Legendary author George Orwell famously wrote in Animal Farm, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” This has always been life’s dirty little secret. Feeling emboldened with their newfound power, governments and their acolytes are no longer concealing that certain cliques of society – politicians, the media, and corporations – are more equal than others in today’s COVID-19 world. A big-box retailer is allowed to stay open during a public health crisis, but a mom-and-pop shop must shut down. Policymakers and influential folks are granted a hall pass to travel across the country for a holiday, but John Smith is told to stay home to save lives. The left can riot, loot, and violate public health guidelines, but the right is chastised for protesting lockdowns that have done more harm than the coronavirus.
The tale of two Americas was recently depicted on CNBC when one host condescendingly told the audience to Listen to the ScienceTM and two others asked pertinent questions about our collective response to the respiratory illness. It was popcorn entertainment on the business news channel.
Fight Night on CNBC
CNBC host Rick Santelli, who was credited with starting the Tea Party movement with his rant on the New York Stock Exchange 11 years ago, got into a spat with colleague Andrew Ross Sorkin. Santelli asked a worthwhile question: How come big-box retailers can keep their doors open, but small businesses are banned from operating?
“Five hundred people in a Lowe’s aren’t any safer than 150 people in a restaurant that holds 600 … and I live in an area with a lot of restaurants that have fought back … and they’re open,” Santelli stated.
“The difference between a big box retailer and a restaurant — or frankly, a church — are so different it’s unbelievable,” Sorkin retorted.
Perhaps the best thing about the exchange was that Santelli did not talk down to viewers, noting that “I don’t think I am much smarter than all the viewers like some people do.” As an aside, like other television hosts, some CNBC personalities are famous for their holier-than-thou attitudes.
Sorkin was perturbed by Santelli’s temerity to question or doubt the Listen to the ScienceTM mob, insisting that Santelli was doing a “disservice” to the public. Sorkin was so irked that he later invited former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dr. Scott Gottlieb, to the program to reassure the audience that he was indeed correct.
But that was not the end of it. Kevin O’Leary – Mr. Wonderful himself – lamented the lockdowns and asked a similar question as Santelli: Why are big-box retailers receiving preferential treatment? O’Leary, who ran for the Conservative Party of Canada leadership a few years ago, pointed out the obvious:
“There’s something really wrong here. You’re picking winners and losers. It’s total chaos out there.”
It should be noted that Sorkin was caught on camera eating at a Manhattan restaurant in October without wearing a mask. Sorkin called out the photo on Twitter by noting that it was outdoors. But he seems to listen to the science only when it is convenient because, according to Dr. Natalie Dean, assistant professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida, “You’re still interacting with the waitress or waiter, and then you’re also still nearby whoever you are dining with.”
Why do the pro-lockdown folks only listen to some of the science and ignore the others?
Junk Food on The Street
CNBC is the CNN version of business news, junk food for Wall Street junkies and armchair investors who think they have become Warren Buffett during the COVID-19 pandemic. The business news network is a state apologist, defending to the death the government, the Federal Reserve, and progressive orthodoxy. Viewers will, on occasion, witness honest back-and-forth discussions and rants, but most of the segments are confined to the 3×5 card of allowable opinion.
The Protected Class
Some will say that this is a rich man’s virus as the affluent can absquatulate to the Hamptons or live among the mountain people. But it is more like the ruling class virus because it is the politicians, the bureaucrats, the athletes, and the press who can withstand COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns. Sorkin and his allies in this clique can comfortably lecture viewers about how their small businesses of 15 people must shut down, but Walmart can do whatever it wishes because ostensibly entrepreneurs are susceptible to the virus and big-box chains are immune. The doomers are cookies full of arsenic, as the line goes in The Sweet Smell of Success.
Read more from Andrew Moran.