What the ‘COVID Parties’ Story and Trump-Russia Collusion Pretty Much Have in Common Regarding Media Screw Ups

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Posted: Jul 16, 2020 6:15 PM
What the ‘COVID Parties’ Story and Trump-Russia Collusion Pretty Much Have in Common Regarding Media Screw Ups

Source: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Look, I don’t think coronavirus is a hoax. It’s real. It’s contagious. And it has killed a lot of people. Tens of thousands of deaths traced back to horrible Democratic governors who forced nursing homes to accept COVID patients. Yes, I’m looking at you Andrew Cuomo, and your grim reaper order that killed thousands. The elderly and infirmed are the most vulnerable of our population, high susceptible to dying from pathogens. So, why, given a pandemic, would you order nursing homes, where these people are concentrated, to accept these types of patients? Sounds like a pretty dumb order, huh? So dumb that the New York Health Department website tried to deep-six the order. We have your number killer Cuomo.  Nearly half of all COVID deaths in the US stem from nursing homes. People should take extra precautions, but this isn’t some superbug. It’s not some evolved form of Ebola. The recovery rate is high, and the massive spikes seen in states, like Florida, has not caused a surge to the hospitals. In fact, our medical system was never overrun the likes of which we saw in Italy. 

The places where one could contract this virus are the same places where you could get anything under the sun, from MRSA to the common cold. Yes, airports can make you sick, as can bars, restaurants, or any place where there is, you know, people. Nothing has changed since the arrival of coronavirus from China. Yet, if you watch CNN, MSNBC, and other liberal outlets, you’d think that two-thirds of the country have been infected, with the other third dying from the virus. Well, at least that’s what Joe Biden thinks; he thought 120 million have died from this disease. The panic porn has been pervasive, reckless, and utterly ridiculous. The intention is two-fold. It’s to bash Trump and to make the narrative that there can be no presidential debates in the Fall, where Biden will be exposed as way out of his depth. The last thing Democrats need is for Biden to forget where he is on the debate stage just before Trump runs him over with a tank.

The latest episode of the liberal media acting like a total clown show stem from the ‘COVID parties’ hysteria. Granted, there are a lot of tentacles in this media manufactured octopus of dread emanating from COVID, but this one is pretty bad. It appears to be fake news. The story goes that some healthy 30-year-old who contracted the disease confessed that he went to a “COVID party.” The New York Times even reported on it. The problem is that there is no verifiable evidence. None. 

Wired magazine dissected this story, tracing it to its origins only to find out there was no evidence. Nothing. There were no “COVID parties.” Then, some doctor in Alabama told the publication that the rumors were true, but admitted he had no firsthand knowledge about these parties. So, again, no evidence. It was all rumor, just like the Trump-Russia collusion fiasco.

In fact, that’s how these stories are somewhat linked regarding how they’ve been treated by the national media. In both cases, the Democrat-media complex ran with stories that were not grounded in…reality. Both were evidence-free. Both were weaponized to attack the Trump White House. And both were totally false. Ok, well, Wired doesn’t go as far as to declare this party story a “hoax,” but it does torch the media for peddling unsubstantiated gossip amid a national crisis. Fair point—but I’ll go a step further and declare it fake news (via Wired) [emphasis mine]:

THE COVID PARTY craze continues to sweep the nation—or, at least, the nation’s news organizations. The latest example comes from Texas, where a 30-year-old man is said to have confessed on his death bed that he had attended one. “Just before the patient died,” announced Jane Appleby, chief medical officer at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio, “they looked at their nurse and said, ‘I think I made a mistake. I thought this was a hoax, but it’s not.’”

What started out as local news in south Texas on Friday soon became a national story. By Sunday it had made its way into a write-up for The New York Times, which duly quoted one physician’s warning that such parties are “dangerous, irresponsible, and potentially deadly.”

… I noted that news reports about Covid parties—in which people supposedly get together with the goal of catching the virus—have followed a remarkably consistent pattern. The source is invariably a government or health official who is several steps removed, at least, from any firsthand knowledge of the alleged event. The story is first reported by local media, then picked up and amplified by larger publications that add little or no additional reporting. A few weeks ago, for example, the internet blew up with a tale of Alabama college students who were supposedly throwing parties with infected people and betting on who could catch the virus first. Outlets from the Associated Press to CNN picked up the story, with its ready stereotypes about Southerners and idiot college kids. But when I looked into it, I realized that all the news reports traced back to comments from a single Tuscaloosa city council member, who offered no evidence for the claim.

[…]

The Texas story is more of the same. A patient—who is now dead, and thus can’t confirm the story—supposedly told a nurse, who told others at the hospital. In her video, Appleby, the health director, doesn’t claim otherwise; she says she “heard a heartbreaking story this week.” In a related interview for a local station, Appleby describes hearing about parties in which “someone will be diagnosed with the disease and they’ll have a party to invite their friends over to see if they can beat the disease.”

News organizations, including The New York Times, have reported the story without trying to get to the bottom of it, or even finding out basic information such as where or when the alleged party took place. Some even create a false sense of certainty by crafting headlines that omit the source of the claim, like ABC News’s “30-Year-Old Dies After Attending ‘COVID Party’ Thinking Virus Was a ‘Hoax.’”

[…]

People like Jane Appleby are trying desperately to get the American public to take the coronavirus seriously. If she hears a perfect cautionary tale, it isn’t necessarily her responsibility to investigate whether it’s too perfect before passing it along. It is, however, precisely the job of reporters, who continue to fail at it with each bout of Covid party coverage. Hundreds of stories have been published on the subject, yet I haven’t found a single example of someone telling a reporter that they personally attended or witnessed a Covid party. No Instagram posts, no cell phone videos, no screenshots of party invitations.

If this sounds like an unfair standard for journalists, it really isn’t. There have been plenty of credible news stories of reckless people learning the hard way that even a non-Covid party can spread infections.

[…]

Does this mean Covid parties are—gulp—a hoax? Not necessarily. You can’t prove a negative; proof may yet emerge. But until it does, reporters and editors are passing along an unsubstantiated rumor without proper due diligence.

If there were evidence of such parties, it would have dropped by now. With every reporter willing to engage in COVID panic porn, something would have turned up. The same thing with the Russian collusion myth—a story that big, which gets that many news outlets on the case wouldn’t have turned something up if it existed at all. It hasn’t.