Most of the time, the media doesn’t outright lie to you. Yeah, every once in a while they’ll blurt out a huge whopper (“Russian collusion”), but usually it’s more subtle than that. They’ll give you the facts, but they’ll emphasize some facts over others to preserve the narrative they’re selling. They’ll lie by omission. They’ll distract you with trivia while the real story slips by you unnoticed.
For example, did you hear about the guy they just arrested in North Carolina for plotting to kill Joe Biden? Do you think you know why he wanted to do that?
Are you sure?
As it was becoming clear in March that Joe Biden would be the Democratic presidential nominee, Alexander Hillel Treisman started to map out his plot to assassinate the former vice president, federal authorities say.
“Should I kill Joe Biden?” Treisman wrote in a caption to a meme he posted in April…
The 19-year-old searched online for Biden’s home address and for night-vision goggles, and purchased an AR-15 in New Hampshire, according to federal court documents first reported Thursday by WBTV. At one point in May, Treisman ended up at a Wendy’s within four miles of Biden’s home in Delaware. And when he was arrested later that month in North Carolina, police searching his van found four rifles, a 9mm handgun, explosive materials, books on bomb making, and $509,000 in cash that’s believed to be his inheritance.
That’s crazy. But why? What was Treisman’s motive? He must be one of those evil Proud Boys or crazy QAnon freaks we keep hearing so much about, right?
Wrong. But to find out the actual motive, you have to go all the way down to paragraph 15 of the WaPo story (emphasis mine):
The 19-year-old’s focus on Biden started in the spring, according to the order… Days after Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) suspended his presidential campaign, Treisman, who had suggested in a Reddit post that he had to “save bernie,” posted a meme with the caption questioning whether he should kill Biden.
Oh. He’s a Bernie Bro. He wanted to kill Biden to somehow help Bernie.
But you sure wouldn’t know that by reading the headline (“A 19-year-old with a van full of guns and explosives plotted to assassinate Biden, federal officials say”) or the first 14 paragraphs. Isn’t that kind of important?
No, it isn’t, because WaPo wants you to think a conservative or a right-winger or some other designated villain did it. That’s the game.
They all did the same thing in 2017 when a Bernie Bro named James T. Hodgkinson shot up a baseball field where some Republican congressmen were practicing. Steve Scalise was seriously wounded and almost killed. And the media bent over backwards to avoid mentioning that Hodgkinson was a staunch supporter of Bernie Sanders. Hell, within two months of the shooting, they had quit mentioning Hodgkinson at all.
Does that mean Sanders was responsible? Of course it doesn’t. Does it mean the media is in the tank for the Democrats (or, in Sanders’ case, an “independent” riding the coattails of the Democrats)? Of course it does.
See, the trick is to report the inconvenient facts in as low-key a manner as possible, so that most people miss it. Then, when you get called on your bull$#!+, you can say, “But I did report it, didn’t I?”
Meanwhile, most people only read the headline and the first few paragraphs. Assuming they even read the newspaper story at all, and not just a tweet about it. So in most people’s minds, the story is “Trump Supporter Plots to Kill Biden.”