Our Lying, Propaganda-Spreading, Untrustworthy News Media: The Miami Herald Headline

herald headline

I have to regularly update my resolve to not respond to one of my ethics-rotted progressive friends when they say to my face, “Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias! That’s just a conservative conspiracy theory,” “You’re not only an idiot, you’re an enemy of democracy.” It gets harder and harder by the day. This has been my ongoing struggle at least since the 2008 Presidential campaign, when the mainstream media kept mocking Sarah Palin’s alleged lack of qualifications to be Vice-President while never mentioning that Joe Biden was a babbling fool or that Barack Obama was objectively less qualified than Palin was.

The Miami Herald headline above isn’t unusual; there are these kinds of lies and public manipulation to assist partisan agendas that appear in the news media every day, all day long, and from more influential sources (boy, I nearly wrote “respected sources,” and no mainstream media source deserves respect) than the Herald. Nonetheless, the headline is unusually brazen.

You see, despite what the headline writers, the editors and the paper wanted readers to think, there were not 901 Wuhan virus deaths on a single day. 901 deaths were reported on that day, but the actual deaths were spread across thirty-six days. This is spectacular deceit, and the intent is obvious: The idea is to turn the public against Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’s handling of the pandemic in Florida, and to show that deaths are reaching catastrophic proportions. A good analogy would be if the recent report that there were an additional 12,000 pandemic deaths in New York nursing homes above what had previously been publicized generated a headline that said “New York Reports 12,000 Nursing Home Deaths in a Single Day!” Yes, the deaths were reported in a day, but they occurred over many days.

Nonetheless, the deceitful Herald headline was spread on social media, with tweets like this:

Avtivist tweet Fla

and this, from another Florida paper…

Covid tweet

Twitter, of course, which rapidly bans conservatives (and President Trump) for what it calls “misinformation,” doesn’t mind this kind of thing at all.

The mainstream media and the occupation of journalism cannot and must not be trusted. One recent poll reported that 29% of Americans trusted them, which is ridiculously high. Anyone who trusts the news media is either ignorant beyond survival or gullible beyond belief. The sooner that figure drops to single digits, the sooner the industry might realize it is time to reform.

5 thoughts on “Our Lying, Propaganda-Spreading, Untrustworthy News Media: The Miami Herald Headline

  1. Here is a conversation about the media on the newsgroup
    alt.rush-limbaugh on March 11, 1994.

    http://groups.google.com/g/alt.rush-limbaugh/c/gZg_XyptjyU/m/NiPCvQIctwUJ

    Well I have to look that up for myself. I’m just going by what I
    see/read in the news media.

    – Darryl Hamilton

    That’s an interesting approach, kind of like trying to determine the actual
    intelligence and character of Black people by watching “Birth of a Nation”….

    – Christopher Charles Morton

    I have not observed anything in the past twenty-seven years that
    made Chris’s statement any lesstrue.

  2. Anyone who trusts the news media is either ignorant beyond survival or gullible beyond belief. The sooner that figure drops to single digits, the sooner the industry might realize it is time to reform.

    Many of those trusting the media will never change that opinion. I’d say that quite honestly, 25-30% is an absolute floor. At least that percentage of people are so invested in the narrative they are promoting that they don’t care to hear anything but negative reporting about the political opposition.

    We have to learn that a full 25% at least of the American electorate are frankly opposed to this country as constituted, and any news source that supports that view, regardless of credibility (Vice or Young Turks, anyone?) will be trusted, not because they are trustworthy, but because they believe the correct things.

  3. I’m not going to read The Herald (my trusted hometown newspaper growing up in Miami in the ’50s and ’60s) story, but I bet the numbers are even more inflated because the case increase is attributable to some new way of counting deaths dictated by the CDC, you know, that really reliable agency that has foisted St. Anthony of Fauci upon us. You know, if the person died and there was a C and an O in their name, it was a Covid death. Assholes.

  4. I’ve been following the persistent discrepancy between the Covid deaths reported by the Florida Department of Health (here’s the latest report: http://ww11.doh.state.fl.us/comm/_partners/covid19_report_archive/covid19-data/covid19_data_latest.pdf) and the deaths reported by the NY Times (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/us/florida-covid-cases.html).

    The plot of average deaths per day at the site I normally use to track Covid deaths (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/florida/) shows a plummeting 7 day average death per day in Florida (with new cases still rising). The NY Times shows deaths ramping alarmingly up.

    Curiously both sources show the same number of total deaths. This blog post makes it clear what is happening: the NY Times is attributing all of the adjusted deaths as having occurred on the day the adjustment was issued rather than distributing the deaths across the days they actually occurred.

    One interesting question is what is the cause of the rapid reduction in daily deaths (unlike any other states or countries I’ve seen — generally increasing cases leads to, with several weeks delay, increasing deaths)? Maybe the monoclonal antibody therapy that is being rolled out across Florida actually works? If so, can we stop the hysteria and go back to normal life?

