Following the deadly attack on Congress on Jan. 6, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an editorial calling on Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., to resign or be kicked out “for his role in spreading disinformation about the presidential election.” Johnson submitted a response — and the Journal Sentinel published it along with 19 footnotes “to provide additional context.” For instance, here’s part of Johnson’s letter:
It is also important to acknowledge — instead of scornfully dismissing — the legitimate concerns of tens of millions of Americans and to recognize that it is not sustainable that so many have lost faith in our institutions and the fairness of our electoral process.
And here is the footnote:
Why have some Trump supporters lost faith in the fairness of the electoral process? It is precisely because irresponsible politicians like Trump and Johnson, aided by reckless allies at right-wing propaganda outlets, continually called those election results into question.
It’s an ingenious way of letting Johnson have his say while sticking to the journalistic imperative of providing our audience with the best available version of the truth. Of course, I’m sure Johnson doesn’t see it that way.