Accuracy in Media

Some of the big players in the mainstream media, the New York Times and CNN,  have let their political bias compromise their reporting, according to Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.). Cotton charges that their “journalism” makes them accomplices in the cover-up by the Chinese Communist Party regarding the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.  Further, he says he was a victim of their lazy reporting and bias.

“Because the media doesn’t like my politics, they lied to the public about the origin of covid-19,” Cotton said on Twitter. “They ought to be held accountable for covering up for the Chinese Communist Party.”

This comes after intelligence reports surfaced that workers at the Wuhan bio-lab became sick, showing symptoms of covid-like illness prior to the admission by the Chinese government about the existence of the virus.

While details were available under Trump, the information was largely ignored by the media — even ridiculed by some — until it surfaced again this week in off-the-record comments by people familiar with the reports. As late as February 2021, the New York Times was calling out Cotton for sharing the Wuhan virus origin story as a “fringe theory.”

“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,” the New York Times reported.

No matter the virus’s origin, it’s the kind of tale that gains traction amongst those who want to do honest reporting because it’s factually and scientifically plausible.

“Now, in a letter in the journal Science, 18 prominent biologists—including the world’s foremost coronavirus researcher—are lending their weight to calls for a new investigation of all possible origins of the virus,” reported MIT’s Technology Review earlier this month, “and calling on China’s laboratories and agencies to ‘open their records’ to independent analysis.”

Were it not for the media’s desire to beat up the GOP and Trump, calling everything they say a “conspiracy theory,” the world might have had a better idea where the virus came from.

That they choose to put politics above the welfare of the country and honest reporting as was evident even early in the pandemic.

CNN Editor-at-Large Chris Cillizza is a case in point.

Cillizza was so eager to debunk Trump’s opinion that the virus escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, that he purposefully conflated two Wuhan origin stories in May 2020.

He used Dr. Anthony Fauci and on-the-record intelligence officials to say that the virus was not manmade — which Trump did not assert — yet Cillizza reported it like Trump had said that: “The Intelligence Community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified.” (See: Anthony Fauci just crushed Donald Trump’s theory on the origins of the coronavirus).

He then also used just one off-the-record intelligence official from another country to say it was “unlikely” that the virus escaped from the lab during an “accident.”

Yet we know today that even as the Cillizza’s ink was drying, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Department of Energy’s premier biodefense research institution, was preparing to release an intelligence report that found that the virus may have originated from the Wuhan lab.

This week, Cillizza penned an explanation that essentially says the Republicans were wrong, even if they were right, even as Fauci began to express reservations about whether the origins of Covid had been thoroughly investigated.

“Given that history,” Cillizza said, “conservatives leaped on Fauci’s recent hedging as proof positive that Trump was, in fact, right all along.”

 

 




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