On October 30, 1938, legendary actor Orson Welles threw hordes into a panic by reading from the famous science fiction novel “War of the Worlds” live on the radio. Convinced Earth was actually being invaded by aliens, Americans within range of the broadcast allegedly resorted to “mass stampedes” and “suicides.”
While Welles claimed the entire episode was a misunderstanding, America’s mainstream media can’t do the same for their current carnival barking; there’s simply no denying that they have intentionally fomented a mass panic in an attempt to weaponize the Coronavirus for their own political ends.
For weeks now we have been barraged with endless doomsday predictions that this is the plague to end all plagues, despite the scientific fact that the Coronavirus is simply a new variety of the same type of virus that gave us SARS and MERS.
Both SARS and MERS had much higher death rates (10 and 34 percent, respectively) than the current COVID-19’s approximately 2 percent, yet the responses to those epidemics seem tame in hindsight when compared to the current panic.
The reason, of course: Donald J. Trump is the President, and Democrats and their enablers in the media have entered a new phase of their no-holds-barred parade to undo the 2016 election.
Following three years of collusion propaganda and round-the-clock coverage of the Democrats’ pathetic impeachment case, I didn’t think it was possible for America’s mainstream media apparatus to sink any lower.
Boy was I wrong!
A lethal combination of a 24-hour news cycle, a predatory economic model that prizes clicks over truth, and, most importantly, a seething anti-Trump sentiment among the establishment press and pundit classes has whipped the population into a frenzy wholly disproportionate to the threat posed by the virus.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not something to be taken lightly. But there’s little factual foundation for our current freakout.
Why, after all, are stores being cleared out of essential goods despite the fact that there are less than 1,000 confirmed cases in a country of more than 300 million? Because Americans glued to their phones and televisions have become convinced that the end is nigh and the only survival mechanism is hoarding 24-packs of Charmin.
Such a fear campaign falls far outside the powers granted the press in the Constitution; they were tasked by the Founding Fathers with serving as a watchdog against governmental criminality and excess, not peddling salacious claims for political leverage.
But that’s precisely what they are doing, and it seems to be working.
It’s no secret that Trump prides himself on the strength of the economy and, more specifically, the markets. And because markets are inherently volatile, the media’s Chicken Little meltdown, along with other factors such as the declining price of oil, have brought them to their knees.
The resulting chaos has the usual anti-Trump loudmouths practically ecstatic that hardworking Americans are watching their livelihoods decline by the hour.
Take the New York Times’ Paul Krugman, for instance, who tweeted “Dow 25,000!” like the Yankees just won the World Series. His colleague Gail Collins suggested we dub the disease du jour the “Trumpvirus,” and author and unapologetic anti-Trumper John Pavlovitz, who accused the President of attempting to “gaslight” the “pandemic” and drown out the crash with “Christian nationalism,” whatever that means (for the record, the WHO still hasn’t classified the current Coronavirus as a pandemic).
It’s one thing to attack the President, whom you may happen to strongly disagree with and/or even despise. It’s quite another to cause a panic and then celebrate the outcome that hurt the bank accounts of millions of innocent bystanders.
Some watchdogs! Perhaps lapdogs is the better term.
While the mainstream media have largely leaned on the generic “Coronavirus” designation when discussing the disease, Republicans such as Paul Gosar and members of the administration such as Mike Pompeo have referred to it as the “Wuhan virus” on social media and television.
Spoiler alert! That labeling was quickly met with cries of racism by many, including MSNBC golden boys Chris Hayes and David Gura. “Just astoundingly gross to call it the Wuhan Virus,” tweeted the former, while the latter informed us that “FYI: Calling #COVID19 the ‘Wuhan Virus’ is racist.”
Perhaps they would be onto something had Nature, the world’s most foremost scientific journal, not used that same terminology in an editorial titled “Stop the Wuhan virus” in January. Besides, diseases are commonly named after the regions from which they originate. Ebola, for instance, is a river in Africa, and MERS stands for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.
But facts matter little in the age of Trump, and Hayes and Gura (and many others) were, knowingly or not, parroting the very narrative of China’s state-controlled media.
Amazing, isn’t it? That members of a free press are carrying water for one of the most authoritative regimes on the planet. And the same institution that spent three years selling the lie that Trump colluded with a foreign power to win the 2016 election are being used as messenger boys by a government that would love nothing more than to see Trump defeated in 2020.
In fact, one could claim the press has weaponized the current Coronavirus better than China ever thought possible.
I know, I know. There’s so little known about the Coronavirus, shouldn’t the media err on the side of caution? Perhaps, and again, no rational person believes the virus shouldn’t be taken seriously. But the media’s job is to present evidence, not to incite panic when that evidence is lacking.
This could one day become a crisis, but we aren’t there yet. And nothing is surer to stoke that evolution than reckless reporting and the politicization of the disease by left-leaning pundits. But 2020 is fast approaching and they will stop at nothing to create a panic sufficient to tilt the scales in favor of their beloved Democratic Party.
While such a fantastic misrepresentation of reality may make Orson Welles proud, the Founding Fathers are likely turning in their graves.