Scattershot new articles covering the new report on hydroxychloroquine may seem like one of those after-the-fact, shoulder shrug, mea culpa moves by the media after they got it all so wrong. The drug, now quietly being vindicated after its very public vilification for being a medicine suggested to work by the evil man in the Oval Office in 2020, has now been proven to have been quite effective in increasing the survival rate of those with advanced coronavirus infection.
But the American people really shouldn’t be so quick to let media off the hook. Because if the new report from St Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey holds, the media had a hand in — quite literally — keeping people from treatment and possibly keeping them from dying.
Is that too harsh? Maybe. But perhaps it’s time we got a little harsh.
Particularly after a year of watching people don masks that we’re now learning may not have been that effective, close their businesses for reasons that look sillier by the day, and strip their children of their friends and education with no clear evidence it was necessary.
The media — and they will freak out and defend themselves by hiding behind the “we just report, we don’t decide!” myth — helped sell all of these things to a frightened people who, in many cases, turned on each other and shamed people into compliance. I saw a bunch of that in DC. Hell, I was often the target of it (the compliance part was never something I relented to. How frustrating that must have been for the scolds! (heh heh)).
Conservative media is filled with op-eds and opinion manifestos extolling the virtues of holding mainstream news to account for their bias and their marketing skills that seem to sell only one political philosophy. But what good do all those think pieces do? Did they stop Jeffrey Toobin from going back on-air at CNN to discuss his masturbation on a zoom call? Do they keep Dr. Fauci from using cable news as a platform to declare he is science itself? Do they give back the months Americans could have spent figuring out how to hold China accountable if it turns out the increasingly probable lab-leak theory regarding COVID’s origins turns out to be true?
No. To any all of these.
So, as the great Sean Connery asked Kevin Costner in “The Untouchables,” what are you, Americans, prepared to do to?
One thing Americans can certainly do is vote. We have a midterm coming up. Use the right to cast a vote as a way to speak. And stop giving your ear to to the garbage.
And give your ear to this podcast instead! I talk about all of this today, as well as cover the gloriousness of “In The Heights” (trailer below), and how the Hollywood press is starting to finally come around on Chinese censorship — annoying that it took them this long, but a welcome development nonetheless.