"Riffed from the Headlines" is Townhall's daily VIP feature with coverage on the deeply flawed aspects of journalism in the nation. We'll look to bring accountability to the mishaps, malaprops, misdeeds, manipulations, malpractice, and manufactured narratives in mainstream media.
Presentation Paradox – MIAMI HERALD
To say the Miami Herald has become little more than an anti-DeSantis rag is one thing, but it is always better to show it. Here they delivered some glaring, galling new data on Covid deaths and cases in Florida.
The headline is the issue. While technically accurate, there are some crucial details that are revealed in the body of the article. It turns out this is a reporting issue.
- "All but two of the newly reported deaths occurred after July 25, with about 78% of those people dying in the past two weeks, according to Herald calculations of data published by the CDC."
Um, I'm sorry – July 25?! So, this is a total over the course of the past month, not a single day death count. Funny, seems like a niggling detail like that could have been squeezed into a headline.
- "The jump in the number of reported cases and deaths is due to the newest way deaths and cases are counted. The CDC implemented the change earlier this month, causing occasional one-day aberrations like the 901 additional deaths on Thursday and 726 more deaths reported Monday."
To see just what the intended result of this was, enter "901 deaths" in the search on social media and see the resulting outrage unspool on your screen.
COVID UPDATE: Florida on Thursday reported 21,765 more COVID-19 cases and 901 deaths to the CDC, according to calculations of CDC data.— Miami Herald (@MiamiHerald) August 26, 2021
All but one of the newly reported deaths occurred after July 24. https://t.co/n4QDujcjHW
News Avoidance Syndrome – VARIOUS OUTLETS
The news out of Afghanistan has been disturbing in so many ways, and it keeps getting compounded. Yesterday, Politico reported how our military leadership delivered a list of names of those still trapped in the country to the Taliban, with the hopes they will aid them in getting them to the airport for extraction.
In his press conference yesterday, President Biden was asked about this troubling detail, and he all but confirmed this was, in fact, the case. Reporter Phil Wegman asked Biden of this possibility and got this answer.
- "There have been occasions when our military has contacted their military counterparts in the Taliban and said this, for example, this bus is coming through with X number of people on it, made up of the following group of people. We want you to let that bus or that group through. So, yes, there have been occasions like that."
Almost none of the networks and major cable news channels – save for Fox News – covered this disturbing development.
Gilded Reframe – MSNBC
- Chris Hayes cannot understand the focus on 13 Marine deaths when hundreds are dying from Covid.
On his broadcast for "All In," Chris Hayes was speaking with Associated Press reporter James Laporta about the gripping drama at the Kabul airport and the loss of lives of U.S. service members.
This was rather confounding, given that earlier Hayes was diminishing the importance of these military deaths in light of more serious deaths we should actually be focusing on. Just hours before his broadcast, Hayes minimized these battlefield losses.
Again, probably A THOUSAND people are going to die today from Covid.— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) August 26, 2021
Prose & Contradiction – VICE NEWS
- Not hard to imagine what has led to their professional troubles.
It was not a grand day for the upstarts at Vice yesterday. First came the announcement they were instituting a number of layoffs as the outlet continues to try restructuring. Then they chose the hours following the suicide bomb attack to post a feature claiming the Marines are rife with SS members. This is not the sharpest outlet for information.
The folks at @Vice News thought it would be charming to post this on the afternoon that a dozen Marines were killed in Kabul. (Since deleted)— Brad Slager - Focused On Lasers (@MartiniShark) August 27, 2021
Maybe laying off the social media team and turning that task over to an intern was not the way to go. pic.twitter.com/hU6zrv3i6W
Pulitzer Prize Nomination – JUDICIAL WATCH
The legal team at Judicial Watch doggedly (apologies, seriously) dug into the records of the Secret Service to get the details of a dire issue: Exactly how much of a problematic pet is President Biden's dog, Major?
The organization petitioned for documents and discovered the shepherd has not calmed down much since he was dispatched to Delaware.
- "Judicial Watch announced today that it received 36 pages of records communications from the Secret Service that show the Bidens' dog Major was responsible for numerous biting incidents of Secret Service personnel. One email notes that 'at the current rate an Agent or Officer has been bitten every day this week.'"
One thing is certain; Major should be sent to Kabul. He has the tenacity needed to help out over there.
BREAKING: Judicial Watch announced today that it received 36 pages of records communications from the Secret Service that show the Bidens’ dog Major was responsible for numerous biting incidents of Secret Service personnel (1/3). https://t.co/mNCPgSpcY0— Judicial Watch ?? (@JudicialWatch) August 26, 2021