‘This tweet is objectively true. Amazing how many blue checks are triggered by it…’
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article contains profanity.
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) A tweet by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., which poked holes in the leftist media narrative that the U.S. surpassing China in coronavirus diagnoses was newsworthy, sent the activist press into a deranged tizzy.
Beyond being grotesque,its bad journalism
We have NO IDEA how many cases China really has but without any doubt its significantly more than why they admit to
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) March 29, 2020
This tweet is objectively true. Amazing how many blue checks are triggered by it.
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) March 29, 2020
Rubio’s observation was but one of several ways the “horse-race” coverage over confirmed coronavirus cases is misleading.
The rise—largely due to increases in testing—belies, on one hand, leftist claims that draconian “social distancing” and quarantine measures are containing it significantly.
Rather, it suggests that many people may be living with the virus who are asymptomatic or exhibiting only mild symptoms.
However, the U.S. mortality rate has remained substantially lower than many other affected nations as a ratio of cases to deaths, suggesting that the response, itself, has been effective in treating patients.
Despite pockets of higher mortality in densely populated “blue” areas like New York, California, Washington state and the city of New Orleans, all of which have been rapidly inundated by cases, scientists who initially hyped millions of American deaths have scrambled to revise those numbers downward.
Meanwhile, China has continued to spread misinformation and propaganda according to its own people, painting a vastly rosier portrait than exists on the ground.
Following the implementation of travel bans and other health-related measures, the communist Chinese government proceeded to claim the outbreak had crested and that there were no new cases. That has been disputed, however, by those who report long hospital lines in regions like Wuhan, where the virus originated, as well as round-the-clock incinerators.
Still, in the U.S., partisan, liberal journalists have deployed a variety of methods to justify their own shoddy reporting and egregious, knee-jerk Trump-bashing.
The Left has sought, for instance, to play the race card when it comes to blaming China.
Meanwhile, Democrat fear-mongerers insist that any information which undermines or contradicts their own radical prescription of a complete, economy-wrecking, Constitution-curtailing lock-down should be considered socially irresponsible and dangerous.
Progressivist Twitter trolls came out in full force against Rubio for daring to present a factual alternative, although responses—many from the “verified” accounts of public figures, as denoted by the blue check—tended to deflect entirely from the point.
Blogger Andy Ostroy, for example, blamed President Donald Trump for not jumping into action when the virus was first detected.
Or maybe we’re livid that ur president…whose ass you so pathetically kiss…wasted a couple of precious months calling this a “democratic hoax” when he could’ve learned from #China & gotten us weeks & weeks ahead of this disease. #COVID19 #coronavirus https://t.co/G8SG9Ty6X1
— Andy Ostroy (@AndyOstroy) March 29, 2020
China’s misinformation notwithstanding, and casting aside the fact that the Obama administration and Democratic state executives had failed to anticipate, replenish and fund desperately needed pandemic resources, Trump—despite facing a partisan impeachment trial at the time—first convened the Coronavirus Task Force in late January.
His doubts about the scope of the virus were echoed by leaders such as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, who encouraged citizens to attend a Chinese street festival rather than risk being politically incorrect.
Other left-wing tweeters dispatched entirely with presenting any sort of a counter-argument to Rubio’s criticism of the media coverage.
Sam Stein, who promoted himself as a journalist at left-wing outlets MSNBC and the Daily Beast, opted instead for an ad-hominem verbal attack on Rubio that cast him as a bully for disparaging the poor, sensationalist press when, after all, people are dying.
Senator, either you have no clue what you’re talking about or you’re being a jerk. I have friends in this industry who have the virus. We have to make exceptionally challenging calls about sending reporters into hot spots or places where they could get it. Do better.
— Sam Stein (@samstein) March 29, 2020
Tony Posnanski, an apparent self-help guru and E-bay auctioneer, opted simply to spew invective in defense of his perspective (profanity warning):
We have no idea either, asshole. And there is no glee in it. It’s to protect Americans from going out because you don’t take it seriously as it shows in Florida. Fuck all the way off.
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) March 29, 2020
Matthew Yglesias, a Vox reporter notorious for his partisan hot-takes, coyly denied that the media had spent nearly a week incessantly harping on the U.S. having taken the lead in coronavirus cases, with many blatantly and unabashedly attempting to saddle Trump with the blame.
Who in the media?
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) March 29, 2020
— Rep. Steven Smith (R-GA) 🇺🇸 (@RepStevenSmith) March 29, 2020
Others chimed in to support Rubio, with conservative investigative journalist Mike Cernovich making note of a recent Gallup poll that showed the media was the only major institution or figure on a recent survey to have less than 50 percent approval in its handling of the pandemic.
Media approval rating as seen by the public has declined during coronavirus coverage.
That’s why this tweet lands.
— Pillow Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) March 29, 2020
It seemed unlikely, though, that Rubio’s having called them to task would urge any reporters on the Left to rethink their misguided emphasis on the number of cases or to shift greater scrutiny toward the cover-up in China.
But if anything, the response to Rubio’s tweet begged the curtain to be drawn back on another dubious process shrouded in secrecy: Twitter‘s questionable choices over which “public” figures should qualify for verified accounts.