Thursday, December 22, 2022

Trump Wasn't Remotely Clever, Cruel, Or Ruthless Enough To Fight The 5th Estate

WSJ  |  So compromised are the national reporting staffs of the Washington Post, the New York Times and other outlets that they can’t be trusted on the biggest story of the day. A Jeff Bezos, say, would have to take a page from the CIA’s own history and recruit a “Team B” off-site from his Washington Post to investigate the laptop ruse, then require his newspaper to report the truth however discomfiting to its newsroom and leadership.

The laptop ruse also ought to have you rethinking the FBI’s and Robert Mueller’s dragging out of the collusion inquiry to damage a president they distrusted. It ought to have you rethinking James Comey’s convenient resolution of the Hillary Clinton email matter based on secret “Russian intelligence” that he made sure would remain hidden from you even today.

Our press would bring these stories to light if it could refute them, but it can’t so it ignores them. And no, Twitter and Substack aren’t a substitute for institutions that can deploy teams of reporters and substantial resources to investigations.

The point has long since stopped being whose ox is gored, Mr. Trump’s or Mr. Biden’s. American voters whatever their sympathies don’t want their government and media lying to them to shape their political choices. (Put aside lying in a way that falsely incriminates a nuclear-armed hostile power as trying to fix a U.S. election on behalf of one of the candidates—an element of this episode that none want to confront.) The election is over; the truth is kept from you now to protect the guilty, not to save the country from the supposed menace of Trumpism. In a different universe far, far away—that is, America pre-Donald Trump—a conscientious press would be reporting the hell out of all this.

Now House Republicans will have to do the job instead, implicitly holding the press to account in the process. Whether Joe Biden actively promoted his son’s ventures is a secondary question but will yield to further investigation. Whether active-duty officials joined in lying to news outlets about the laptop origins will become clear as the Twitter revelations are followed up. One question I think we can say is already resolved conclusively: The 51 former officials lied to the public with deliberation and premeditation to influence a presidential election, and the national press abetted them.


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