no inference. It’s just he said it, right, but that piece is being omitted. How is that legitimate?

Ms. Sheffield: Well, you’ve seen this over and over throughout the Trump candidacy and the Trump presidency is that there is one phrase or one small fact that the national media latches onto and completely ignores the context of everything else. And that’s how they get away with it is because they then take that one distorted fact and blow it out of the water and focus on that.

And if you’re not paying very close attention like you are, Jan, if you’re not digging in—you’re a journalist, this is how you make your living—if you’re a suburban mom in Ohio and you’re taking five kids between schooling and camp, you’re not going to have the bandwidth necessarily to sort through all of that. That’s why groups like The Epoch Times is so important to put these facts out there.

But it’s a big problem because the narrative that President Trump is all these terrible things is perpetuated over and over by the mainstream media. And so if you aren’t looking for sources that are more balanced, it’s going to be a problem because we’ve seen data and study after study … Harvard University, the first 100 days of the president, coverage of the president, something in the neighborhood of 80 to 90 percent negative, unprecedented, to when this had been tracked. This president has been unfairly treated by the national media, and I think that that’s why he gets a lot of sympathy. That’s why he gets a lot of support from his base is that they see the unfair treatment, and they know there’s something in their gut that tells them that’s not right.

Mr. Jekielek: When it comes to this issue of race, it seems like it’s such a hot point, right, such a flash point issue. And I’ve seen numerous headlines and I dug in a little bit in The New York Times and in The Washington Post and numerous other media, columns now, opinion pieces that just take it for granted that of course the president is racist, right?

Ms. Sheffield: Well, that’s the sort of editorializing and opinionizing that should not be present in reporting, and that is the big problem. Also, if you actually want to get a full vantage point of who Trump supporters are, I don’t see African American or Latino or minority Trump supporters really getting attention by the mainstream press. I mean there are millions of voters of color, Asian Americans as well, who voted for this president, and we don’t hear their voices.

I know Dr. Carson spoke up when the Baltimore controversy was happening because he had been a physician and neuroscientist or neurosurgeon in Baltimore, and he said he would be terrified of working on these children having severe conditions and then having to patch them up, but then having to send them into the dangerous streets of Baltimore. And we don’t hear his voice that often. I look out for those voices because it’s what I do, but you don’t hear their voices amplified and really heard in the mainstream media.

And if there is a black conservative, like Candace Owens, then the national media will try to drive a wedge between her and Kanye, and just there’s complete unfair treatment of minority supporters of President Trump. And, honestly, the national media needs to look in the mirror. … The Facebook issue with Diamond and Silk being labeled unsafe by the community, it was Republicans who asked Mark Zuckerberg, were they targeted because of their race, because they’re African American women who were speaking out. And those voices … I’m so glad they’re here, but the idea that the liberal media can focus so heavily on race and use it as a wedge is fundamentally against what this country stands for and what Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke about, which was that it didn’t matter the color of your skin, it was about the content of your character.

And when you look over and over at what President Trump has done for minority communities, from a policy level, from unemployment at historic lows in minority communities to forgiving Hurricane Katrina debt down in New Orleans, historic investments in historically black colleges and universities, historic criminal justice reform. Over and over, you’ve seen what he has done for people of color in this country. And that’s all ignored in these columns that you’re mentioning.

Mr. Jekielek: So what’s really interesting to me, one of the things that the media have been accused of or I’ve seen be accused of is, basically, being partisan of taking the Democratic Party talking points and sort of assuming them or forwarding them. What do you make of that?

Ms. Sheffield: Oh, absolutely. There is certainly the Democratic media industrial complex where I think that that is really–that is the biggest collusion of our day is the collusion between the national media and the Democratic Party. And, again, the problem is that the media pretends to be objective, and that’s where the problem lies. This is where the self-righteousness of the national media becomes so readily apparent because they’re always saying about how, and again, I’m a journalism graduate. I studied journalism as an undergraduate. I did five internships before I got my first reporting job in Washington. And I was obsessed with this notion that the press was an independent arbiter that was to hold government accountable. And that’s what the press has constantly been saying about why they’re anti-Trump.

