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Let’s Keep Score

For those of us keeping score during the global pandemic, the New York Times is winning and the truth is losing.

On Sunday they ran with the headline, “Official Counts Understate the U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll." On the surface, I can appreciate the skepticism exhibited by the paper of record. Skepticism towards our government is entirely reasonable. But let’s remember this is the same paper that provided endless political cover to the communist Chinese. As just one example, on March 18th they ran a story titled, “China Hits a Coronavirus Milestone: No New Local Infections.”

One can only speculate as to what the New York Times is receiving in return for all the free public relations work they’re providing for this ruthless regime. Are they considering outsourcing the printing of their newspaper and hoping to get a sweetheart deal from the communists?

Another news outlet that is “winning” coronavirus is Newsweek. Over the weekend they published a hit piece on talk radio host Erik Erickson titled, “Conservative radio host Erik Erickson criticized for placing “burning cross” in front yard.”

Except, it wasn’t a burning cross. Some local kids were selling crosses for $20 in order to buy snacks for doctors and nurses at local hospitals. Erickson bought one and added some electric lights as to make the cross visible at night. Newsweek equated his charitable act with one of the most reprehensible visuals in American history.

Brazil’s famous “Christ the Redeemer” statue is lit up at night as well, but don’t tell Newsweek or they might just announce that the KKK has spread to Rio.

Equally inaccurate is the notion that Erickson was “criticized.”  The only people quoted in the story were leftwing commentators. Folks on Twitter added scathing criticisms such as, "Maybe rethink the lights.”

Despite getting both facets on the headline wrong I still maintain that Newsweek won. After all, before this story went viral I doubt many of us even know Newsweek still existed. I don’t think I’ve seen a Newsweek story since I perusing an old copy in the waiting room at my doctor’s office in 1998.

The writer of this hit piece also won because his name is actually Benjamin Fearnow. With a name like that I’m quite confident he’s already been cast as the villain in the next James Bond film.

Having been defeated by BuzzFeed, another loser in the global pandemic is public safety. Hydroxychloroquine is still in medical trials, but the online news site famous for clickbait has already run with a headline attacking President Trump for promoting a drug that killed a man.

Of course, that didn’t actually happen. The man consumed aquarium cleaner which contained chloroquine phosphate. Unfortunately, you’d actually have to read a good portion of the article to learn that fact, because BuzzFeed cares more about smearing the president than they do about the wellbeing of their readership. They’ll create any sensationalist headline if it affords them the opportunity to attack Trump.

The only legitimate winner of the crisis so far is Dr. Drew Pinsky. When asked what he thinks of the media coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak, Pinsky summed up the feelings of countless Americans by offering, “I hate it, I would like [the media] to shut up.”

Well said, Dr. Drew!

Adam Guillette is the President of Accuracy in Media,

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