  5. On a related note.

    http://groups.google.com/g/Sci.Med.Cardiology/c/k8Od9t3kPtU/m/LvhGBpg6AgAJ

    100,000 more COVID deaths seen unless US changes its ways
    By CARLA K. JOHNSON and NICKY FORSTER
    August 26, 2021
    FILE – In this Aug. 20, 2021, file photo, two visitors peer into the
    room of a COVID-19 patient in the intensive care unit at Salem Hospital
    in Salem, Ore., as a nurse dons full protective gear before going into
    the room of another patient. Gov. Kate Brown announced Wednesday, Aug.
    25, 2021, that the state has contracted with a medical staffing company
    to provide up to 500 health care workers to hospitals around the state
    to help respond to the surge in patients due to the delta variant. (AP
    Photo/Andrew Selsky, File)
    1 of 3
    FILE – In this Aug. 20, 2021, file photo, two visitors peer into the
    room of a COVID-19 patient in the intensive care unit at Salem Hospital
    in Salem, Ore., as a nurse dons full protective gear before going into
    the room of another patient. Gov. Kate Brown announced Wednesday, Aug.
    25, 2021, that the state has contracted with a medical staffing company
    to provide up to 500 health care workers to hospitals around the state
    to help respond to the surge in patients due to the delta variant. (AP
    Photo/Andrew Selsky, File)
    The U.S. is projected to see nearly 100,000 more COVID-19 deaths between
    now and Dec. 1, according to the nation’s most closely watched
    forecasting model. But health experts say that toll could be cut in half
    if nearly everyone wore a mask in public spaces.

    In other words, what the coronavirus has in store this fall depends on
    human behavior.

    “Behavior is really going to determine if, when and how sustainably the
    current wave subsides,” said Lauren Ancel Meyers, director of the
    University of Texas COVID-19 Modeling Consortium. “We cannot stop delta
    in its tracks, but we can change our behavior overnight.”

    That means doubling down again on masks, limiting social gatherings,
    staying home when sick and getting vaccinated. “Those things are within
    our control,” Meyers said.

    The U.S. is in the grip of a fourth wave of infection this summer,
    powered by the highly contagious delta variant, which has sent cases,
    hospitalizations and deaths soaring again, swamped medical centers,
    burned out nurses and erased months of progress against the virus.

    ADVERTISEMENT

    Deaths are running at over 1,100 a day on average, turning the clock
    back to mid-March. One influential model, from the University of
    Washington, projects an additional 98,000 Americans will die by the
    start of December, for an overall death toll of nearly 730,000.

    The projection says deaths will rise to nearly 1,400 a day by
    mid-September, then decline slowly.

    But the model also says many of those deaths can be averted if Americans
    change their ways.

    “We can save 50,000 lives simply by wearing masks. That’s how important
    behaviors are,” said Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences
    at the University of Washington in Seattle who is involved in the making
    of the projections.

    Already there are signs that Americans are taking the threat more seriously.

    Amid the alarm over the delta variant in the past several weeks, the
    slump in demand for COVID-19 shots reversed course. The number of
    vaccinations dispensed per day has climbed around 80% over the past
    month to an average of about 900,000.

    White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said Tuesday that in
    Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, “more people got their
    first shots in the past month than in the prior two months combined.”

    Also, millions of students are being required to wear masks. A growing
    number of employers are demanding their workers get the vaccine after
    the federal government gave Pfizer’s shot full approval earlier this
    week. And cities like New York and New Orleans are insisting people get
    vaccinated if they want to eat at a restaurant.

    ADVERTISEMENT

    Half of American workers are in favor of vaccine requirements at their
    workplaces, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC
    Center for Public Affairs Research.

    Early signs suggest behavior changes may already be flattening the curve
    in a few places where the virus raged this summer.

    An Associated Press analysis shows the rate of new cases is slowing in
    Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana and Arkansas, some of the same states
    where first shots are on the rise. In Florida, pleas from hospitals and
    a furor over masks in schools may have nudged some to take more precautions.

    However, the troubling trends persist in Georgia, Kentucky, South
    Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wyoming, where new infections
    continue to rise steadily.

    Mokdad said he is frustrated that Americans “aren’t doing what it takes
    to control this virus.”

    “I don’t get it,” he said. “We have a fire and nobody wants to deploy a
    firetruck.”

    One explanation: The good news in the spring — vaccinations rising,
    cases declining — gave people a glimpse of the way things used to be,
    said Elizabeth Stuart of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public
    Health, and that made it tough for them to resume the precautions they
    thought they left behind.

    “We don’t need to fully hunker down,” she said, “but we can make some
    choices that reduce risk.”

    Even vaccinated people should stay vigilant, said Dr. Gaby Sauza, 30, of
    Seattle, who was inoculated over the winter but tested positive for
    COVID-19 along with other guests days after an Aug. 14 Vermont wedding,
    even though the festivities were mostly outdoors and those attending had
    to submit photos of their vaccination cards.

    “In retrospect, absolutely, I do wish I had worn a mask,” she said.

    Sauza, a resident in pediatrics, will miss two weeks of hospital work
    and has wrestled with guilt over burdening her colleagues. She credits
    the vaccine with keeping her infection manageable, though she suffered
    several days of body aches, fevers, night sweats, fatigue, coughing and
    chest pain.

    “If we behave, we can contain this virus. If we don’t behave, this virus
    is waiting for us,” Mokdad said. “It’s going to find the weak among us.”

    ___

    The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from
    the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education.
    The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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