From Holman Jenkins, Jr. at the Wall Street Journal, America the Unextreme:
If extremists want to believe they are secretly in league with mainstream politicians, they get enough help already. Digital microtargeting was expected to worsen the temptation of politicians to be all things to all people. Now it’s doing the opposite. A New York Times decision to defenestrate an editor because social media didn’t like an op-ed now seems pregnant. Five years ago it wouldn’t have happened. Every editor and newspaper owner would have known that to surrender to the mob was death to our business.
But the episode is dispositive. Cowardice is in charge of many newsrooms. Fear instead of reason—fear of losing a job in the next Twitter eruption, fear of being knifed by ideologically obsessed colleagues—determines what you can see, hear or be taught in certain of our institutions. Jefferson said a free press is democracy’s indispensable bulwark. If so, returning courage to our newsrooms may be more important to bringing America back and restoring a semblance of consensus than any job Mr. Biden will formally accept on Wednesday.