The New York Times has a lot of Trump Deranged op-ed writers, a lot of jackasses, and quite a few race-baiters in the mix as well. None scores as high in all three categories as the arrogant Charles M. Blow. His continued presence on the Times opinion pages is a continuing insult to black pundits everywhere. Blow obviously only has his job because he is black, and if this is the best the most prestigious paper in the country could do in seeking “diversity,” “The Bell Curve” was more accurate than we thought. But Blow isn’t the best, or even one of the best, black pundits the Times could employ, and he’s unbearably pompous to boot.
Yesterday Blow’s column was titled “Anti-Vax Insanity.” I have not read a Blow column for more than a year, but this made me think, “Gee, a column from Blow that doesn’t involve foaming at the mouth over Donald Trump!” Silly me. Here is how it starts:
“Nothing better exemplifies the gaping political divide in this country than our embarrassing and asinine vaccine response. Donald Trump’s scorched earth political strategy has fooled millions of Americans into flirting with death. And now thousands are once again dying for it.”
Later he writes,
“Why were Americans turning away a vaccine that many people in other parts of the world were literally dying for? Many did so because of their fidelity to the lie and their fidelity to the liar. They did it because they were — and still are — slavishly devoted to Trump, and because many politicians and conservative commentators helped Trump propagate his lies.”
Blow managed to find one poll —you know, polls—that kind of backed his thesis if you squint hard and aren’t thinking clearly, except that it doesn’t mention Donald Trump at all. That’s a pretty big “except.” What the poll shows is that more Republicans than Democrats distrust the vaccine and object to the government telling them they have to take the shots. Well, that would have been the result if Donald Trump had never been born, and whether the vaccine was deadly or conveyed immortality.
Blow doesn’t even read his own paper. The Times did one of the investigative reporting jobs that keeps me subscribing—barely!—at the beginning of the month with a front page feature headlined, “Who are the unvaccinated in America? There’s no one answer.”
Remember: Blow just wrote that the one answer is “Trump.”
The piece has 3363 words. “Trump” appears once, in a paragraph near the end describing an 82-year-old man who has been avoiding vaccinations all his life:
“Mr. Sims always managed to take a bathroom break. He said he would emerge after his turn had passed. Now he lives in Houston and identifies as more of a libertarian than a Republican, though he voted for Donald J. Trump in November. But Mr. Sims was emphatic that his politics have not shaped his near lifelong antipathy to vaccines. ‘It has to do with my civil rights,’ he said. ‘The United States government’s main job is to protect me from foreign and domestic enemies. Not my health. I’m in charge of my health.'”
Got it. It’s all Donald Trump’s fault. Clear as a bell.
Blow, for such a pompous ass, doesn’t comprehend basic logic or the significance of correlations. People who don’t trust the government tended to support Trump, and people who don’t trust the government tend to be wary of the vaccine. That doesn’t make Trump responsible for vaccine resistance, or even suggest it. Indeed, Trump sees the development of the vaccine on his speedy timetable as a personal accomplishment. He has urged Americans to get vaccinated. Never mind. To Blow and those like him—it’s horrifying to consider that anyone’s like him—Trump is responsible for everything and anything they don’t like.
The Times’ list of reasons why people are not getting vaccinated is interesting, and it also doesn’t include “President Trump.” The #1 reason is fear of side-effects. That may be overblown, but it isn’t “insane.” #2 is “Waiting to see if safe.” Well, how long are they going to wait? Still not “insane.” 27% don’t trust the government. That’s amazing: it should be close to 100%. The public has listened to the flip-flops, obfuscations and lies of Dr. Fauci and the CDC; it has seen mayors and governors and the Speaker of the House insist that wearing masks and social distancing were essential and then see them break their own rules, and often lie about it.
In another chart (above), the Times tries to track the demographic profiles of those who are waiting for more information about vaccines compared to those who say they will not consider them. It exposes Blow’s deceptive representation of the Monmouth poll. It is true that the “NeverVax” group is overwhelmingly GOP, but the “wait and see” group is pretty evenly divided between Donkeys and Elephants. Both groups aren’t vaccinated.
Charles Blow’s Trump-Deranged, partisan distortion is, in short, disinformation. Yes, it’s opinion, but it is opinion sanctified by being published in the Times, by a writer the Times is presenting as responsible and worthy of attention. It’s just the kind of disinformation—from the Left, in other words, calculated to nourish hate and disvision— that the social media platforms won’t censor, and that the New York Times will publish….even if its own pages expose it as divisive, malicious lies.