Saturday, April 6, 2024

A Disinformation October Surprise Is Coming - WSJ

Mr. Trump’s many demerits don’t need to be enumerated here, but, after nine years, the tone of cable coverage has become more like primate gibbering than reasoned commentary. If it stops, even for a moment, other truths might come up for air. Plainly false campaign memes—he called neo-Nazis fine people, he advised drinking bleach—usually have their season and disappear. The anti-Trump tropes never get a day off, constantly dunning viewers with Mr. Trump’s unique iniquity as if to rationalize his enemies’ behavior.

If the simple truth were admitted, Hillary Clinton would be a pariah. Adam Schiff would never appear on another ballot again. I’m not forgetting the complicity of the press, whose normal role is to take an interest in matters that are, you know, interesting. If it’s true that cowards die a thousand deaths, our media will bankrupt the fisc with all the end-of-life care it’s going to consume.

Mr. Trump turns out to be less of a danger to our institutions than they are to themselves. Worry about a future leader with President Obama’s gifts not Donald Trump’s—while remembering that the collusion hoaxes were promoted by official U.S. agencies in exactly the manner of Mr. Putin’s Russia.

All this is possibly going to matter a great deal this fall. Mr. Trump will tell his lies and tall tales and make his fabulous claims and the media will have to deal with it.

There’s also a significant likelihood that 2024 will see lies manufactured by agents and veterans of the national-security state, as in 2016 and 2020. Then the press will get a third opportunity. Those reporters and editors who are still capable of participating in the media business in good faith need to start thinking now about how they will deal with this if it happens again


Holman Jenkins.

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