US media outlets might have counted on applause for their unprecedented decision to “cut away” — stop reporting — from the live post-election statements of an aggrieved and mendacious Donald Trump, but their gestures represent the worst of media sins: imagining they know better than their audience.

Trump has tested everyone’s patience and credulity, but can any objection to an occupant of the Oval Office justify ignoring what he says, especially if anyone thinks he is lying? In apparently succumbing to a desire to advertise their own bid for probity, news outlets betrayed the chronic confusion of principle that appears, nowadays, to beset much of the public conversation in the US...

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