The local "newspapers" have come a long way on Donald Trump. They've moved from virtually ignoring him and his more outrageous statements, to blaming Democrats for his existence, to emphasizing his pro-coal agenda, and finally, to their current position -- defending him and his actions. The problem for them is that criticism of Trump is not confined to liberals and Democrats, their scapegoats of choice. How then will the Wheeling papers explain away criticism that comes from Republicans and conservatives? Simple -- they'll lie and claim that it comes from liberal Democrats.
Today's Intelligencer editorial, "Complaints Show Double Standard," will likely be the prototype. The editorial purports to be assessing liberal reaction to Trump's deal to keep some Carrier jobs in Indiana. If the editorial was serious about doing so, it would deal with actual liberal criticism like the excellent Bernie Sanders opinion piece in the Washington Post. It's not serious and so the editorial summarizes the widespread conservative criticism of Trump and calls it "liberal":
It is just awful that government, by providing Carrier about $7 million in subsidies is “picking winners and losers” in the private sector, liberals groused.
Go ahead. Google "picking winners and losers + Carrier" and see what you get. Almost all of the "grousing" will be from conservatives. Here's a sample:
Sarah Palin as reported by Fox News:
“When government steps in arbitrarily with individual subsidies, favoring one business over others, it sets inconsistent, unfair, illogical precedent,” Palin wrote in an op-ed for the Young Conservative website.
And here is one of the Intelligencer's favorite sources for columns, the conservative Town Hall:
The federal government should not be carving out sweetheart deals and picking winners and losers with the tax code.
Even if you go farther rightward, the criticism of Trump remains. Here's the far right RedState which often makes the Intelligencer look liberal by contrast:
The bottom line is this: When government picks winners, it is also picking losers.
Even if they ever do find some grousing liberals, my hunch is that this is not going to be an easy four years for the locals.