“What Steven Spielberg is really up to in The Post is preparing us for what lies ahead, possibly in 2018. The movie implicitly asks: If the war in Vietnam called for the Pentagon Papers, what does the situation today call for?

“As of now, we’re talking about two potential catastrophes: (1) the firing of Robert Mueller, which if it occurs over the next several months, with a Republican Congress in place, would provoke a constitutional crisis in which the essential meaning of American checks and balances will be hanging in the balance; and (2) the potential for the hostility between Trump and Kim Jong-un, the ruler of North Korea, to boil over into a nuclear conflagration.

“Faced with the prospect of either of those circumstances, what are the forces of American media going to do then? Publish some leaked memos?” Wells interjection: Or release the pee-pee tape? Back to Gleiberman: Or are they going to look for, and discover, a way to report on — and influence — what’s happening that transcends what their modus operandi has been up until now? Maybe the issue of the president’s mental health needs to be placed front and center in a way that’s only just beginning to happen. Maybe liberal journalists need to think of forging a revolutionary new alliance with Republican lawmakers, or America’s military leaders, to ferret out how privately aghast many of them are at the president they’ve now slithered into bed with.

“Obviously, I’m not implying I have the answer; no one does. But the point is that extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. And that, rather than boomer nostalgia for a golden oldie of ’70s journalism, is the real message of The Post” — from “Why The Post Backlash Misses the Movie’s Real Message,” posted by Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman earlier today.