The Washington Post on Thursday promoted creating a political litmus test by asking Republicans three deciding questions to test whether they had wholehearted faith in the recent election process, leading many to note that the paper has never held Democrats to similar lines of questioning in the past.
The Post, which frequently undermined the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency due to the unfounded Russia hoax, set out to demand Republicans answer the proposed questions in order to determine the Republican’s legitimacy.
“The Post is asking every Republican member of Congress the same three questions today. We will report back their answers,” the Post wrote.
The Post is asking every Republican member of Congress the same three questions today. We will report back their answers.
The questions are: pic.twitter.com/P1ptrZU4cr
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) December 3, 2020
The questions are as follows:
- Who won the 2020 presidential election?
- Do you support or oppose Donald Trump’s continuing efforts to claim victory?
- If Joe Biden wins a majority in the electoral college, will you accept him as the legitimately elected president of the United States?
In an accompanying article titled “A political litmus test for Republicans: Fail it, lose your TV slot” and a caption reading: “Time for a rapid test for the voter fraud delusion,” former journalist and TV news producer Matt Negrin seeks to reprimand any Republican who “refuses to acknowledge [Biden] as president-elect” while supporting “President Trump’s lie that imaginary voter fraud stole the election from him.”
Though election results have yet to be fully certified, as state electors must first meet before Congress finalizes the results in January, and despite pending legal challenges and recounts, the Post’s survey seeks to punish Republicans who choose not to accept the essay’s take on reality.
Those who do not satisfy the host are then to be removed lest they “infect” others.
“Journalists in the news business do have the power to stop the spread of this dangerous disinformation by quarantining this conspiracy theory to where it belongs — Fox News, Newsmax and One America News — rather than allowing it to infect viewers of real news outlets,” the essay reads.
Republicans who don’t answer accordingly are then to have their interviews terminated immediately.
“Whenever Republicans appear on a news show, the first question to them must be: ‘Do you acknowledge that Biden won the election and that he is president-elect?’ If the Republican politician doesn’t say yes, they’ve failed the test and are at risk of spreading disinformation. The host of the show has an obligation to viewers to stop the interview there and say goodbye,” the essay continues.
The justification is presented as follows: “If an interview subject is willing to lie about a fact so plainly obvious and integral to American democracy — ‘the election is real and it happened’ — we have to assume they’re willing to lie about anything.”
Comparing those who question the validity of the 2020 election process to flat-earthers, the Post claims that allowing Republicans to speak freely on the air is “dangerous.”
“Platforming conspiracy theorists is dangerous and offering them airtime validates their beliefs. Why aren’t TV news networks applying the same approach to the Republican Party’s election truthers?” the Post asks.
Calling attention to Republican senators Kevin Cramer (ND) and Roy Blunt (MO) who both refused to acknowledge Biden as president-elect when asked on the air, the Post decried their air time, claiming “administering the bad-faith test would have stopped these conspiracy theorists” in their tracks.
Noting the need for Republicans to be granted free speech on the air, the Post compared withholding such access to withholding “oxygen.”
“Conspiracy theorists only want oxygen, and if cable producers show them they’ll cut off their supply unless they act in good faith, they might change their behavior,” the paper claimed. “You haven’t seen real desperation until you’ve seen a senator without access to a Sunday show.”
The essay itself admits it is promoting “a radical approach” which is both “awkward and unpleasant,” but stands by it as “the only way to safely proceed with live interviews with Republicans who may be carrying a dangerous conspiracy theory that spreads on air.”
Many noted the Post’s hypocrisy, having never sought similar tests for Democrats.
“The Post never felt the need to ask every Democratic member of Congress questions of if Democrats believed Tara Reade or not,” wrote the Media Research Center.
“Great questions,” wrote columnist Matt Walsh. “What did the Democrats say when you asked them similar questions in 2016? Oh, you never asked? Okay.”
“Did you do this for any other presidential election?” asked one Twitter user. “If not, ask yourself why, Washington Post. This is embarrassing.”
“Did these clowns ask Hillary these questions in 2016 when she created a conspiracy theory that Russia rigged our election?” asked yet another.
On the left, personalities were excited about the prospects of such control methods.
“This is brilliant,” tweeted Editor-at-large for the Daily Beast, Molly Jong-Fast.
“History is watching you, @HouseGOP & @SenateGOP,” warned CA Congressman Eric Swalwell, a major purveyor of the Russian collusion hoax which undermined the legitimacy of the Trump presidency from its very start.
Despite the post’s attempt to hijack any legitimate discussion surrounding the recent election, a vast majority of Republican voters believe the election results are not valid and that illegal voting and fraud took place, with 79 percent believing the election was outright stolen, according to a recent survey.
While the Washington Post markets itself as a politically objective and nonpartisan news media outlet, after President Trump’s electoral victory in 2016, the Post adopted a new slogan: “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”
On Monday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) told Breitbart News that left-wing, partisan Democrat news media outlets such as the Washington Post are enemies of conservatism that seek power and control.
“The Washington Post is the mortal enemy of conservatism. When it’s to their advantage, they’re for it. When it’s to their disadvantage, they’re against it. They couldn’t care less about the truth. They care about power, about controlling your life, and about dictating to you.”
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.