It surely does look like that the flip on the COVID messaging at CNN is a coordinated effort.
I wrote earlier about Brian Stelter’s sudden change – talking about “living with COVID” running as a chyron, saying that we needed to reassess the approach and arguing that kids should no longer be kept out of schools because it was harmful to them. This follows the report that some on the Biden team might be changing their messaging and moving to the concept of “living with COVID.”
But CNN’s Chris Cillizza seems to have had a revelation as well. And after 18 months, seeing folks at CNN actually being truthful and finally accepting reality is a little jarring.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about why the latest surge has hit me so hard and I think it’s because I have been fooling myself — to some extent — for the last 18 months,” Cillizza tweeted. “Because the reality is — and has always been even if I didn’t realize it — that the vaccines don’t, really, prevent you from getting the virus. Or, at least, they don’t guarantee it won’t happen. My friend @cwarzel described the view of many people he knew as “chill” about the reality that lots and lots of us (maybe all?) are going to get Covid at some point in the not-too-distant future.” That’s similar to the pitch that Stelter was making in his remarks.
“I’m, um, not in the “chill” stage,” Cillizza continued. “But, I at least am realizing how badly I miscalculated what the vaccine means and what it is supposed to do. According to all the available data, it’s doing its job (preventing serious illness and death among those infected). But it can never do what I had hoped: Ensure no one I loved will become infected. My work now is getting used to that reality. I realize I am way behind lots of other people in doing that. But, you have to start somewhere.”
Cillizza and Stelter are supposed to be “journalists.” But they’ve ignored basic realities for how many months? Cillizza is just accepting this now? Instead, they’ve just pitched fear. They attacked any reasonable questions. Indeed, Cillizza’s tweets a few months ago could have gotten him in trouble with Twitter.
Cillizza got a little reality checked by some real journalists.
“So, uh, freedom? Or something?” was an actual line in this @ChrisCillizza piece from Aug where he tied unmasking kids to Florida’s case rate. But now that it’s NY being hit, Cillizza is ready to accept sanity. Great, welcome. Now apologize. https://t.co/xzC0maEhTU
— Karol Markowicz (@karol) December 19, 2021
— Miranda Devine (@mirandadevine) December 19, 2021
But the bottom line seems to be that it’s clear that the fear porn is failing, when even CNN starts to see reality.