Tags: Coronavirus | mers | wuhan | covid | omar

Let's Keep Score on Pols, Media for Coronavirus Performance

keeping score

(Tero Vesalainen/Dreamstime)

By    |   Wednesday, 25 March 2020 01:56 PM

In the absence of live sports, let’s keep score on politicians and how they behave in this crisis.

We should give points to folks like Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who put aside partisanship and praised President Trump for his handling of the pandemic. Also deserving of points are the Republicans and Democrats who came together to draft a stimulus package.

Unfortunately, some of us still remember that these sorts of packages do little to help our economy and do much to dramatically increase our national debt, but I’m still happy to give out points for effort.

Let’s also keep score on the media.

Let us never forget that when China tried to blame America for the virus, President Trump cleverly began referring to the disease as the China Virus. But rather than covering this development objectively, the media took the side of the communist dictatorship and branded Trump a racist.

Nevermind the fact that The New York Times and others had used the phrase "China Virus" and "Wuhan Coronavirus" before Trump did so. Nevermind the fact that other diseases like Ebola, MERS, German Measles, and the Spanish Flu were named after regions. The media will literally have sided with the communists in an attempt to smear America over the deaths of tens of thousands of people.

I haven’t forgotten that the media often call Trump a fascist because he threatens the media. How odd then that these alleged journalists sided with a nation that literally expelled their colleagues for publishing unfavorable stories.

Let’s remember and keep score over the folks who overhyped the outbreak and those who downplayed the threat. Some claim that nearly half of our nation will be infected and there could be millions of deaths. Others point to South Korea and predict a dramatically smaller spread and exponentially tinier death toll. Rather than debating the latter group based on science and data, many journalists and "leaders" used emotional arguments to deride the opinions of the latter group.

Think about what it will mean when we learn which group is right.

If proven wrong, the overhypers will have spread panic and significantly damaged our economy in an effort to warn Americans of a threat — and in an attempt to get headlines.

Millions of Americans will have sat through a watered-down version of martial law because of their bad predictions. Jobs will have been lost, retirement funds will have been obliterated, bad legislation will have been passed, and constitutionally-protected rights will have been trampled simply because these people didn’t know what they were talking about.

Conversely, if the downplayers of the threat are wrong, less damage might occur. That’s not because the virus isn’t actually a threat, but largely because those who downplay the threat of COVID-19 have seen themselves downplayed by the media.

For example, many media outlets continue talking about COVID-19 fatality rates of two or three percent. Most of these outlets omit the fact that fatality rates drop dramatically once testing increases. In fact, South Korea has been the champions of testing and they’ve seen a fatality rate of just over one half of a percent. How often have you seen that figure repeated by MSNBC, The New York Times, or NPR?

If they refuse to share that crucial piece of data we can only assume that they care more about hyping a story for ratings than they care about the lives of their viewers. Let’s take at least a dozen points off of them.

Most notably, Aaron Ginn wrote a long, detail-laden piece for Medium arguing that the threat was far less easily transmitted and less fatal than the media would have us believe. He used data from John P.A. Ioannidis, himself a professor of medicine, of epidemiology and population health, of biomedical data science, and of statistics at Stanford University.

Medium removed the story from their website. ZeroHedge posted it instead.

What will it say about Medium and ZeroHedge if Ginn and Ioannidis were right?

Quite simply, during one of the greatest threats of our lifetime, Medium will have blocked their readers from reading an accurate depiction of events. ZeroHedge will have given readers a lifeline.

If that turns out to be the case, all of us will have lost. But if we learn from this experience, if we ignore news outlets that mislead us during a crisis, and if we focus on those who got the story right, we’ll all have won the coronavirus game.

Adam Guillette is the President of Accuracy in Media, www.aim.org.

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Think about what it will mean when we learn which group is right. If proven wrong, the overhypers will have spread panic and significantly damaged our economy in an effort to warn Americans of a threat, and in an attempt to get headlines.
mers, wuhan, covid, omar
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2020-56-25
Wednesday, 25 March 2020 01:56 PM
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