Mainstream media 'crossed the Rubicon' with flagrant lies about Trump's Mount Rushmore speech, WSJ columnist says

Henninger on 2020 election: American people ‘intensely focused’ on 2 events, ‘coalitions shifting’

Dan Henninger, Wall Street Journal, discusses how President Trump’s Mount Rushmore speech could impact the 2020 election

The mainstream media "crossed the Rubicon" with flagrant lies about President Trump's Mount Rushmore Independence Day address, Wall Street Journal (WSJ) columnist Holman W. Jenkins Jr. wrote Tuesday.

In his op-ed, Jenkins argued that liberal members of the press distorted the president's July 3 speech, inserting their own narrative about an "unyielding push to preserve Confederate symbols and the legacy of White domination."


However, The New York Times – although labeling the address "dark and divisive" – broke with the herd, noting Trump made no reference to the Confederacy and that his only reference to the Civil War was regarding President Abraham Lincoln and the abolition of slavery.

Jenkins also pointed out that as the president "unleashed his uninformed Twitter rant about NASCAR's misconstrued noose incident" and its ban on Confederate symbols just a day later, the Times again highlighted that Trump "avoided specifically mentioning anything related to Confederate monuments.”

President Donald Trump, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, stand during a flyover at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Friday, July 3, 2020, near Keystone, S.D. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

"Which I’m guessing means that Trump-defending pundits aren’t the only ones troubled by the Rubicon we’ve crossed when mainstream press outlets and a U.S. senator flagrantly lie about the content of a presidential address," he mused.

Meantime, WSJ Editorial Page deputy director Daniel Henninger wrote Wednesday that the president's Fourth of July speech was "a detailed, articulate defense of American history and values" the "evening news" ignored in favor of "downer-ism" following "unprecedented events."

"You saw a catalog of weekend violence, killings and more protests. Not least was the toppling in Rochester, N.Y., of a statue of Frederick Douglass, a founding father of Black American pride," he said.

"These are times – and emotions – that don’t lend themselves to conventional political analysis," Henninger asserted.

"With the election near, the Trump-wallowing media has decided its commitment to 'truth' requires distortions of reality, such as that his Mount Rushmore speech was 'dark,' the protesters are voices of light (really), and the reviving economy is actually sinking," he wrote. "But much of the media is propagating this doom-to-the-horizon scenario – the threat of death or limitless systemic racism – when the public is focused on finding an upside and an exit from what they’ve just been through."

In a Thursday interview on "America's Newsroom," Henninger expanded on his commentary, explaining that "conventional metrics and analysis" have flown out the window in 2020.

While "coalitions" are "shifting" in the aftermath of nationwide protests against the death of George Floyd and amid the coronavirus pandemic, Henninger said the president was "onto something with that Mount Rushmore speech."


"I think probably it would be a good idea if he expanded on some of those ideas [and] maybe addressed the hopes and fears of people living in the dangerous cities, neighborhoods of the inner cities," he advised.

"And, because I just don't think that we are in a normal election at all. People are focused on these two events and they are going to cast their votes, I think, on the basis of which candidate they think is best going to address the aftermath of these events."

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