I recommend Laura Wagner’s entire post, but I’ll quote the conclusion as a teaser:
As for why so many people are willing to not trust their own eyes; why they’ll readily accept the MAGA teen’s shitty and unconvincing publicist-created explanation that he didn’t do anything wrong; why news organizations rolled back reporting based on little new evidence; and why so many people lashed themselves to the whipping post in the square and begged for forgiveness, the answer is, I think, simple: These people are willing to give the screaming mob of white teens the benefit of the doubt because it distinguishes them from the emotion-driven hordes. It’s something like virtue signaling, but instead of attempting to signal that they hold any type of moral or ethical principles, these people are attempting to show that they are willing to be chastened, and so are thoughtful. I can admit when I’m wrong, they say, so you can always trust me.
It’s never good for the likes of Robby Soave or Bari Weiss or the cool priest or The Atlantic or CNN to be too vociferously on the same side as people on the left angrily yelling about how a bad thing is bad, not only because it’s not the done thing but because their brands rely on finding middle ground and pushing back against anyone who seems to care too much about something they don’t. (Somehow, of course, this always seems to land them on the side of the powerful and the privileged.) They need to be seen as reasonable and responsible and responsive, different from the frenzied masses. If that means siding with some shithead MAGA teens and saying that 2 + 2 = 5 in the face of every bit of evidence there is to be had, so be it.
But! Since we believe in being fair and balanced here, let’s also check in on everyone’s favorite anti-anti-Trump blogger, Glenn “MAGA” Greenwald:
You’re damn right he did pic.twitter.com/KYQeez3B5m
— Jonathan M. Katz✍🏻 (@KatzOnEarth) January 22, 2019
Seems about right.