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Media Hypocrisy Is A Disease

Protest coverage shaped by whatever best fits the narrative


 | June 8, 2020

Jun 08 2020

One of two things is about to happen: 

We are going to see a massive spike in new Coronavirus infections and deaths due to people mass-gathering to protest police brutality and racial injustice.


We won’t see a massive spike, proving that it wasn’t necessary to cripple the nation’s economy with overly restrictive stay-at-home orders.  

Either way, you can count on the media to spin stories in whichever way best fits the narrative.

For months, we were told that it was important to stay home and socially distance in order to stop the spread of the Coronavirus, even though it meant shutting down the economy. 

Millions of people lost their jobs. Businesses shut down – many permanently.

People were not allowed to visit dying relatives, for fear of spreading disease. People could not gather for funerals.

Florida’s governor was pilloried in the press for his initial refusal to close beaches, despite little evidence that there is a significant risk of transmission outdoors. 

During this time, the media relentlessly blasted President Trump for doing too little and acting too slowly (after first calling the president racist and xenophobic for shutting down travel from China). Meanwhile, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was lauded as a hero, despite the fact his disastrous decision to force nursing homes to accept COVID patients directly lead to thousands of unnecessary deaths.

When people converged in large numbers at state Capitols to protest extended stay-at-home orders, the media framed it as an irresponsible act that will spread disease and kill grandma. 

The Washington Post ran opinion pieces saying that anti-lockdown protestors don’t care about lives and calling them Typhoid Mary. USA Today said that lockdown protests risk your health

Stand-up comedian and actor Patton Oswalt tweeted that “Anne Frank spent 2 years hiding in an attic and we’ve been home for just over a month with Netflix, food delivery & video games and there are people risking viral death by storming state capitol buildings & screaming, “Open Fuddruckers!”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and a key member of the Coronavirus task force, became a hero to the Left because he was perceived as standing up to Trump. He was even played by Brad Pitt on SNL. (But when Fauci agreed with the president and said there will be irreparable damage to the economy if we don’t reopen soon, crickets.)

The more protests there were to end the lock down and let people get back to work, the more stories there were about how protestors were selfish, irresponsible, and dangerous.

Then George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while in police custody after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for more than 8 minutes. It shouldn’t have happened, and his killing sparked mass-protests across the nation and world, some of which have devolved into violent rioting and looting. 

But now, as these protests over police brutality and racial injustice continue to spread, media concerns over the spread of Coronavirus by protestors seem to have largely evaporated. 

What changed? The danger from the virus does not suddenly disappear just because the media agrees the cause is righteous. Yet media figures and pundits that previously excoriated protestors for wanting to get back to work no longer seem concerned about the threat posted by protesting during a global pandemic.

To recap the hypocrisy:

Protesting during a global pandemic because you want to get back to work to support your family: bad. You’re going to kill people. 

Gathering in mass protests during a global pandemic to protest police brutality: okay!

Patton Oswalt, seemingly no longer concerned about protestors “risking viral death,” chipped in to help cover bail for arrested protestors, along with numerous other celebrities.

READ MORE: Chrissy Teigen, Other Celebrities Pay Protestors’ Bail

Michigan Gov. Whitmer, currently auditioning to be presidential running mate for former vice president and presumptive 2020 democratic nominee Joe Biden, marched with protestors, in violation of her own executive order requiring social distancing. This is the same democrat governor who shut down a barber for operating illegally and told people that they can google how to cut hair. 

When Dr. Fauci said the protests are dangerous because they are a perfect set-up for spreading COVID-19, again, crickets.

On Memorial Day, the New York Times ran a list of name of people who died from Coronavirus on the entire front page, prompting liberal comedian and host of HBO’s Real Time to observe this:

I know we talked a lot in the media recently about the 100,000 mark. I wonder if people realize that hospital acquired infections kill how many every year? 100,000. No headlines. We seem to have just focused on this one thing. There’s a lot of things that can kill you. I wish nothing could. But it wasn’t inevitable that the economy be shut down. And we’ve had pandemics before. There was one in 68, there was on in 57 that killed over 100,000. I never even heard of them because we didn’t have social media then and the internet and the media stoking this and causing this incredible fear, and so we didn’t shut down the economy.  

He’s right. Media-driven narratives increasingly shape coverage. If protesting the lock down orders before was dangerous due to the risk of spreading disease, then protesting during a pandemic for any reason must be equally dangerous. That, or, we need to accept that maybe we didn’t need to shut the entire economy down, when instead we could focus on protecting vulnerable populations such as the elderly in nursing homes, practice good hygiene, wear masks, and social distance. 

1,200 health experts recently signed a letter saying that it was okay to protest during the pandemic because racism is also a virus. From the letter:

This should not be confused with a permissive stance on all gatherings, particularly protests against stay-home orders. Those actions not only oppose public health interventions, but are also rooted in white nationalism and run contrary to respect for black lives.

The media has decided that social justice matters more than social distance, so don’t expect anyone to call out this hypocrisy. 

The sharp contrast in how the media covered the two protests during the global pandemic has been revealing. 

The media pushing a narrative is nothing new, but rather the standard operating procedure throughout the Trump presidency. Democrats and their media allies pushed the Russian collusion hoax for more than two years, insisting there was proof. And after the Mueller report found no collusion, the story dropped from the headlines, almost overnight. 
Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein recently testified that had he known then what he knows now, he never would have authorized the FBI investigation. You may not have heard about this in the press – it hasn’t gotten much attention. It doesn’t fit the narrative.

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