Excerpt from Business Insider
Written by Oliver Darcy and Pamela Engel
Standing before a Miami audience, sleeves rolled up, President Barack Obama was hard at work campaigning for Hillary Clinton.
But, as he sometimes does when he's riffing on the stump, the president took a detour in his speech. This time, he did so to make a point about Donald Trump and the influential faction of conservative media that allowed for his ascension inside the Republican Party.
"Here's the thing: Trump didn't come out of nowhere now," Obama said Thursday. "For years, Republican politicians and far-right media outlets have been pumping out all kinds of toxic, crazy stuff."
Obama went through a litany of conspiracy theories that have been pervasive throughout his presidency. The movement doubting his birthplace. Fears he wanted to "steal everybody's guns." The idea he wanted to "declare martial law."
"I say all this," the president said, "because Donald Trump didn't start all this. Like he usually does, he just slapped his name on it, took credit for it, and promoted the heck out of it."
The president had a point. Trump's rise was no accident; rather, it was a natural outgrowth of a growing and influential faction of conservative media that for years fed the Republican base a steady diet of fringe theories masqueraded as news.