With each passing day, another anti-Trump media narrative from the election cycle collapses in on itself.
Americans will recall that in June 2020, anti-police rioting in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody had spread to Washington, D.C.
On one evening of “mostly peaceful” protesting, rioters had briefly forced the White House into lockdown with then-President Donald Trump inside.
The following day, the Trump administration ordered law enforcement to clear Lafayette Park of anti-police demonstrators.
Trump then happened to walk through the area to St. John’s Cathedral, where he held a Bible and encouraged the country to be strong amid the chaos.
The establishment media was all over it.
Its narrative was easy money: The Bad Orange Man™ had violated the civil rights of peaceful protesters by siccing the authorities on them — and all for a cynical photo op with a Bible he never reads.
Police in Washington, D.C. used tear gas and rubber bullets on peaceful protesters to clear them away from St. John’s church, which suffered a small fire Sunday night, near the White House.
— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) June 1, 2020
Inside the push to tear-gas protesters ahead of a Trump photo op https://t.co/dHxHXTHzn8
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) June 2, 2020
President Trump prompted outrage after peaceful protesters outside the White House were dispersed with tear gas so that he could pose for photos at a church while holding a Bible https://t.co/rYUkJacCCZ
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 2, 2020
But as Americans learned earlier this month from an inspector general’s report, the only problem with the story was that it was complete bunk.
As it turned out, the Trump administration had ordered law enforcement to clear the area in order to establish a defensive perimeter around the Capitol area, in no small part because rioters had threatened the White House.
It was on the basis of this evidence that a federal judge ruled this week in favor of the federal government, tossing a series of lawsuits by Black Lives Matter and the American Civil Liberties Union, among other such groups, alleging that the right of demonstrators to peaceably assemble had been infringed.
A federal judge has dismissed claims that former White House officials conspired to forcibly remove peaceful protesters last year from D.C.’s Lafayette Square so that Trump could pose for a photo op.https://t.co/PMMIsKiqUQ
— NPR (@NPR) June 22, 2021
U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich ruled in a 51-page decision that the “plaintiffs’ claims of impending future harm are too speculative to confer standing to seek an injunction.”
While the lawsuits claimed that “the officers attacked and improperly dispersed the protesters — they did not restrain them or attempt to seize them in place,” Friedrich wrote, “Indeed, quite the opposite was true — the officers attempted to cause the protestors and fleeing crowd to leave their location, rather than cause them to remain there.”
In other words, action taken by law enforcement had not amounted to attempted seizure or detainment under federal law — and the establishment media was completely full of it.
Yet, the influence of the media is so entrenched in American politics that it took an investigation, an inspector general’s report and a 51-page ruling from a federal judge to debunk the narrative.
But this is what it is all about for the media.
It doesn’t care about protecting civil rights or keeping the powerful subservient to their constituents or arming the public with truth amid corruption and chaos.
Those are ancillary aims selectively used as cover when convenient for pushing the leftist agenda on Americans already stirred up by confusion and controversy.
This aim requires the media to trash the opponents of its political allies, demonize their supporters and lie to the public about the nature of reality if it conflicts with the ideal of the narrative.
Additionally, the media saw Trump not merely as a threat to its agenda as a Republican but as a threat to the media itself given his anti-establishment bent and ability to play on existing distrust of the activists in journalist costumes.
From Russian collusion to the origins of the coronavirus to the prediction that Trump would start a war in the Middle East, many of the most divisive and election-altering narratives of the election cycle have completely fallen apart.
As it would seem, the Trump administration, in spite of its divisiveness, was not the leading force of division in the country.
That would arguably be the media, which happens to be the seminal cause of our polarization and the purveyor of as many conspiracy theories as any right-wing provocateur.
The difference is that the right-wing conspiracy theorists are treated as the fools they are.
But the establishment media has an aura of unearned credibility that we continue to afford it.
That should stop.
The continuing collapse of the most celebrated anti-Trump narratives is a window into the corruption of the establishment media, which has shown itself willing to polarize the country if its demonization of particular Americans means the leftist agenda will prevail.
But in undermining the Trump administration, the media should have damaged its own credibility and, with that, the credibility of the cultural institutions it has rigged in favor of leftists.
The sooner the public retracts its trust in the establishment media, the quicker we might root out the activists and rebuild an institution worthy of the constitutional responsibility placed upon it.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.