Talking heads throughout the Democrat establishment and corporate media echo chamber are all saying the same thing: People are dying, it’s Facebook’s fault, and left-of-center politicians must save the day by “helping” to quiet views that threaten their messaging monolith.
Joe Biden says Facebook is “killing people.” Sen. Amy Klobuchar says people aren’t getting vaccinated “because they’ve gotten something off of social media.” White House press secretary Jen Psaki insists it’s information on Facebook “that is leading to people not taking the vaccine, and people are dying as a result.” Don Lemon asserts, “Misinformation is killing us and our democracy.”
But why? Why are people looking to unconventional sources for their coronavirus cues? How is a Facebook meme more persuasive than health agency guidelines or a presidential press conference? Setting aside the obvious problems with Big Tech censorship and Facebook operating as an extension of the federal government’s PR arm, these are questions that need to be asked.
CNN host Brian Stelter, known for his Russia hoaxing and regular meltdowns over whatever Fox News happens to be doing, actually offered an apt observation. “Disbelief about election results, distrust of public health officials, disregard for democratic principles — it’s all connected,” Stelter wrote with Oliver Darcy in their Thursday newsletter.
In other words, he’s claiming the people with concerns about the integrity of the 2020 election are the same people who are hesitant to take the COVID-19 vaccine, and the people who push back on the idea that the Jan. 6 Capitol riot was an “insurrection” (especially in light of the media-downplayed summer of rage) are “also susceptible to other types of misinformation,” according to Stelter.
Stelter has a point. Many of the people who doubted the election are likely the same ones who now hesitate to stick themselves with an emergency-use mRNA vaccine. And perhaps those who rightly question “sedition” and “insurrection” language for the Capitol riot are reluctant to trust other media narratives.
But that’s the extent of the CNN host’s accuracy in assessment. He then veers sharply off course. In Stelter’s summation, these political opponents of his are the problem. They’re gullible conspiracy theorists who foolishly fall for all types of misinformation — and this “information crisis,” Stelter and his media cronies surmise, is “killing us.”
While the corporate media’s total lack of self-awareness is not its most nefarious failure, it is still a shocking shortcoming. When things go south, Stelter, Lemon, and the folks over at the Washington Post always look outward. They don’t look within. And they should.
While it’s unsurprising when someone like Psaki runs cover for Biden and diverts blame to opponents — because it’s her job — the corrupt media have wrongly made it their job too. When the moment calls for introspection, their knee-jerk reaction is to revert to Democrat talking points and make their foes on the right out to be the bad guys.
This brings us back to the question of why, a question Stelter, Democrat politicians, and their ilk refuse to grapple with honestly. Why would people believe so-called misinformation? It’s a pivotal question, and the left can’t bring themselves to answer it because it damns them.
As Stelter says, these things are connected: “Disbelief about election results, distrust of public health officials, disregard for democratic principles.” His third point is a ubiquitous left-wing insult that’s lost all meaning, but what about the other two? What connects the “disbelief” and “distrust” he identifies?
Maybe we can answer the question with a question. Might a person be justified in disbelieving media-touted election results concerning the defeat of Donald Trump if that same media spent four years delegitimizing his presidency, lying about collusion, weakening election integrity mechanisms, and then throttling stories unfavorable to his opponent? Might they have grounds for distrusting the public health officials who lied about masks, covered up the likely COVID-19 origin, kept kids home from school unjustifiably, and tanked the economy?
This “disbelief” and “distrust” are inextricable from the media, which obediently carry water for the Biden family and Anthony Fauci and anybody else they believe will accomplish leftist goals. When Republicans reject those narratives and lose faith in the institutions overrun by left-wing hegemony, the media impugns motives such as “white supremacy” or smears them as conspiratorial QAnon nutbags.
But do factions of conservatives really embrace “misinformation” because they’re all off their rockers? Or is it because would-be trustworthy sources of information have repeatedly failed them, lied to them, gaslit and slandered them?
For instance, do conservatives largely reject media-endorsed critical race theory in their kids’ classrooms because they’re white nationalists? Or is it because the media constantly race-bait them with false narratives? Ma’Khia Bryant? “Hands up, don’t shoot”? Charlottesville? Adam Toledo?
If you’re going to smear people who fall prey to so-called disinformation, you must ask what the alternative is — and whether that alternative might contribute to the rise of fringe explanations. In this case, the alternative is the same media that smeared Brett Kavanaugh as a gang rapist. It’s the media that fell for the Jussie Smollett hoax and the Russia hoax, and that cut video footage to paint a Catholic teenager as a smug racist. It’s the media that saw the Hunter Biden laptop story and said “nothing to see here,” that stood in front of burning buildings and called it “peaceful protests,” that wrongly claimed Trump tear-gassed “peaceful protesters” in Lafayette Park for a photo op.
Corrupt corporate media gaslit conservatives with critical race theory and wrongly insisted MAGA insurrectionists bludgeoned a Capitol Police officer to death with a fire extinguisher. Shoddy news outlets teamed up with Facebook to issue false “independent fact-checks” that nuked the opinions of their opponents. The media machine ran damage control for Fauci while he flip-flopped and passed the buck.
They told us that the 2020 election, rife with last-minute rule-changes and vote-by-mail and Big Tech censorship, was the safest and most secure election of all time. They opted for comedy hour with Gov. Andrew Cuomo instead of asking him and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer real questions about their lethal nursing home policies. They concocted a false narrative out of thin air about Gov. Ron DeSantis and Publix pharmacies when they needed to make a successful Republican leader look bad.
They’ve downplayed the border crisis, framed as an “accident” the story of car-jacking teenagers who murdered a Pakistani immigrant in broad daylight, said Antifa doesn’t exist, and lied about conflict in the Middle East, with the New York Times even ginning up fake maps of Palestine. They called Republicans who voted for Trump a “credulous boomer rube demo” and said the GOP needs to be de-programmed.
They giddily ushered in a sham impeachment — and then a second sham impeachment. They claimed there was no way the National Security Agency was spying on Tucker Carlson. They lied about Russian bounties and downplayed Fauci’s emails.
“All of this goes back to 2016,” conservative TV host Saagar Enjeti rightly wrote on Twitter. “These people believe in their bones that Trump was only elected because of ‘misinformation.’ Their solution is to rig the platforms instead of ask why so many millions lost trust in all our institutions in the first place.”
Millions have indeed lost trust in our institutions and for valid and obvious reasons, reasons that Democrats and the media can’t explore because to do so would expose where the real “misinformation” has long originated — and what their lies have reaped.