No, Media Hacks: Trump's 'Spiritual Advisor' Did *Not* Catch the Rona at the White House

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

It’s like they’re not even trying to hide their bias anymore when it comes to any news story even tangentially connected to President Donald Trump since the November 3 election. On Monday, the legacy media reported that the pastor of a Georgia megachurch who acts as a spiritual advisor to the president, has tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus…days after attending a Christmas party at the White House.

Here’s how the Associated Press chose to share the unnecessarily fake news:

The leader of a north Georgia megachurch who has been a spiritual adviser to President Donald Trump has tested positive for COVID-19.

News outlets report Jentezen Franklin was absent from Sunday services at Free Chapel in Gainesville. Pastor Javon Ruff announced the diagnosis during Free Chapel’s Sunday service.

The diagnosis came within days of Franklin attending a Christmas party at the White House.

More than a dozen parties at the White House have been criticized for being held indoors and not enforcing masks, but a church spokesperson says Franklin’s infection wasn’t related to that visit.

If you happened to read the above story via NextStar media wire, on St. Louis TV station KPLR’s homepage, that was the full news story you got: “Trump let his friends run around willy-nilly, without masks on, at a bunch of White House Christmas parties…and look what happened! Oh, and by the way, someone at the church has a different story…but we’re not going to report on that, because Orange Man Bad.”

Franklin shared numerous photos of himself and his daughter attending the event last Tuesday on his Instagram page.

Readers had to get below the fold on Yahoo! News’ version, to the eighth paragraph out of 10, to learn the actual story there’s no, known connection between the Christmas party and Franklin’s positive COVID diagnosis.

No direct connection has been made between Franklin’s diagnosis and his attendance at the party.

[…]

“Pastor Jentezen Franklin’s visit to White House had no correlation with his diagnosis,” a church spokesperson told WXIA-TV in a statement. The spokesperson said Franklin on Thursday was exposed to a congregation associated (sic) who was infected.

Whichever edit their affiliate publications went with, the hacks at AP expect readers to digest only the headline or the information in the tweet, of course:

I don’t know about you, but that photo of Franklin playing a sax, on a story about him suffering from the Rona, is disrespectful.

So, what’s the story? Atlanta TV station 11 Alive respected its viewers enough to give them the facts in the first paragraph:

The senior pastor of Free Chapel, a megachurch in Gainesville with seven campuses in three states, tested positive for COVID-19 after coming in contact with someone who had the virus, the church announced during its service on Sunday.

Jentezen Franklin was not in attendance when Pastor Javon Ruff shared the news with those at the Gainesville church, as well as to those who were watching the live broadcast at its other campuses.

“He is doing extremely well,” Ruff said of Pastor Franklin. “He wants you to know that he’s doing great. We’re going to continue to pray for him, but he’s following the CDC guidelines.”

A spokesperson for the church said his symptoms are mild.

The Christian Post, which published a message Franklin wrote for Thanksgiving, added details about when he learned his diagnosis: (emphasis added)

Franklin, a New York Times bestselling author, apparently got the test results on Saturday, when Free Chapel posted on its Facebook page.

….[A] church spokesperson told 11Alive in a statement. “He was exposed to an associate of the congregation in the metro on Thursday who turned out to be infected.”

Remember, the Christmas party was on Tuesday.

To paraphrase Sister Toldjah, hack “journalists” gonna hack.

On a more positive note as we near Jesus’ birth, this is worth pondering, in the most recent post from Franklin’s Twitter account: