- The Washington Times - Monday, July 17, 2017

Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame claimed on CNN over the weekend that the U.S. is engaged in a “cold civil war” largely sparked by the creation of Fox News Channel.

Speaking Sunday with “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter about the 1974 resignation of President Richard Nixon and its possible parallels to President Trump’s administration, Mr. Bernstein said America transformed in dangerous ways with creation of Fox News in the 1990s.

“This difference between Watergate and now — one of the big differences — is that we are in the midst of a cold civil war in this country, a political and cultural civil war,” said Mr. Bernstein, who broke the Watergate scandal with Bob Woodward for The Washington Post. “And all of our reporting is taking place within the context of that cold civil war. Nothing quite existed like that at the time of Watergate.

“And that part of that cold civil war itself is the configuration of media with Fox News, with CNN, being perceived by different sets of viewers as representing different truths when in fact Fox has changed American politics as perhaps no institution has since its invention in 1996,” he said.

Mr. Bernstein, who told the network in December that Mr. Trump “thrives in a fact-free environment,” expanded on his previous analysis.

“Our politics has been changed [irreparably] by this right-wing counter-force, whatever you want to call Fox News, but also cable news itself is a different form than we had during the time of Watergate,” he said, the Washington Examiner reported. “We didn’t see reporters on television discussing their stories. A fact-based environment is almost impossible to maintain as long as the principals are willing to engage in the kind of rhetoric and lying that we have seen in this exchange of late.”

Mr. Trump continues to fend off accusations that his campaign colluded with Russian state actors to defeat Hillary Clinton. His son, Donald Trump Jr., recently admitted to hosting a June 2016 meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

Ms. Veselnitskaya denies working for the Russian government.

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