But then when you look at how they’ve covered other presidents, the extreme collusion between the press and the Obama administration, the assumption that the country is a center-left country in the national media versus being more detached and objective. I mean, it’s so readily apparent to Middle America or just any, I think, reasonable person who wants to have just an unvarnished look at what’s happening. You’re not going to get it from the national media. …

This is another thing about the national media. They say that the president is dividing the country, that he’s driving a wedge in the country, and yet the national media is absolutely the ones who are causing the inflammation. So they need to look in the mirror and see, wow … and I guess when President Trump first won, I had expectations and high hopes that the national media would look in the mirror and see, wow, we totally misjudged this. Because the Huffington Post, for example, 97 percent chance that President Trump was going to lose, a 3 percent chance of victory. And something similar, I think 90 percent or so or that ballpark for The New York Times as well.

So they were all caught off guard. They were all caught unaware as the national media. And they have not done the work. They have not done the work of reconciling the country and really understanding the reason Trump has such a strong tone about the national media, it’s because of their bias. It’s not because he is this evil boogeyman, which is what they’re portraying him.

I think Mercedes Schlapp who is now on the Trump campaign and worked in the White House for the president, she called it out with the White House correspondence dinner last year, which, you know, to have this comedian who is paid for by the journalists to insult in the vilest terms the White House staff and conservatives, that’s all you need to know that this is the type of entertainment that would even be conceivable. It’s really mind blowing the way that this comedian was allowed to speak in this way, by these journalists, because to them it’s normal. They have normalized hate speech, they have normalized this collusion with the Democratic Party, and they are incredibly insulated.

Mr. Jekielek: So I’ve been watching some of Scott Adams commentary about what he’s seeing about narratives in the country and how people think about things. And he describes this scenario with two different screens. You get one set of facts presented to you and, let’s say the conservatives and the liberals will interpret those exact same realities, when they’re presented, in completely different ways. And I wanted to get your thoughts on this. … There was a legitimate shock on the side. A lot of people were just completely stunned that it was even possible that then-candidate Trump could win and become president. How much of this bias that you’re describing is something that’s unconscious, that’s just some people looking at the world through this very different screen than conservatives do?

Ms. Sheffield: Well, it’s interesting because there was a, I believe, NYU journalism professor who after Trump won, he said, journalism has failed. We failed to do our job and prevent this white supremacist from winning the election, which is completely misunderstanding everything on multiple levels, not only about who the president is, but also about the country and the cultural divide, which this professor is helping to perpetuate.

And I think the cultural divide, there’s an excellent book called “Coming Apart: The State of White America” by Charles Murray. That came out, I believe in 2013, 2014 before President Trump. And it really identified the cultural divisions that had really started since the 1960s in this country where you had the popularization of mass testing where before you had people who … it’s kind of a real-life story of “It’s a Wonderful Life” where most people would leave, and he ended up staying in a small town. But, in actuality, most Americans … their smart brains were sucked up and taken to Ivy Leagues. That never really happened until the invention of the standardized testing.

And so you had this brain drain and you had this … Charles Murray calls it super zip codes, the super zip code-ification of the country where the Manhattan, San Francisco, Boston, these elite bubbles have become more and more sheltered and less and less connected with the cultural fabric with the rest of the country.

So these are really deep, long-seated issues that came to bear in 2016. And the media is a reflection of that in terms of how people consume news. And the popularity of Fox News clearly showed that there was enormous demand and appetite for a voice that was not going to be so hard left, or even kind of more softly, benignly, but in many ways more perniciously because it is so unconscious as you said, so that the national media, even I would say the network news like CBS, ABC, NBC, they’re not as overtly in your face the way CNN or MSNBC are. But in some ways it’s inculcating an even more unconscious set of cultural assumptions, set of cultural behaviors, set of language to use when speaking about politics.

And I think George Stephanopoulos is a good example of that. He’s someone who had donated to the Clinton Foundation, had been a key adviser to the Clinton campaign, and now he is this warm and fuzzy morning show host on ABC News. And he has a lot of reach in how Americans start their day and how they think about the news, and we know where he’s coming from. I just can’t imagine that someone at his level of political sophistication like a Karl Rove would ever be allowed as a morning show host on one of these major networks. I know George W. Bush’s daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, is one of the morning show hosts, but she never worked in terms of the political strategizing the way at those levels that George Stephanopoulos did. Not to mention, George W. Bush and the Bush family, they do not love Trump.

Mr. Jekielek: There’s a couple of things I’m thinking of right now. One of them is, it sounds like in his mind, this professor that you mentioned back in 2016, already had labeled the president as a white supremacist. I hadn’t seen that narrative back then. I mean, I’ve been seeing it a lot lately, but was this something that was already present? Was this a plan?

