Editorial: Conduct Unbecoming

Ted Cruz was sounding a little like another senator from witch hunts past last week as he went beyond blaming an individual media outlet for a story or comment—lots of candidates do that—to suggesting there was a conspiracy by journalists to suppress negative stories about Donald Trump because if he won the GOP nomination, Hillary Clinton would be assured a victory.

Cruz, in an interview on Face the Nation, said he had spoken with reporters about a bombshell story that they were sitting on. Asked who, he would not say. Asked which outlets, he was equally mum. Cruz said all the attacks on Trump the media is not talking about now “you better believe that come September, October, November if he were the nominee, every day on the nightly news they would be taking Donald apart.”

Cruz is a veteran and vocal critic of the “liberal media,” but the suggestion of a vast, left-wing journalist conspiracy took it to a new level.

The candidate also said the media was helping Trump by giving him hundreds of millions of dollars of free advertising. Of course, that actually works against the interests of outlets that depend on advertising. Cruz called it a “massive in-kind contribution from the media” that has helped create the Trump phenomenon.

Certainly the news media have helped amplify Trump’s megaphone, which makes the suggestion of a conspiracy of silence about the candidate ludicrous.