Author Topic: The Media, the Virus and the "Lab Leak" Hypothesis  (Read 899 times)

Online Steve M. Galbraith

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The Media, the Virus and the "Lab Leak" Hypothesis
« on: May 26, 2021, 11:50:16 PM »
Longish piece by Matthew Yglesias, a left-of-center journalist, on the media's coverage of the allegations that the virus may have leaked from a lab.

Conclusion: "My strong suspicion is that this [i.e., a false consensus on issues that is generated by social media] is true across domains of expertise, and is creating a lot of bubbles of fake consensus that can become very misleading. And I don’t have a solution."

This is the "fake news" that we should worry about; not, to a lesser, not none but lesser degree, the lunatics at Qanon and elsewhere.

https://www.slowboring.com/p/the-medias-lab-leak-fiasco
« Last Edit: June 16, 2021, 03:29:33 AM by Steve M. Galbraith »

Online Jon Banks

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Re: The Media, the Virus and the "Lab Leak" Theory
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2021, 01:47:21 AM »
The same pattern applied to the Media’s coverage of Russiagate too.

And those of us who are JFK assassination skeptics or CT’ers could say that that kind of behavior in the media has gone on for decades.

Whether it’s Covid, Iraq’s WMDs, Climate Science, or the JFK murder investigations, the Mainstream Media for some reason tends to try to limit the boundaries of what is legit to discuss and tries to discredit narratives or ideas that they don’t like or that goes against mainstream consensus.

Because the Media hates Trump so much, it was easy to dismiss the Lab Leak theory as just another conspiracy theory when he was President.

Now that a few mainstream reporters and some scientists have endorsed the idea that the theory is at least plausible and Trump is no longer President, the media’s consensus has shifted.

Because I have kept an open mind from day one, I never ruled out the Lab Leak as a plausible event even while I think a natural origin is the most likely explanation…


Online Rick Plant

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Re: The Media, the Virus and the "Lab Leak" Theory
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2021, 02:41:13 AM »
The same pattern applied to the Media’s coverage of Russiagate too.

And those of us who are JFK assassination skeptics or CT’ers could say that that kind of behavior in the media has gone on for decades.

Whether it’s Covid, Iraq’s WMDs, Climate Science, or the JFK murder investigations, the Mainstream Media for some reason tends to try to limit the boundaries of what is legit to discuss and tries to discredit narratives or ideas that they don’t like or that goes against mainstream consensus.

Because the Media hates Trump so much, it was easy to dismiss the Lab Leak theory as just another conspiracy theory when he was President.

Now that a few mainstream reporters and some scientists have endorsed the idea that the theory is at least plausible and Trump is no longer President, the media’s consensus has shifted.

Because I have kept an open mind from day one, I never ruled out the Lab Leak as a plausible event even while I think a natural origin is the most likely explanation…

"The media hates Trump"  :D :D :D

Same poor excuse right wingers use to excuse his corruption and criminality...blame the media....really pathetic. The purpose of the media is to investigate crime and corruption. Right wingers don't like when their orange messiah's crimes are brought to light so they use the same bogus talking points attempting to dismiss the charges. 

It was Criminal Donald who dubbed the mainstream media "the enemy of the people" which is a Hitler Nazi tactic to eradicate the free press in order to install a propaganda state run media which all dictators establish. And that's exactly what we have with right wing AM radio, Faux Propaganda, OAN, and NewsMax pushing fake news and dangerous lies.

The "lab leak" theory was dismissed by scientists and government officials and the press reported on it. Far right wing conspiracy theorists pushed the "lab leak" theory in order to absolve Criminal Donald of his purposeful neglect of the worst virus in history.

It really doesn't matter how COVID-19 came about, what matters is what was done to prevent the virus from devastating  the United States of America. The answer is that nothing was done to prepare citizens of our country to combat this virus. Criminal Donald knew about COVID-19 since November 2019 and did nothing to prepare or protect Americans until the virus was out of control in major U.S. cities.

Right out of the gate Criminal Donald, his corrupt officials, and the right wing media made the virus political calling it "a hoax". They also lied telling us it "was low risk", "contained", or "the virus will never come here". All were lies which allowed millions of people to become infected and hundreds of thousands of people to die from the virus.

The right wingers viciously attacked the use of wearing masks and social distancing to help prevent the spread of the virus. They also stormed State Capitol buildings in order to pressure Governors to end stay at home orders which helped saved lives. Now they are attacking the vaccine and spreading lies with their fake news.

The right caused this entire disaster to become more devastating than it should have been. If President Biden was in charge from the start COVID-19 would not have been as bad as it was.                   