Ms. Sheffield: It was already there. I mean, it goes even back to Hillary Clinton and her big speech about the alt-right, and how she said that the rise of white supremacy in the alt-right was a big problem. And, look, I despise white supremacy. I despise the notion that people are not equal in the eyes of God. I think that that’s evil, and so we should certainly reject that. And we have a troubling history in this country from Jim Crow, slavery, of the government repressing people because of their race. And that’s truly evil.

So against that backdrop, we have to acknowledge that it was the Democratic Party who was the party of Jim Crow and the party of white supremacy. And that Joe Biden himself, had embraced George Wallace and bragged about getting an award from George Wallace, and over and over, I could give you countless examples.

So it’s kind of in the twilight zone to hear Democrats like Hillary Clinton to use this label against President Trump. But it’s certainly effective, it’s a way to fearmonger, it’s a way to divide the country, and so it’s not new. It’s not something that happens just post-Charlottesville.

And here’s the thing about the president. He’d been in New York entertainment for decades. He had given free office space to Jesse Jackson. He had worked very closely with Al Sharpton and many entertainers and celebrities and athletes who are African American, and no one said anything back then. So if he was harboring this deep-seated white supremacy, I don’t understand why Jesse Jackson would affiliate with someone like this. To me that defies logic.

Mr. Jekielek: And that’s the other question that comes to my mind is these narratives around white supremacy. It’s not just that the president is being accused of this or just considered that way in some of these columns we’re seeing and so forth. But in many cases, the argument is, well, if you support him that that makes you a white supremacist as well, whether or not you’re a person of color or not. It strikes me as incredibly alienating to a heck of a lot of people.

Ms. Sheffield: Well, and that gets to the question of do you attract more flies with honey or vinegar? And if you’re trying to convert Trump voters to vote and swing the other way, I don’t think beating them over the head and using these labels with them is going to be effective.

Mr. Jekielek: It’s like a shame strategy or something like that.

Ms. Sheffield: Yeah. And to guilt, I guess.

Mr. Jekielek: But around something that people know to be demonstrably false or a lot of people do it seems. Just, the whole thing strikes me as bizarre.

Ms. Sheffield: Well, and it’s interesting what the media chooses to zero in on. So, for example, Omarosa when she was fired, Trump something something compared to a dog, and they said, well that’s racist because she’s a black woman. But the thing is, he is called so many people using them “fired like a dog” or whatever. He’s used this term. And, look, his style, it took for me some getting used to. I didn’t understand his style at first. I hadn’t watched “The Apprentice.” I did not grow up as a “The Apprentice” fan. And so I had to understand about how he communicates, which is that this is an equal opportunity approach to combativeness. So he is not going to go easy on someone because of their gender or their race.

And that to me is the opposite of racism. It’s actually treating everyone in the same manner. I mean, some of his most vocal criticisms have been toward white men. And so I just don’t see how anyone could argue that an equal opportunity combatant would be singling out. But that’s what the media does. They want to single out and say, oh, he’s sexist, he’s racist, et cetera. Because in reality, he goes after anyone who is attacking him. And that’s really an even playing field for him.

Mr. Jekielek: Well, and this really makes me actually think of political correctness and critical theory and so forth. In particular, as you were just speaking, if you are a person that believes in, let’s say, critical theory, you probably will analyze, maybe all whites are actually racist to you, I think. I’m not an expert, but that’s how I understand it. So the question I have in my mind is this type of thinking, is this mentality or this approach to the world something that’s just become pervasive in media or in left-wing politics? What do you think?

Ms. Sheffield: I think that there’s certainly this notion that the people who have been historically oppressed–because as I mentioned, yes, we have a very troubling history in this country of racial oppression. And we can’t deny that. We can’t pretend that didn’t happen. We have to acknowledge that.

But the notion that you can’t succeed in this country because of your race, or that despite data and studies from Harvard and elsewhere showing that police are actually less likely to use lethal force on a proportional basis to people of color. You can’t say those things in the mainstream media without being accused of racial bias. Even when you have many black conservatives like Jason Riley and many folks who you’ve interviewed here on American Thought Leaders–this is a problem when you can’t speak about facts and data if you are a certain race, this is a problem. And this is getting into Orwellian territory, and it’s getting into thought policing, and it’s getting into this fundamentally un-American idea that ideas and meritocracy is what we should be striving for.

