Charles Cooke of National Review Online criticizes a Democratic senator and mainstream media outlets for their mendacity.

Senator Tammy Duckworth says that, during his address at Mount Rushmore on Friday, President Trump “spent all his time talking about dead traitors.”

This is a flat-out lie. It is entirely untrue. It is invented from whole cloth. …

… Trump’s two references to the Civil War came in passages praising Lincoln and condemning slavery. …

… Quite how Duckworth gets from there to “spent all his time talking about dead traitors,” I don’t know.

By contrast, I do know why she said what she said. Duckworth said what she said because almost the entire press corps said the same thing within seconds of the speech’s conclusion, and, in so doing, it signaled to her and to everyone else that she could get away with it.

Which, of course, she will. The press will, too. Try to point out that her claim isn’t actually true, and you will be met with a series of non sequiturs, along with some pointed questions as to your motivations. “Well he says other things.” “Well, he’s not a good person in general.” “Well, I doubt he wrote it himself.” “Well, last year he said . . .” Or: “Why do you care, anyway?”

Why do I “care”? I care because (a) I don’t think it’s good for America to have a press corps that lies as brazenly as ours does, and (b) because what Trump actually said is exactly what we should want American presidents to say. The Confederacy was a monstrous and unsalvageable tyranny, led by figures who explicitly rejected the American Founding. It needed crushing, and it is a good thing that it was crushed. The Revolution, by contrast, was a unparallelled leap forward, the consequences of which have been almost entirely salutary, not only for America, but for the world.