Online Jon Banks

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Re: The Media, the Virus and the "Lab Leak" Theory
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2021, 06:05:45 AM »
"The media hates Trump"  :D :D :D

Same poor excuse right wingers use to excuse his corruption and criminality...blame the media....really pathetic. The purpose of the media is to investigate crime and corruption. Right wingers don't like when their orange messiah's crimes are brought to light so they use the same bogus talking points attempting to dismiss the charges. 

It was Criminal Donald who dubbed the mainstream media "the enemy of the people" which is a Hitler Nazi tactic to eradicate the free press in order to install a propaganda state run media which all dictators establish. And that's exactly what we have with right wing AM radio, Faux Propaganda, OAN, and NewsMax pushing fake news and dangerous lies.

The "lab leak" theory was dismissed by scientists and government officials and the press reported on it. Far right wing conspiracy theorists pushed the "lab leak" theory in order to absolve Criminal Donald of his purposeful neglect of the worst virus in history.

It really doesn't matter how COVID-19 came about, what matters is what was done to prevent the virus from devastating  the United States of America. The answer is that nothing was done to prepare citizens of our country to combat this virus. Criminal Donald knew about COVID-19 since November 2019 and did nothing to prepare or protect Americans until the virus was out of control in major U.S. cities.

Right out of the gate Criminal Donald, his corrupt officials, and the right wing media made the virus political calling it "a hoax". They also lied telling us it "was low risk", "contained", or "the virus will never come here". All were lies which allowed millions of people to become infected and hundreds of thousands of people to die from the virus.

The right wingers viciously attacked the use of wearing masks and social distancing to help prevent the spread of the virus. They also stormed State Capitol buildings in order to pressure Governors to end stay at home orders which helped saved lives. Now they are attacking the vaccine and spreading lies with their fake news.

The right caused this entire disaster to become more devastating than it should have been. If President Biden was in charge from the start COVID-19 would not have been as bad as it was.                 

A lot of folks in the Mainstream Media disliked Trump so much that they weren’t able to report on his Presidency objectively.

I say this as someone who didn’t vote for Trump and thought he was a lousy President.

Online Richard Smith

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Re: The Media, the Virus and the "Lab Leak" Theory
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2021, 03:54:32 PM »
A lot of folks in the Mainstream Media disliked Trump so much that they weren’t able to report on his Presidency objectively.


That is true and likely an understatement.  The mainstream media and political establishment (both dems and repubs) hated Trump so much that they didn't care whether a story was true or not.  The ends justified the means.  Trump was deemed to be such a monster that anything was acceptable to harm him.  So they knowingly conjured up and promoted false narratives with no concern for the facts.  Anyone who questioned those narratives was shouted down as a racist or conspiracy theorist.  Even when the conspiracy theory was being touted by media (i.e. Russian collusion).

Offline Jerry Organ

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Re: The Media, the Virus and the "Lab Leak" Theory
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2021, 05:35:42 PM »
That is true and likely an understatement.  The mainstream media and political establishment (both dems and repubs) hated Trump so much that they didn't care whether a story was true or not.  The ends justified the means.  Trump was deemed to be such a monster that anything was acceptable to harm him.  So they knowingly conjured up and promoted false narratives with no concern for the facts.  Anyone who questioned those narratives was shouted down as a racist or conspiracy theorist.  Even when the conspiracy theory was being touted by media (i.e. Russian collusion).

 

Republicans are more prone to believe the media is bias (the last hold-outs being taken out with Trump's "fake news" jargon). Since the days of Billy Graham, many Republicans found themselves conditioned by the evangelical movement to accept and obey the words of a wizened "messiah" should he/she appear. No fallback to a Bush, McCain or Romney. Politics is now a religious, spiritual existential experience the Republicans can't compartmentalize. It's like the Catholic Church making war and conducting crusades in olden times, something they wouldn't dream of doing today.

While the "left" media seems to have more outlets (because the Left is diverse), the Conservative outlets will sometimes have disproportionate viewers (Fox News, for example, dominates the evening cable ratings).

Of course, all these media outlets (and their consumers) perceive themselves as unbiased, which probably doesn't exist in no one.

Online Richard Smith

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Re: The Media, the Virus and the "Lab Leak" Theory
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2021, 04:12:09 PM »
 

Republicans are more prone to believe the media is bias (the last hold-outs being taken out with Trump's "fake news" jargon). Since the days of Billy Graham, many Republicans found themselves conditioned by the evangelical movement to accept and obey the words of a wizened "messiah" should he/she appear. No fallback to a Bush, McCain or Romney. Politics is now a religious, spiritual existential experience the Republicans can't compartmentalize. It's like the Catholic Church making war and conducting crusades in olden times, something they wouldn't dream of doing today.

