You Have to Move On
This is one of those posts that is a bit odd to write in large part because it is directed at those most likely never to read it. But it needs to be said nonetheless.
Back in 2020, when the New York Post revealed Hunter Biden’s laptop contents, much of the mainstream media brought pressure to bear on Twitter, which turned off the Post’s account. Media outlets rejected the findings. NPR did an entire story on why the organization would not cover the story. Numerous national security experts still relied on as talking heads in the press to explain why it was Russian disinformation.
The only problem is it turned out to be true. It was all true.
The Democrats and the media never really did a mea culpa. There was excuse-making but little accountability.
When Hillary Clinton had her email server in the basement of her home, the FBI thought so seriously about it that they investigated and James Comey probably did, in fact, shift some voters to Donald Trump with his public statements. But Democrats circled the wagons and much of the media did, in fact, downplay the issue. After the election, instead of focusing on Clinton’s refusals to campaign in places like Erie, PA and up in Wisconsin, it became conventional wisdom first that Comey had thrown the election then that Russia stole the election.
To this day, most conventional wisdom in the press and among Democrats is Russia stole the election.
There never really was any sort of accountability about Clinton’s email server, and there was and exists sustained excuse-making and trivializing of it.
When James Hodgkinson attempted the mass assassination of Republican members of Congress, no major media outlets outside Fox News expressed any concern about the Southern Poverty Law Center’s incendiary rhetoric about the right or Democrats’ attacks on Paul Ryan and the Republicans. Democrats on Capitol Hill were publicly saying Republicans wanted to kill people. Democrat ads showed Paul Ryan shoving an elderly person off a cliff. It was all fair game.
When small business owners protested around the country to reopen their businesses, most major outlets, from the big three broadcast outlets to cable outlets like CNN and MSNBC, openly criticized the small business owners for protesting. CNN analyst April Ryan suggested the small business owners be denied COVID care if they got sick and then supported the George Floyd protests a few months later as COVID was soaring and states were locking back down.
The reality is that when people on the right have grievances, the media tends to be dismissive of them. When the left has grievances, the media tends to obsess about them.
It’s like weather in New York City. If New York had the flooding Kentucky had, national news networks would still be covering it. In the same way, if Hunter Biden’s laptop had been Eric Trump’s laptop, Brian Stelter would be insisting it was a legitimate story instead of, in the Biden laptop case, a “classic example of the right-wing media machine.”
The media and Democrats, in the same bubble, give disproportionate coverage to the left’s causes, the left’s stories, and the left’s grievances. It is far easier to get traction with something from the left in the press than the right. Just look how quickly so many news organizations have embraced pronoun games and phrasing like “pregnant people.”
That is the reality. Edward Luce, the Associate Editor for the Financial Times, reflects the views of many of his peers in the press even if they won’t say so publicly. He is now mostly a columnist but was once the Washington bureau chief.
Thus we arrive at Trump.
The non-Fox media is obsessed with sending the man to prison. He is presumed guilty. The Democrats and press are just trying to figure out what he should be charged with to make it happen. Jim Acosta, well past his fifteen minutes of fame, had Sam Donaldson on his show over the weekend to say Trump needed to be charged with something.
Well, you know, when I heard about it, the fact that the FBI had seized from his safe and other places these documents which should be held someplace else, particularly the top secret ones which must be held someplace else, it may be a violation of the Espionage Act of 1917. That’s a very serious crime. I thought of Al Capone. Al Capone was a great big gangster in the 1920s and ’30s, bootlegged millions of gallons of whiskey, that was illegal, but more than that, a lot of credible evidence that he had ordered the murder of many people. But they never brought him to justice on that. But wait a moment. The IRS discovered that Al Capone was cheating on his income taxes, and so they brought him to justice on that, he went to prison, that’s where he died. If the Attorney General cannot bring himself, because of lack of evidence or belief that the country is not ready to bring a president on charges of insurrection or obstruction of justice, how about violation of laws which keep this country safe like the Espionage Act? If there’s credible evidence, I think more of the American public would say, 'Well, yeah, he shouldn’t have done that. Let’s see what the jury of his peers provides for.' I’d like to see it.
Sam undoubtedly speaks for more than just himself in the media saying he’d like to see Trump charged with something, anything. They know the bastard is guilty, they just aren’t sure what’ll get him carted off to prison.
And that, my friends, is why these people, from Jim Acosta to Sam Donaldson to Liz Cheney to the local rage bloggers of the left, need to let this go.
The anti-Trump brigade dominates the non-Fox media. They dominate the national conversation. The right knows this. The right feels increasingly alienated. The right increasingly understands it will not only not get a fair shake in the American press, but the press is out to get the right.
The left is not only, in its actions, encouraging and fostering the right to circle wagons around Trump, but they’re probably going to get Trump re-elected in 2024.
Not only that, this focus and obsession with seeing justice done strikes a lot of people on the right as hypocritical, given the wagon circling around Hillary Clinton and, for a time, Hunter Biden. We need not even get into Nancy Pelosi’s husband.
If you, on the left, hound Trump to prison or even just to a trial, you will be crossing a line in civic norms you think Trump already crossed, but half the nation does not think he crossed. You will become what you think Trump is. The matter and anti-matter reaction to that will be the most explosive violence we have seen in this nation since the Civil War.
It is inevitable, and contrary to how you all, with your dominant control of the press, will frame it, it’ll actually be you instigating it.
Here’s the dirty little secret.
The right has slowly been moving on from Trump. Every few months, polling shows more Republicans view themselves as Republicans, not Trump voters. Every few months, polling shows Republicans are eyeing Ron DeSantis. Every few months, Republicans feel less and less like they have to defend Trump or pay attention to Trump. Every few months, polls show a declining number of Republicans who want Trump to run again. Well, every few months until August 8, 2022, when FBI agents walked into Mar-a-Lago. Now, Republicans are back to circling the wagons.
A cynical person just might think the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago was designed to do that and bring Trump to the forefront of the 2022 election cycle.
You could just let him run through the GOP primaries like a bull in a China shop. You could watch and see if those candidates lose, and the GOP would move on faster if they did. You could just leave it alone and let inertia and gravity do their thing. But you are so aggrieved, and your conscience so pricked, that you just simply cannot help yourself.
Grace is not a concept any of you can deploy, and moving on is not something emotionally driven people like to do.
You all cover him obsessively. You make up excuses to justify your coverage. And you all want him carted off to prison. You have so much control of the national conversation and cultural clout in the country you don’t even have to put yourselves in the shoes of his supporters. You can just disparage them as racists.
You will, by refusing just to let it go, move on, and ignore him, reap a whirlwind. You’ll have only yourselves to blame. But you’ll surround yourselves with voices reassuring you that it is not your fault.
That won’t change what will happen.
Justice does not demand you burn it all down to have your way and there will be fire if there is an indictment. Sometimes justice demands you let it go for the greater good. Prudence suggests everyone move on. The problem is the right cannot until the left and its friends in the press are willing.
Why? Because the right is no longer willing to let the people who censored one of their peer news outlet for an accurate report on Hunter Biden’s laptop control the conversation and direction of coverage. Inertia and gravity cannot work as long as the actions and reactions keep going.
Those who need to read this most likely will not. But I pray wiser heads prevail within the Attorney General’s office. They have to let this go so the right can let Trump go.