I read this David French tweet on Friday and was instantly mad at myself for not having made the same point in that afternoon’s newsletter.
There’s nothing new about right-wing outlets stooping to the sort of unethical behavior they deride in their enemies. For all their anxiety about media gatekeeping, you’re more likely to find news that’s inconvenient for the left in the New York Times than news that’s inconvenient for the right on a conservative website. People who earn a living complaining about collusion between Democrats and liberal journalists had no issue with Trump treating one Fox News host as his “shadow chief of staff” and patching in another via speaker phone to weigh in during Oval Office meetings. The Venn diagram of populist outlets that screech endlessly about media corruption and populist outlets being sued for defamation for lying about the 2020 election is basically a circle.
If you doubt that most of the right’s media critics are offended not by ethical lapses per se but by the fact that the lapses of the mainstream press favor the left, ask yourself how many spoke up over the last few days upon learning that the most influential conservative news organization in America covered up the truth about a presidential election.