Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on Capitol Hill in Washington in October 2015. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)
Media critic

Should you have any information to share about Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), you can be sure to have a captive audience at one news organization. Courtesy of Jordan himself:

Rarely has a tweet ostensibly designed to discredit a news organization done so much to legitimate it. CNN, of course, is digging into one of the more bizarre political stories of the summer, in which Jordan stands accused of ignoring sexual misconduct when he was working as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University between 1987 and 1995. On Tuesday, the network reported, “Another former OSU wrestler has told CNN that Jim Jordan knew about the actions of Dr. Richard Strauss, the former Ohio State University medical doctor who treated athletes, and called Jordan, who is now a US Congressman, a ‘phony’ for saying he was not aware of any sexual abuse allegations.”

Jordan has persistently denied knowledge of Strauss’s alleged activities, and has received support in that regard from other OSU coaches of that period. “What has been said about Jim Jordan is absolutely wrong. We all worked on the wrestling coaching staff during Jim’s tenure at The Ohio State University. None of us saw or heard of abuse of OSU wrestlers,” said a statement by six coaches. Strauss allegedly fondled and ogled wrestlers; he died in 2005.

“Fake news,” by most accounts, is cooked-up nonsense aiming to accomplish some nefarious goal or other. Conducting an all-out reportorial heave to secure input from “100+” sources isn’t the most efficient approach for your average fake-news merchant.

Readers of the Erik Wemple Blog know all that; journalists know that; CNN knows that; even Jordan knows that. But reason and logic don’t particularly matter here anymore. Since well before Donald Trump took office, the president has engaged in a systematic and relentless campaign to tear down CNN, an organization synonymous with “fake news” in the minds of his followers. Like a cyclist in the Tour de France, Jordan, a staunch conservative and a Trump ally, is drafting off the work Trump has done in trashing CNN. He’s inoculating his people against whatever CNN’s investigation finds — while at the same time helping the network round up sources for the piece.

Should CNN produce a damning story, no matter how well-sourced, you can see right now how Jordan and his supporters might react: They were out to get him.