Yesterday the Wall Street Journal ran a Letter to the Editor written by Donald Trump, in which the ex-president reiterated the lies and conspiracy theories he keeps telling about the 2020 election via a series of rambling bullet points as incoherent as they were baseless.
WSJ (whose parent company, it should be noted, is Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which also owns Fox News) received a lot of criticism for publishing that without comment. So on Thursday the editorial board defended the decision, with a fair amount of smugness, though they also acknowledged the falsehoods.
“The progressive parsons of the press are aflutter that we published a letter to the editor Thursday from former President Trump, objecting to our editorial pointing out that he lost Pennsylvania last year by 80,555 votes. We trust our readers to make up their own minds about his statement. And we think it’s news when an ex-President who may run in 2024 wrote what he did, even if (or perhaps especially if) his claims are bananas,” The Editorial Board wrote.
“It’s difficult to respond to everything, and the asymmetry is part of the former President’s strategy,” the editorial board said about the letter’s “barrage” of falsehoods. “He tosses off enough unsourced numbers in 30 seconds to keep a fact-checker busy for 30 days. When one claim is refuted, Mr. Trump is back with two more.”
Among the issues with Trump’s letter, the Journal notes Trump’s false claims about the Pennsylvania Supreme Court deadline for mail ballots. “He insinuates that the presidential results include thousands of tardy votes, and ‘none of these should have been counted.’ They weren’t, per a directive by Justice Samuel Alito.”
WSJ also debunked Trump’s claim that “25,000 ballots were requested from nursing homes at the exact same time,” noting that the sole source for this claim was a since-retracted “allegation” by Sen. Lindsay Graham.
After debunking several more claims that we won’t bother restating here (we’re sure you’ve heard them before), the WSJ editorial board concluded with a return to the defensiveness that prompted the editorial.
“Mr. Trump is making these claims elsewhere, so we hardly did him a special favor by letting him respond to our editorial. We offer the same courtesy to others we criticize, even when they make allegations we think are false,” the paper said.
“As for the media clerics, their attempts to censor Mr. Trump have done nothing to diminish his popularity. Our advice would be to examine their own standards after they fell so easily for false Russian collusion claims. They’d have more credibility in refuting Mr. Trump’s,” the piece concluded.