OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
I’m not a tin foil hat enthusiast myself, but I can admit to being amused when something deemed a conspiracy theory turns out to be true and the media has to admit their mistake. Of course, they’re not always willing to admit their mistakes, headlines simply change over time. Thank goodness for the internet, because now we can call out the back peddlers.
I mean, carefully. They’re like toddlers who do not like to admit they’re sleepy. If I simply call them inept liars you’ll be wondering why the Chicks disappeared from your feed for a month. Fact checkers are extremely sensitive. So I would not call them that. I would NEVER do that.
Instead, I’ll say there are some headlines we should look into and questions we should ask.
In February of 2020 The New York Times published : “Senator Tom Cotton Repeats Fringe Theory of Coronavirus Origins. Scientists have dismissed suggestions that the Chinese government was behind the outbreak, but it’s the kind of tale that gains traction among those who see China as a threat.”
In May of 2021 The New York Times published : “Another group of scientists call for further inquiry into Origins of the Coronavirus. Researchers urge an open mind, saying lack of evidence leaves theories of natural spillover and laboratory leak both viable.”
Oh? Changed our minds, did we? From fringe theory to viable? Okay.
In 2020 CNN wrote : “…the Trump administration has implemented a strategy designed to divert attention from the incompetence it has displayed in fighting the pandemic. It is clear that their goal is to blame China for the pandemic by pinpointing the country as the source of Covid-19“. In just March of 2021 CNN published : “Lab leak Covid-19 theory is like something out of a comic book“. But in May of 2021 the story was : “New information on Wuhan researcher’s illness furthers debate on pandemic origins.”
Usually when they’re circling back like this, they done goofed up and don’t want to admit it.
The Washington Post, my favorite soup-sandwich, wrote in 2020 “Fact Checker: Was the new coronavirus accidentally released from a Wuhan lab? It’s doubtful.” They even said “the balance of the scientific evidence strongly suggests the conclusion that the new coronavirus emerged from nature.” This is super cute, because two European scientists, British Professor Angus Dalgliesh and Norwegian scientist Dr. Berger Sorensen, are in the process of releasing a study that claims it has “no credible natural ancestor”. Biostatisticians for the U.S. government calculated that the odds of SARS-CoV-2 evolving in nature were “one and 13 billion.”
I’m no rocket surgeon, so I’m not saying Covid was created in a lab. I simply would not make such an outrageous claim on one and 13 billion odds. One and 13 trillion, maybe. But 13 billion? There’s still hope it’s natural, according to the media.
No, I just wanted to know how the media goes from “OH MY GOSH, THAT’S RIDICULOUS, YOU WHITE SUPREMACIST” to, “hmm, it may be possible the evidence shows this” without an explanation. It’s called accountability, and there is none.
When sharing this with your liberal friends who treat Rachel Maddow’s monologues like divinations from upon high (and please DO share, because on Wednesday Facebook removed the restriction blocking content on this subject), you’re going to encounter some pushback. Like, omg, ze wouldn’t post something inaccurate, you watch too much Fox News. Well here are more examples…
The Boston Globe reported that Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test proved that she was a Native American and Donald Trump was wrong, before they had to issue a correction and blame math error. I don’t know what kind of math they’re doing over there, but 1/1,024 parts Native American is ZERO parts. I have more DNA ties to my coffee table than Warren has to American Indians.
The Washington Post fact checker repeatedly claimed that Trump made 12,019 false or misleading statements. I’ve heard people repeat that number. It’s funny how the Post did not clarify that this number included jokes and campaign slogans. The slogan “this is the greatest economy ever” was repeated at rallies and counted separately each time, for a total of 700 “lies” to add to his tally. I know. Maths is hard. But math is also whiteness and whiteness is bad, so I’m going to need the Washington Post to lay off the oppression! Triggered.
Lies tend to spread on social media faster than the line at east coast gas stations these days. By the time a retraction is buried in the back of the paper, people have already accepted the “facts” and shared those unshakeable truths with their friends. And that’s the real reason the media doesn’t worry about getting the story wrong. They don’t care whether they get it wrong or right, they don’t care about uncovering the dark truth. Journalism today is about selling an ideology and keeping up ratings.
Essentially, many so-called conspiracy theories in this day and age are simply facts that people are unaware of, in denial about, or stories the media refuses to cover. Social media will punish you for even discussing it! There’s a meme going around that says “If you’ve never violated Facebook’s community standards you probably have no idea what’s going on in the world.” If you follow information instead of the mainstream media, you’ve likely been clumped together with the conspiracy theorists at some point in time. Don’t worry, give it a few more months. You will be vindicated and people will be struggling to catch up.
Here are just a few “conspiracy theorists” that the media is revisiting…
At this point I really don’t pay attention to any news until it’s 6 months old and they’ve gotten all of their quiet retractions out of the way.