They’re trying to stuff a new “Trump is destroying democracy” narrative, so let’s rip it apart. Yesterday the Associated Press recovered from a terrifying fainting episode and darkly warned Americans about disappearing democracy in a horrid story headlined, “Trump’s attacks on US justice system after his conviction could be used by autocrats, say experts.” It’s an emergency! Try to keep up with their logic.

In a one hundred percent one-sided article citing several so-called ‘experts’ who were definitely not at all cherry-picked by AP reporter Emma Burrows, but definitely were randomly selected in a totally fair blind lottery by drawing names of experts out of a crocheted hat.

Or, they were cherry picked. Either way, the experts all agreed with each other and, not coincidentally, with Emma: Trump is bad. Very bad.

According to Millennial reporter Emma, the person benefiting the most from Trump’s post-Verdict criticism of the US justice system was Vladimir Putin! And right behind him, China. Emma didn’t quote Putin for this story — why should she? — she quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who correctly observed the Trump Verdict was “simply the elimination of political rivals by all possible means, legal and illegal.” Emma also took great umbrage that China’s Global Times noted the Verdict adds to the “farcical nature” of this election season.

How dare they.

Emma’s Millennial logic went like this: Trump says something about the Verdict, and then Russia and China say stuff about the Verdict. So … Whoops, Emma’s logic shorted out.

Don’t be angry, Emma is a progressive public school graduate. Emma can’t remember Russia or China ever criticizing the U.S. before Trump came along. This is a common logical fallacy called “recency bias,” where Emma myopically focused on the last four days while ignoring the last four decades of constant criticism from our geopolitical rivals.

The truth is, Emma is fretting because the Trump Verdict gives Russia and China their best arguments yet. In other words, if the U.S. justice system really were fair, transparent, and robust, it could easily withstand criticism from both domestic and foreign complainers, who’d have no power to undermine its legitimacy with a couple buzzwords and throwaway lines.

It’s actually an “Emporer has no clothes” moment. The AP is secretly worried that the US justice system is so brittle and so fragile that one single Kremlin spokesperson making a single critical remark about our two-tiered justice system can literally destroy democracy.

But the AP did, inadvertently, describe a real threat to democracy. The real threat to democracy was the AP’s autocratic assumption that words can destroy our democracy, and therefore, people like Trump need to be shut up, because their dangerous ideas could spread to even more dangerous people like a Kremlin spokesperson or a different reporter at the AP’s competitor, the Global Times.

According to the Associated Press — who you’d think would be keenly aware of the necessity for the First Amendment — the dangerous freedom inherent in Trump’s complaints, his speech about the Verdict, must be suppressed to protect democracy.

But Trump isn’t the threat to democracy. He’s just complaining about a bad jury verdict, and even though Emma couldn’t find them, lots of legal experts agree with the former President. In his place, any of us would do the same. The real threat to democracy is the elitist Associated Press, which advocates for firing up a dystopian boiler room of censorship and thought control for citizens’ own good.

Sometimes I suspect the AP isn’t actually a democratic media institution at all. Sometimes I wonder whether the AP is as committed to democratic ideals as it claims. I wonder if it might be willing to burn some core freedoms on the altar of sacrifice, hoping for the blessing of a hallucination of stability and control. Sometimes I wonder if the AP is not really a media platform at all, but instead is just a captured instrument of some three-letter agency nesting deep inside the bureaucratic state.

Who do you think is the biggest threat to democracy? Trump or the AP?