The minute Donald Trump was declared the loser of the 2020 election, it was nearly a given that he’d end up in prison. The Manhattan District Attorney already had a grand jury in the process of criminally indicting him on the kinds of financial charges that almost automatically result in conviction.
But then a funny thing happened: the mainstream media decided to completely ignore this major storyline, because it knew there wouldn’t be a lot of details coming out about it for awhile, and it wouldn’t be a ratings-friendly story until more details did start to emerge. Instead the media eagerly pursued an alternate storyline about Trump being on the verge of a major comeback in 2024, which despite being fictional, was scary enough to be good for ratings.
But then this past week the New York Attorney General announced that her civil probe into Donald Trump had expanded to a criminal one, and that she was lending some of her staff to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in order to assist with prosecution. In reality this was nothing more than an expansion of the Manhattan criminal case that was already going to put Trump being bars. But it served as an excuse for the media to finally start acknowledging that Trump really is going down.
When Trump lost the election, Palmer Report predicted that 1) the media would spend the next several months ignoring the criminal case against him while hyping the notion that he was making a magic comeback, and 2) at some point the media would finally acknowledge that Trump was indeed going to be arrested, but would act as if it were some kind of shocking development that no one saw coming. Sure enough, both those things have happened.
Major media pundits are using words like “unprecedented” to describe the situation. The Atlantic says we’re on the “cusp of a new era.” And yet none of this is a new story. The factual reality all along, dating back to when the Manhattan grand jury began targeting Trump in late 2019, was that if Trump lost the election he would end up on trial and in prison.
Now we’re simply arriving at the place where the storyline was always headed, and as we predicted, the media is acting like it has no idea how we got here. But then they do have to cover for the fact that they just spent the past six months largely pretending the criminal case against Trump didn’t exist.
In any case, the media will still likely put us through a few more imaginary hurdles. Soon they’ll start questioning whether a conviction is possible, even though Trump is about to be indicted on the kinds of financial charges that always result in conviction. Then the media will make up imaginary scenarios about Trump being pardoned, even though that’s not a thing. And of course if we go a few weeks with no new developments coming out of the criminal case against Trump, the media might shift back to the narrative about him making a magic comeback in 2024.
But at the least, the media is now finally starting to acknowledge that Donald Trump is on a clear path to prison. That’s a big step forward, given how long and hard the mainstream media worked to bury this storyline, and how much grief certain media pundits have given Palmer Report this year because we dared to point out that Trump is going to prison.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report