Will the Coronavirus present corporate press the means to destroy President Donald Trump in November? Or will it finally crush the minuscule trust the American public still has in the country’s Fourth Estate?
Corporate media have gone all-in on politicizing the Coronavirus outbreak, using it as a weapon to attack the Trump administration. While pursuing this endeavor, they have perpetuated several narratives designed to cast the president and his supporters in the worst light – even if it means using deception. But, worse, they also went so far as to suggest that Trump’s daily commentary on the COVID-19 outbreak be suppressed.
Downplaying the Virus
It’s worth identifying their first lie, which is the notion that President Trump referred to the Coronavirus outbreak as a “hoax.” The press cherry-picked comments from a speech he gave at a rally in South Carolina in February to infer that he was pretending the virus wasn’t real.
Trump called the Democrats’ criticism of his handling of the matter a “hoax,” not the illness itself. Even a well-known left-leaning newspaper gave former Vice President Joe Biden “four Pinocchios” for spreading the lie.
Next, it is essential to note the media’s repeated displays of hypocrisy when it comes to the pandemic, especially concerning the seriousness of the situation. Several corporate media outlets, such as The New York Times, Vox, CNN, and others, castigated the president for downplaying the COVID-19 outbreak even though, in the early stages, their reporters did the same thing.
Vox posted a tweet indicating that the Coronavirus “Isn’t a Deadly Pandemic.” The now-deleted tweet read, “Is [Coronavirus] going to be a deadly pandemic? No.” This came only two days after the Trump administration announced that it would ban travel from China.
The New York Times published a piece titled “Fear Spreads Faster Than Coronavirus” on Feb. 18. The author of the article stated that fear was a more nefarious enemy than the virus itself and indicated that those infected should not deal with “stigmatization.”
Race-Baiting With the Coronavirus
After it became clear that the virus wasn’t just another version of the flu, the corporate media resorted to race-baiting. CNN claimed that the president and others on the right were encouraging racist violence by referring to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus” or the “Wuhan virus.”
The news outlet referred to “experts” who argued that “racist assaults and ignorant attacks against Asians” were spreading at a more rapid pace than the pandemic. They claimed that linking the virus to China was somehow causing these attacks.
Several CNN anchors castigated the president for referencing China when discussing the virus. Jim Acosta stated that Trump is “going to come across to a lot of Americans as smacking of xenophobia.” Chris “Fredo” Cuomo criticized Republicans for pointing out China’s role in the Coronavirus pandemic, stating that they are “looking for someone to blame.”
But there was one problem with CNN’s caterwauling about supposed racism. Each one of these individuals had previously referred to China when talking about the Coronavirus. They used “Wuhan coronavirus” and “China’s coronavirus” in their broadcasts. The video also includes members of the press from other outlets using these terms.
Boycotting Press Conferences
Recently, President Trump began holding daily press conferences with members of the Coronavirus task force to update the nation on the progress being made against COVID-19. After more than a year of complaining that the president wasn’t holding enough press conferences, the corporate press is refusing to broadcast the meetings, claiming that Trump was giving “misleading” information.
Of course, their real reason for not airing the conferences seems obvious. For starters, the media wish to ensure that the American public doesn’t hear directly from the president and his team. Instead, they want to filter the content of the meetings in a way that promotes their agenda.
Second, Trump’s approval ratings have been on the rise despite constant negative coverage. The fact that he speaks to the public on a daily basis likely helps him in the polls. Despite a shaky start, the White House now seems to provide an effective response to the crisis, which also could account for the boost in Trump’s ratings. In fact, the majority of Americans approve of his handling of the outbreak.
Once again, it seems that the media are out of touch with the American public. Indeed, they have been overplaying their hand since the pandemic became national news. But their over-the-top reaction to everything Trump says or does has become par for the course. It seems people expect journalists to clutch their pearls at every turn.
The media’s coverage of the Coronavirus might not tank their ratings, but it is evident that their level of influence has waned over the past few years. Will they ever regain the trust of the public?
Read more from Jeff Charles.
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