Mr. Jekielek: So, Carrie, let’s talk solutions a little bit, OK? I think the vast majority of the country believes that media aren’t being honest. I mean, all of these studies you mentioned show that and that there’s bias and so forth. So how do we get ourselves back to a better place?

Ms. Sheffield: I think it first starts with acknowledging a problem. You’ve got to diagnose the problem. And for much of the mainstream media, over and over, they believe that the problem is the president, and they believe the problem is conservatives. When this country, when you look at issue after issue, is fundamentally a center-right country. We are built on the notion of freedom of expression and freedom of thought. And so when you have the mainstream media trying to tear that fabric, and this is just, it’s incredibly troubling. And that’s where the problem is, is that the national media thinks that Trump is the problem.

So I think self-diagnose … like diagnosing and understanding, really looking at how conservatives say they’re painted and how unfairly they’re being treated. I think the notion of diversity and inclusion, it is true that both in terms of class, the Ivy Leagues and elite academic institutions are disproportionately represented in newsrooms. So you have some classism going on in terms of not understanding, as mentioned before, about the cultural divides in the country. So the newsroom needs to be conscious of that. I think diversity inclusion, having–for liberals since they love that phrase–to have that concept include ideological diversity because we certainly don’t have that in the newsroom. And you have study after study showing the ideological bent of journalists themselves skews to the left. Journalists who self-identify as liberal or Democrats far outnumber, depending on your study, 8- or 9-to-1 conservatives or Republicans in the newsroom.

And this is a big problem if we’re talking about trying to build solutions. So being conscious of who you hire, building talent pipelines from schools and universities that maybe have a more traditional background. I think that’s one way to certainly solve it.

We have solutions at Accuracy in Media on our website. We look at specific articles of what angling was wrong, what voices should have been included. So we’d love to help with training and all of the above in terms of helping newsrooms to understand that they should play an active role in trying to get more voices who are center-right.

And the framing, the framing really matters, too. Headlines are very important. And over and over, we see the mainstream media just playing the role of advocate instead of the role of reporter. … I’m working on a piece right now about The New York Times and how their economic reporting, they just came out with a piece today that’s critical of the president’s economic agenda and saying that it’s not pro growth and that we haven’t seen the jobs results yet. It said nothing about the enormous impact of regulatory reform, which the president and other economists have shown enormous positive benefits to consumers, and it wasn’t even mentioned at all. And those sort of omissions are a big problem.

Mr. Jekielek: It’s bizarre. Carrie, you actually appear quite often on mainstream media, the media that you’re criticizing right now–on MSNBC, on CNN, and so forth. And I suspect that people say, hey, look, we have conservatives, we have Carrie on the show. We have … some of our columnists are conservative too. But in your mind that doesn’t somehow provide the juxtaposition, the counterpoint?

Ms. Sheffield: Well, I certainly do appreciate the chance to go and speak in some of these settings, but when you look at the ratio, again, it’s incredibly skewed. So if I’m on one of these panels or programs, I tend to be highly outnumbered. And, yes, Fox skews the other direction. However, when you look at Fox versus the overwhelming broadcast complex in America, it is very left-leaning.

So I appreciate being able to have the opportunity for some of these platforms, but at the same time when we’re talking about overall balance … and I’ve been speaking with an academic friend of mine about looking at a study to see whether never-Trump Republicans are disproportionately represented in the media. I believe they are. I believe when you see people like Joe Scarborough or Nicolle Wallace or just other never-Trumpers who are given a disproportionate platform relative to how conservatives and Republicans view the president, this is a problem because then it gives the liberal editors and producers this feel-good that, hey, I got a Republican or I got a conservative on the program. But it’s not actually representing how Republicans actually view.

Mr. Jekielek: And when you’re on–I’ve seen a few of your clips–it doesn’t really seem like you’re getting much of an opportunity to speak.

Ms. Sheffield: That’s another issue, too. So maybe I’m just too nice. But, no, I still believe–speaking to your point on solutions–I personally believe in showing up. I believe in doing what you can to talk to the other side. So I think that’s another solution for conservatives. Take the time to have conversations, not only if you’re in politics or media, but just with your everyday neighbors, and try to go outside of your conservative bubble, and tell your liberal friends, hey, maybe let’s think about it this way, or did you ever consider this?

Mr. Jekielek: That’s a powerful place to end, Carrie. Thank you so much.

Ms. Sheffield: Thank you, Jan.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity. 
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