How hypocritical can media be?
Well, we’ve certainly seen a lot of it when it comes to media’s coverage of the recent protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd versus any other public gathering when it comes to the coronavirus.
The same media who just a couple of weeks before had screamed and tried to shame lockdown protesters protesting to save their jobs and be able to feed their families, casting them as wanting to “kill Grandma” and contending that they all should give up their rights to healthcare if they got sick.
But when it came to the recent protests, for many in media, there was none of that criticism.
Perhaps nothing encapsulated that hypocrisy more than two tweets from NBC and, for extra irony, made about an hour apart from each other.
The first tweet was about a massive protest in Brooklyn, with what appeared to be hundreds if not thousands of people all packed together very tightly in the Brooklyn Museum Plaza. “Rally for Black trans lives draws packed crowd to Brooklyn Museum plaza,” it said. Then, about an hour later, came a tweet about a Trump rally, “President Trump plans to rally his supporters next Saturday for the first time since most of the country was shuttered by the coronavirus. But health experts are questioning that decision.”
Little over an hour apart. pic.twitter.com/K2a7fGRNDd
— Mark Hemingway (@Heminator) June 15, 2020
So why the difference?
It’s just shameless
— Lisa Boothe (@LisaMarieBoothe) June 15, 2020
Got to say, in terms of crowd size, lack of social distancing, and risk of coronavirus transmission, today's Brooklyn Liberation event, 'An action for black trans lives,' put Lake of the Ozarks to shame. https://t.co/IksrP5Rd3q pic.twitter.com/vGm83QwNfc
— Byron York (@ByronYork) June 15, 2020
To justify this, Democrats have decided to claim being outside with masks is now safe. Would have been nice to have known that when the super-awesome Grim Reaper guy was shaming people for being at deserted beaches & billions were subjected to stay-home orders, but here we are.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 15, 2020
On Friday we learned that summer sleepaway camps would not open in NY. Kids are being turned away from playgrounds in Brooklyn. Yet just a few miles away, this rally occurred today. The lockdown is over, except for the camps, schools & stores that are forced to comply with it. pic.twitter.com/iAXKOERkee
— Joel M. Petlin (@Joelmpetlin) June 14, 2020
Sorry, folks. Everyone who wasn’t allowed to congregate at all outside, go to outside church, funeral, burial, too bad.
NBC wasn’t the only one, this was about half an hour apart.
— Swordfishtrombone (@TheyCallMeRyols) June 15, 2020
Even CNN’s Brian Stelter got there was a basic problem with this media dichotomy being pushed.
He has a fair, important point. Also: every time a reporter raises health concerns about Trump's rally in Tulsa, the Trump camp is just going to bring up the recent protests in response… https://t.co/04KDNIbOXR
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) June 15, 2020
But Democrats have pushed this nonsensical split, too.
From Fox News:
Rep. Val Demings, D. Fla., last week, told her Twitter followers that she would join a rally “to speak with our community as America grieves.” A few days later, she came out against Trump’s plan to hold rallies and called the decision “irresponsible and selfish.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had previously lashed out at protesters calling to reopen the state, saying, “you have no right to jeopardize my health … and my children’s health and your children’s health.”
Cuomo said he now “stands” with those defying stay-at-home orders: “Nobody is sanctioning the arson, and the thuggery and the burglaries, but the protesters and the anger and the fear and the frustration? Yes. Yes, and the demand is for justice.”
Here’s the thing: the virus doesn’t care about your purpose. So either it is a question to account for or it isn’t. Either we treat everyone like adults capable of assessing the risk and responding appropriately or we do not. Media needs to dispense with this ridiculous dichotomy.