From our US correspondent, Esteban:
There is a rather famous exchange in “The Adventure of Silver Blaze” by Arthur Conan Doyle – Sherlock Holmes comments on the curious incident of the dog in the night. Watson responds that the dog did nothing in the night. That, Holmes explains, is the curious thing. The point was that the dog should have barked at an intruder, since it didn’t do so, Holmes deduced that the intruder was someone it knew.
You’ve probably heard about the bizarre case of a man who died (and whose wife was made sick) from drinking a concoction including fish tank cleaner. The wife blamed President Trump, who had commented and tweeted that chloroquine might be effective against the Chinese Coronavirus a day or two earlier. The woman was quite demonstrative in her tirade, branding the President a liar, claiming he was responsible for her husband’s death, no one should ever believe anything he said, etc. Strong letter to follow.
Upon hearing this story my first reaction was naturally, disbelief. Adults drank fish tank cleaner? But the second thing I thought was, did they really do this because of President Trump? Did this woman go from being a follower of the President to hating him because she and her husband thought they were acting on his advice?
Well, it turns out that she has hated President Trump for a long time, has a track record of bizarre behavior, depression, anxiety, anger, needs three sleeping pills per night and didn’t care for her husband. In fact, it has been suggested that this may have been a way to get rid of him – drink a tiny amount yourself, perhaps to encourage him or as an alibi and get him to chug it. This is purely speculation, by the way, but it has apparently been used as a plot in more than one murder mystery. This bit isn’t actually necessary to my point, but it’s so juicy I couldn’t help myself.
Here’s the dog that didn’t bark – the story that this woman was blaming the president for her husband’s death has been making the rounds for a week. Call me cynical, but if this had been a Democrat president all the old media would have checked her voter registration the day the story broke and they’d have scoured her social media profile, court records, you name it. There’s an old line in the newspaper business that some stories are too good to check – you have a story that will sell a lot of papers, you doubt it’s true but you’ve got sources that are good enough that you can dodge blame, stop asking questions and run with it. The similarity to the Jussie Smollet story is striking. Somewhere Dan Rather is smiling.