Media brushed aside worries that they were focusing on the wrong thing here, noting that they had long ago gotten into the habit of mixing up style and substance and that style analysis was a particularly strong suit for them. Allowing their attacker to approach ever closer was merely a way to see his exquisite cuff links and feel his warm breath more intimately. “Readers care about these things too,” they said, “not just the death of the environment, health care, education, immigration policy and truth. It’s a balancing act we do.”
With regard to accuracy, they felt it was important to note that while their attacker was misrepresenting and lying as he always does, it was only fair to give him credit for getting better at his delivery of his falsehoods, calibrating his pacing and tone in a way that the public could really respond to.
Plus, their attacker also mentioned one of their favorite themes, as they let their guard down ever lower. Unity. He said beautiful words about unity and working together that nearly melted their fearfulness away. And when he asked for sacrifices and sharing in the task of obliterating skeptical reporting that might serve to preserve their lives and democracy, the media swooned into his arms and said, “You are a star. You can do anything you want.”