Joe Biden has made eliminating “misinformation” regarding all things COVID (vaccines, mask mandates, etc.) a top priority, but apparently he’s OK with it when it comes from media allies like the NY Times.
Targeting the media (both social media and the mainstream media) comes right out of the Donald Trump playbook, and the Republican Party eagerly carried his water. But ever since the 2020 election, Joe Biden and the Democrats have picked up where their predecessors left off.
Shortly after the inauguration, Democrats in Congress went after the so-called conservative media for “promoting misinformation and political violence.”
Representatives Amma Eshoo and Jerry McNerney (both of California) sent letters to the presidents of Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, Cox, Dish, and other cable and satellite companies and suggested that they either stop carrying Fox News, One America News Network, and Newsmax or at least change their coverage.
“To our knowledge, the cable, satellite, and over-the-top companies that disseminate these media outlets to American viewers have done nothing in response to the misinformation aired by these outlets,” they wrote in their letter.
Eshoo and McNerney also asked the companies to explain the “moral and ethical principles” that influenced their decision-making when deciding which channels to carry, and they requested information about how many viewers tuned in during the four weeks before the the Capitol riots on January 6, 2020 and what steps were taken to “monitor, respond to, and reduce the spread of disinformation.”
But wait, there’s more. The letter was also sent to Roku, Amazon, Apple, Google, Hulu, and other digital companies that distribute cable programming.
FYI… Amazon, Apple, and Google are some of the “Big Tech” companies targeted by Nationalist Republicans and Trumpists. Coincidence?
It was in this spirit that Joe Biden decided to target “misinformation” concerning his COVID tyranny agenda, and in a press conference back in July, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki showed us what this will look like in the world of social media.
Psaki said that the White House would begin with Facebook to flag disinformation on vaccines, and that Facebook would be required to share data on the reach and engagement of posts deemed disinformation.
“We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation,” the White House press secretary said.
Psaki also stated that senior Biden administration staff and members of his COVID-19 team would be targeting misinformation, specifically on coronavirus vaccines and the pandemic, by keeping “in regular touch” with social media platforms.
Apparently, misinformation isn’t always a bad thing, especially if it comes from media allies like the NY Times and it feeds the COVID hysteria narrative. (via Reason.com)
The purported threat of social media has emerged once again as a top concern of senators, whistleblowers, and members of the press. They are very, very worried about Facebook fanning the flames of hate, compromising U.S. democracy, and spreading COVID misinformation.
How many of them are worried about the COVID misinformation being spread by The New York Times?
The paper of record had to print a lengthy correction to a big error in a Thursday news article. The story was about other countries’ approaches to vaccinating young people, and whether one shot would be better than two given the risks of heart inflammation in teenagers. The article wrongly claimed that nearly one million U.S. children—900,000 to be precise—had been hospitalized with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
The actual number? About 63,000 since August 2020, when stats first became available.
And while that was the biggest error, it wasn’t the only mistake in the story. According to the correction, the reporter “described incorrectly the actions taken by regulators in Sweden and Denmark” and misstated the timing of a crucial Food and Drug Administration meeting.
Reason goes on to point out that this misinformation wasn’t the work of a junior reporter new to the NY Times, nor was it her first flirtation with manipulating the truth in favor of the COVID hysteria narrative.
The author of the NY Times piece was lead COVID correspondent, Apoorva Mandavilli — her bio, which notes that she won the Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting in 2019, appeared under the correction — and she was accused in August by FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver of framing the Provincetown study of the delta variant’s spread in a “misleading and sensationalist way.”
There has been an awful lot of stealth editing and backtracking from the way you and NYT initially framed the Provincetown findings, which both experts and laypeople found misleading and hyperbolic. pic.twitter.com/U2FfjromAl
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) August 4, 2021
If America doesn’t wake up, and fast, we could soon witness the creation of a government-sanctioned news media to combat what the duopoly refers to as “misinformation” in the media — we learned about this Orwellian idea back in January from the darling of the Democratic Socialists of America, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) following the January 6 insurrection.
“So I think that’s an interesting concept for us to explore, and I do think that several members of Congress — in some of my discussions — have brought up media literacy, because that is part of what happened here and we’re going to have to figure out how we rein in our media environment so that you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation.”
Even though COVID is the soup du jour when it comes to so-called misinformation — which is Washington doublespeak for people exercising the rights protected by the First Amendment — the idea of government-sanctioned speech has been in the works for many years.
For example, Lindsey Graham teamed up with Chuck Schumer in 2013 to create the “Media Shield Bill,” a bill designed to help government decide what types of media deserves First Amendment protection:
“Who is a journalist is a question we need to ask ourselves. Is any blogger out there saying anything—do they deserve First Amendment protection? These are the issues of our times.”
As Andrew Ferguson of the now defunct Weekly Standard had to say at the time, the ultimate goal of the Graham/Schumer legislation was clear for all to see:
The act will go a long way toward establishing a government-sanctioned journalistic class. There will be, on the one hand, approved reporters who are immune to certain kinds of governmental inquiry, and, on the other hand, everyone else, those less exalted citizens who, faced with the same governmental inquiry, would just have to suck it up. The act is a classic restraint of trade, protecting favored journalists from the pressure of competitors who lack the proper credential. (emphasis mine)
We are living in a day when in the name of eliminating so-called COVID or any other kind of disinformation and/or misinformation, government-sanctioned news (NY Times?) will be the only news permitted — turning social media and the mainstream news into propaganda arms of the government instead of places where free men and women can exercise their God-given, constitutionally protected rights.
We must do everything within our power to keep that from happening.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.