‘Don’t they understand that they are destroying themselves?’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) The latest trope to emerge in left-wing media’s coverage of the coronavirus is its attempt to frame the partisan divide with broad claims that Republicans are taking the outbreak less seriously than their Democratic counterparts.
Meanwhile, the cacophony of breathless opinions from doomsayers seeking to cash in on the pandemonium has done little more than to underscore the Left’s inherently cynical worldview.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll found that Americans’ preparations to deal with the new coronavirus turned in part on their political views. Democrats were more likely than Republicans to say they were washing their hands more, limiting contact with others and changing travel plans. pic.twitter.com/CoD5GjdxNx
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) March 6, 2020
Credibility vs. Conspiracy?
For those on the Left, it seems the only thing the pandemic has not done to disrupt their daily lives is to slow the stream of invective directed at President Donald Trump.
Trump “hasn’t enjoyed any rally-round-the-flag surge of support, as presidents sometimes do during national calamities,” the Los Angeles Times noted on Friday. “But neither has he seen his support drop, despite extensive criticism of his administration’s response to the crisis.”
Accordingly, liberals in the media have proceeded to blame their political opposites for keeping a level head and not launching into complete hoarding hysteria, suggesting that Trump supporters had been duped into underestimating the situation.
“Democrats were much more likely than Republicans to see the coronavirus as a threat to the country’s health, to fear for their family’s well-being, to see major life changes ahead, and to think that the worst is yet to come,” wrote the LA Times.
“… Republicans were more sanguine, more likely to think that the news media are exaggerating the risks,” it continued. “And they have been twice as likely as Democrats to believe a theory that scientists say is false—that the coronavirus was created in China as a bio-weapon.”
Pieces by the New York Times and Yahoo News were among those that went even farther in bemoaning the partisan divide by bashing conservatives for not believing what left-wing outlets with less-than-stellar track records had to say about the cataclysmic coronavirus catastrophe.
Even as they warned that the credibility of information was crucial during such a dire crisis, they repeatedly directed blame at the president for downplaying concerns, never once questioning their own hyperbole.
“[A]s Mr. Trump and his allies have defended his actions and accused Democrats and the news media of fanning fears to ‘bring down the president,’ a growing public health crisis has turned into one more arena for bitter political battle, where facts are increasingly filtered through a partisan lens,” claimed the Times.
No Room for Optimism
Trump has continued to push back against the fearmongering sensationalism in the press, warning left-wing media outlets that journalists were doing serious harm by stoking a panicked response—as well as destroying their own credibility.
I watch and listen to the Fake News, CNN, MSDNC, ABC, NBC, CBS, some of FOX (desperately & foolishly pleading to be politically correct), the @nytimes, & the @washingtonpost, and all I see is hatred of me at any cost. Don’t they understand that they are destroying themselves?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2020
In a Sunday night tweet, Trump reiterated what should have been construed as a simple, innocuous concern about the dangers of overreacting—both by the public and the government—in that it could result in dangerous new precedents being established for future crises.
Some Republican lawmakers have expressed their alarm at the curtailment of basic constitutional freedoms, such as the Freedom of Religion (by forcing churches to shutter) and freedom of assembly (by limiting groups to no more than 10 people).
Several blue states and jurisdictions have gone even further with mandatory shelter-in-place requirements, projected to last an indeterminate amount of time, with most estimates being more than a month at least.
Trump sought to reassure those who were concerned by the potential overreach that he would not let it take root at the federal level.
WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF. AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2020
Trump also expressed optimism that a treatment under review, using a drug previously prescribed for malaria, had shown encouraging results.
But the attack-dog press quickly circled, wasting no time with efforts to dampen his rosy optimism.
The Huffington Post claimed that the concerns about an extended or indefinite quarantine were merely “talking points” and ran with the headline “Trump Repeats Latest Bonkers Fox News Coronavirus Claims In Midnight Rant.”
MSNBC called his optimism over the drug currently in clinical trials a “conspiracy theory.”
During one of his now-daily press briefings last week, Trump remarked on the bizarre media efforts to second-guess every his action.
“I know the truth and people out there in the world, they [the left-wing media] really don’t know the truth,” Trump said. “They don’t know what it is.”
The faces made in the room as @ChanelRion asks Trump: Is it alarming that major media players…are consistently siding with a foreign state propaganda, Islamic radicals, and Latin gangs and cartels and they work right here…with direct access to you and your team? pic.twitter.com/4eW8RHipY5
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) March 19, 2020
But if there is nothing concrete to validate the president’s outlook, there likewise is nothing to validate the doom-and-gloom scenarios being represented in the media. Many outlets rushed to plug varying worst-case scenarios involving millions of deaths and other life-altering impacts, although there seemed to be zero scientific consensus on the matter.
Despite the considerable uncertainty that the world faces in tackling the health crisis, as one Trump supporter told the Times, no action, however great or small, Trump could have taken would have been enough to placate the leftist media since the underlying goal is to undermine his presidency.
“What’s sad is that the Democrats are politicizing something that we should all be uniting to fight,” said Darrell Scott, a Cleveland pastor. “The Democrats are acting as if the president should have gone on TV and declared a state of emergency [weeks before he actually did so],” Scott said. “If he had, they’d have said he should have been calm.”