Falwell’s power at Liberty remains unchallenged. Epstein has a cushy sinecure at Hoover and tenure at New York University. Someone funds the Federalist, but the source of that money is unknown. If that donor is happy about its current state, it is likely to persist.

Can anything cause the coronavirus truthers on the right to face a comeuppance? A pandemic might not fundamentally affect world politics, but it does have the potential to shake up the Ideas Industry. Simply put, viruses do not really care about sophistry. If these intellectuals continue to insist that health concerns are exaggerated and people get sick and die following their lead, it will be difficult (but not impossible) to wash away that legacy.

Consider the next few months a tough test of whether the deeper forces shaping the modern marketplace of ideas will persist. If Falwell, Epstein and Domenech continue to command an audience, then these forces can withstand the shock of a pandemic. If they suffer for their hubris, maybe the marketplace of ideas is on the mend.