How’s this for a scorching editorial. From The Washington Post editorial board on Saturday:

“The real estate tycoon is uniquely unqualified to serve as president, in experience and temperament. He is mounting a campaign of snarl and sneer, not substance. To the extent he has views, they are wrong in their diagnosis of America’s problems and dangerous in their proposed solutions. Mr. Trump’s politics of denigration and division could strain the bonds that have held a diverse nation together. His contempt for constitutional norms might reveal the nation’s two-century-old experiment in checks and balances to be more fragile than we knew.”

It will rank as one of the most-read Post articles ever. But while it’s ammunition for his opposition, it will only embolden his supporters even more. Another example that the liberal elite media Just Doesn’t Get It.

Populist political renegades are like Hollywood action blockbusters: they’re essentially critic-proof. In fact, the more you attack them, the more their support grows.

Former editor of The Australian Chris Mitchell draws a decent parallel with Pauline Hanson today:

“Big media personalities rounding on Hanson’s often naive, poorly expressed views may ­reinforce their own moral virtue, but they only drive support to her. During the 1998 Queensland election campaign, then Labor state secretary Mike Kaiser … leaked me Labor’s nightly poll track during the last week of the campaign.

“It proved beyond doubt the big drivers of support to Hanson were interviews by Maxine McKew and Ray Martin that week. Both interviews were aggressive and made Hanson look foolish. But those ­interviews lifted her final week polling by about 15 per cent compared with the Sunday before election day. Queensland voters were not going to have their Pauline hectored on their TVs.”

Mitchell’s solution? Report, don’t hector. Check facts, dispel lies.

But when geopolitical illiterates like Hanson and Trump spout fiction at warp speed, that’s easier said than done.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
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