The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

The Messenger

If there is one true villain in the continuing COVID-19 crisis, it's undoubtedly the mainstream media. Since the first reports of the virus came out of China (is it racist to state that?), the media has consistently presented facts and figures without context or moderation, catastrophizing the growing threat, and all the while politicizing the outbreak in a transparent effort to injure Donald Trump during an election year. George Neumayr discusses this:
The more propagandistic the media becomes, the more it insists that its coverage is “factual.” But no one takes that seriously. As Trump once told the media, “You guys have a real problem. No one believes you anymore.”

The media has become all opinion, all the time. All the journalistic rigors of yesteryear have disappeared. Most hosts don’t even bother to fake up a just-the-facts mien. They now act like what they are: anti-Trump pundits who look high and low for new angles from which to attack him ...

There was a time when the high priests of journalism would have condemned the idea of not covering a presidential briefing during a time of national crisis. They would have considered that a violation of the media’s vocation. But those days have ended. Now they applaud anchors for substituting their judgment for their audience’s.

Like the Democrats, for whom they serve as stenographers, the media sees itself as having a monopoly on “health and science.” This has resulted in an open dogmatism in which the media spends most of its time shutting down debates rather than holding them ...

The media will let us know what is and what is not permissibly debatable, who is and who is not wearing the white hats, etc. Is it any wonder why audiences have tuned the media out? It has become obvious that the media is not in the business of informing audiences but manipulating them.
Media bias and malpractice is serious, but the media's suggestion that it understands manufacturing, logistics, supply chain issues and related real-world commercial trade-offs is absolutely comical. Kurt Schlichter trashes these pretentious fools when he writes:
Another hitherto unknown skill that the media believes it possesses is logistics. “Why hasn’t Trump commanded a million ventilators to appear?!” the reporters demand. It’s pretty easy to see where they might have gotten the idea that the moment one articulates a desire to possess something that it magically appears. Capitalism has pretty much made that a reality. If you want something, you can go to a store and get it 24/7, or you can go on Amazon and it’ll be at your Manhattan apartment in 48 hours. Since they have never built anything or transported anything or distributed anything, only benefited from the labor of the unhip people who do those things, it’s only natural that the delayed adolescents who make up our media class imagine that material goods can be simply wished into being. After all, for all practical purposes during normal times, because of the efforts of Americans they look down upon, material goods pretty much can be simply wished into being. But prosperity takes work, not that the media would know ...

The same people who are always telling us how smart they are and how they are morally entitled to instruct us peasants have never designed anything, engineered anything, built anything, trucked anything or assembled anything, except maybe some crappy Ikea bookcase. But they are qualified to insist that – POOF! – a bunch of N95 masks should magically appear overnight. I guess everything is easy if you don’t have to do it yourself.

What’s even more amusing is their solution to the “problem” of stuff not magically appearing, which is socialist central planning. They lambasted Trump for not using the Defense Production Act to command companies to build stuff the government wanted. Yeah, nothing like commanding civilians to do things to make them do it at a faster rate than under the snail-like, plodding pace of modern business. Of course, Trump did use the DPA once when GM started dithering – and immediately got criticized for it. Remember, when journalisming, you start from the conclusion that “TRUMP IS TERRIBLE” and work backwards ...

The media types were delighted to find empty shelves in our supermarkets in the early part of the crisis, which many turned into an occasion for owning the cons over complaints about the scarcity of goods in socialist countries. Here’s the thing they missed, because they are stupid and unserious people: Those goods that are no longer on the Safeway shelves are on American families’ shelves at home. In socialist countries, there was never anything on the store shelves ...

The best part is when the media – the same media that was collectively soiling its Dockers because that mean old Trump was barring direct flights from China because of racism and stuff – demands to know why, back in December, Trump was not commanding a zillion Wuhan Flu tests, a zillion masks, and a zillion ventilators be created, while locking down all of America. Leaving aside the whole lack of an enumerated power to do that thing, in what world would have Trump have convinced anyone – least of all the media that was slobbering over his bogus impeachment at the time – that some bat soup-derived pathogen in BumFoo, China, was going to black swan all over America’s economy? The lack of seriousness by the people who presume to be reporting the news to us is more breathtaking than the damn ChiCom grippe.

Our media is garbage, full of clowns and dilettantes with no experience and less common sense. The media is now complaining that the pandemic is hurting its industry badly and that some of the media may go under because of the Woking Pneumonia. Well, I guess you can’t paint anything all black.
When Donald Trump suggested that some elements of the media were "the enemy of the America people," the media howled. He's an authoritarian who wants to liquidate us, a dictator who threatens us! they screamed, playing the victim. Funny how the media is perfectly willing to bully those it opposes, to denigrate their ideas and actions, and to outright lie when the need arises, but they don't like it one bit when the target of their bullying punches back—hard.

Some might argue that I'm killing the messenger, that all the media is doing is delivering terrible news that makes us all uncomfortable. But that's clearly not the case.

If the media were simply the messenger, it would present facts and context, it would do in-depth research before it asked questions, allowing the viewer to assess the seriousness and threat in a meaningful way. It would not use words and images that are intended to create panic and/or hysteria. It would allow different "expert" opinions to be voiced so that government actions could be properly assessed. It would check facts and claims dispassionately and not report them until they had been vetted. It would not become a biased advocate for one political ideology, but rather a neutral observer that allows the public to decide.

But the media is none of those things. The "messenger" has an agenda, and that agenda is not in the best interests of the American people.