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Partisans Can’t Control A Free Press

As former President Donald Trump faced his third indictment in four months, this time on charges he conspired to overthrow the 2020 election, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves characterized it as nothing more than “the Biden Administration’s attempts to interfere in the election by weaponizing law enforcement.”

But Mississippians, like all Americans, saw with our own eyes that Trump spent months spreading conspiracy theories—repeatedly debunked in court—claiming the election was stolen from him before ultimately urging a crowd to march on the Capitol and “fight like hell” on January 6th. And we know that Trump was investigated by an independent special counsel—not President Joe Biden—and that courts will ultimately determine his guilt.

We’re used to partisans like the governor responding this way, though. They dutifully defend their own party leaders and deflect unpleasant facts, no matter how damning. They wantonly declare their political opponents guilty of alleged crimes, no matter how little evidence exists in hopes the media will obediently repeat those claims enough to make them true in the minds of voters. (Recall the national media’s two-year obsession with Hillary Clinton’s emails, only for the FBI and even GOP congressional investigations to find no evidence of a crime).

Reeves himself has been targeted with unsubstantiated allegations of crimes. Some partisan Democrats in Mississippi have moved on from painting former Gov. Phil Bryant—who has not been charged with a crime or proven to have committed one or, apparently, been interviewed by investigators to date—as the mastermind of the welfare scandal and are now seeking to pin the bulk of the blame on Reeves.

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A week after Bryant sued online news publication Mississippi Today for an article claiming he “used his office to steer millions of state welfare dollars to benefit his family and friends,” his Democratic opponent Brandon Presley put an ad out claiming it was actually Reeves who “steered” millions of dollars “to help his rich friends” as part of the welfare scandal.

As a news organization, we cannot say that Bryant or Reeves “steered” welfare funds to illegal uses; those allegations remain unproven by the facts available to us.

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