A Disinformation October Surprise Is Coming

from The Wall Street Journal,

Will the press be ready if, for the third election in a row, our national-security state meddles?

Two of the most interesting things ever to happen in American politics happened in the past few years. A Democratic presidential campaign, representing the incumbent party, fabricated evidence that its Republican opponent and the eventual president-elect was a Russian agent, and the in-power party’s FBI legitimated the evidence in the eyes of the media so it would be widely reported and believed by the public. To make sure it was believed, top intelligence officials of the outgoing administration went on cable television to call the new president a Russian mole and Vladimir Putin his case officer. When the formerly incumbent party’s candidate was seeking to reclaim the White House four years later, the same former officials concocted a new lie to cover up embarrassing information about the candidate’s family. These highly connected former officials had five days to check things out before claiming Hunter Biden’s laptop had “classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” The New York Post included a receipt showing the FBI had already been in possession of the data for 10 months. Its story documented how the Post acquired the same data. Specific, dated and verifiable events and messages weren’t denied by the Bidens, etc. Obama intelligence officials James Clapper and John Brennan, and their 49 colleagues, lie today when they say they weren’t lying then. These realties have been acknowledged on these pages, in a few other papers around the country, on Fox News and at some partisan websites. They might as well never have happened as far as most of the press is concerned.

The dishonesty of his opponents remains Mr. Trump’s great legitimizer, helping him past Jan. 6 and on the road to the White House again. The real motive for the press silence is fear and shame over acts that are close to treasonous.

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.

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.

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