Tom Friedman is a long-time regular in the New York Times left-wing op-ed writer stable. (Ironically enough, he is also the paper’s most enthusiastic booster of Communist China.)
It’s nice of the Times to provide such a handy example of multiple features of fake news discussed in the last post.
To be fair, Friedman’s piece is flagged as opinion, but Times editors are intentionally fear-mongering by permitting the hysterical Russian Roulette comparison. In Russian Roulette, there is a 1 in 6 chance of dying. That would mean that Trump is risking a U.S. death toll of 54.7 million deaths. Actually, the risk of causing a depression by being overly cautious about re-opening the economy is a lot closer to one in six, and maybe much higher.
But wait! As Al Jolson used to say, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”
Yesterday, Times reporter Ginia Bellafante wrote a story blaming the death of a beloved New York bar owner on his taking a cruise based on what he had heard about the threat of the Wuhan virus on Fox News:
On March 1, Joe Joyce and his wife, Jane, set sail for Spain on a cruise, flying first to Florida. His adult children — Kevin, Eddie and Kristen Mider — suggested that the impending doom of the coronavirus made this a bad idea. Joe Joyce was 74, a nonsmoker, healthy; four years after he opened his bar he stopped drinking completely. He didn’t see the problem.
“He watched Fox, and believed it was under control,’’ Kristen told me.
By March 1, more than 80,000 people in more than 40 countries had been infected. Nearly 2,800 had died. On March 2nd, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urged New Yorkers to get out and see a play. On March 4, I traveled to Atlanta, home of the CDC, to give a law firm seminar, in a packed plane. I shook hands with about 50 people. I ate at an Ethiopian restaurant with two friends, one a scientist, one a medical professional. We all ate from a large selection of foods laid out on a single, large, flat Ethiopian pancake. The first university to announce it was closing was Stanford, on March 6th.
Best of all, the statement from Sean Hannity that Bellafante quoted to blame Fox News for Joe Joyce’s death was broadcast on March 8, a week after Joe had left on his cruise.
No, I take that back. This is the best of all: a tweet from Ginia Bellafante tracked down by a Twitter sleuth after her despicable article was published. (Incidentally, you should check my previous post about Ginia.) The date on tweet is February 27.
There has to be some point when the American public refuses to continue being lied to like this.
There just has to be.