While the "left" media seems to have more outlets (because the Left is diverse), the Conservative outlets will sometimes have disproportionate viewers (Fox News, for example, dominates the evening cable ratings).

Of course, all these media outlets (and their consumers) perceive themselves as unbiased, which probably doesn't exist in no one.

I don't believe that we need any chart to understand that the mainstream media and social media giants are wildly biased.  Against establishment republicans maybe somewhat less than Trump.  Trump was banned from most social media outlets.  Keep in mind that these outlets are protected by federal law from suits as to content because they are supposed to act as common carriers like your telephone company.  Imagine, however, your telephone provider listening in on your conversation and deciding what is true and what is false and censoring your conversation based on their own subjective criteria of truth.   If social media outlets want to act as publishers, they need to give up the protections from lawsuits for content.  But they want to have it both ways.  It is outrageous and biased censorship.  It is only applied to one side.  Terrorists can post their opinions on Twitter and Facebook but not the President of the United States.  Everyone should be outraged by that biased 1984-level of media control.  There was a time when the liberals were the champions of free speech.  Now they want to silence any dissenting views.  It's a sad time for free speech.  I would not want Hillary, Obama, Old Joe Biden or Pelosi silenced or banned.  I disagree with most of their views but they have every right to make their case.

Online Steve M. Galbraith

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Re: The Media, the Virus and the "Lab Leak" Theory
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2021, 04:34:14 PM »
A lot of folks in the Mainstream Media disliked Trump so much that they weren’t able to report on his Presidency objectively.

I say this as someone who didn’t vote for Trump and thought he was a lousy President.
That's most definitely true as I see it too and why part of cause for the failure to fairly report on the "lab leak" hypothesis, to dismiss it almost immediately, occurred. If the right wing media is so influential then why was this lab leak theory essentially dismissed for so long? But it was Senator Cotton more than Trump who was raising this question well before Trump did. It wasn't just anti-Trump thinking that led to this failure.

But I think as Yglesias points out it goes beyond the dislike of Trump (who was a lousy president who deserved most, not all, but most of the negative press). The question he asks is do we have a media, e.g,. the major media entities, that promote a "false consensus" on critical issues because they "talk to themselves" and live in bubbles where that consensus is re-enforced? There isn't sufficient self-examination of that "consensus" view?

I think it was certainly true on this theory. To be non-partisan, it was also true on the Iraq WMD question about 20 years ago.  And it was also true, in a different way, 55+ years ago with the media's reporting on the JFK assassination. There wasn't much criticism of the Warren Report at that time. It changed over the years; but this was a pre-Vietnam/pre-Watergate media that was much too willing to accept the government's statements.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2021, 03:31:42 AM by Steve M. Galbraith »

Online Jon Banks

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Re: The Media, the Virus and the "Lab Leak" Theory
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2021, 06:03:20 PM »
That's most definitely true as I see it too and part of the failure to fairly report on the "lab leak" theory, to dismiss it almost immediately, was caused by this. If the right wing media is so influential then why was this lab leak theory essentially dismissed for so long? But it was Senator Cotton more than Trump who was raising this question well before Trump did. It wasn't just anti-Trump thinking that led to this.

But I think as Yglesias points out it goes beyond the dislike of Trump (who was a lousy president who deserved most, not all, but most of the negative press). The question he asks is do we have a media, e.g,. the major media entities, that promote a "false consensus" on critical issues because they "talk to themselves" and live in bubbles where that consensus is re-enforced? There isn't sufficient self-examination of that "consensus" view?

I think it was certainly true on this theory. To be non-partisan, it was also true on the Iraq WMD question about 20 years ago.  And it was also true, in a different way, 55+ years ago with the media's reporting on the JFK assassination. There wasn't much criticism of the Warren Report at that time. It changed over the years; but this was a pre-Vietnam/pre-Watergate media that was much too willing to accept the government's statements.

I don't know if any of you use Twitter. I do and I follow a lot of Media personalities.

The way they talk amongst their peers on social media is part of what drives and reinforces consensus around certain Media narratives.

Declaring certain inconvenient narratives as "rightwing" almost always gets Liberal media personalities to be dismissive.

The Hunter Biden stories (shady Ukraine and China business deals) are a perfect example. Most of the Media didn't want to address the leaks from his laptop because they were afraid it could help Trump. But after the election, Hunter confirmed that the DOJ is investigating him so it was a legit news story prior to the election regardless of whether or not it hurt Joe Biden or helped Trump.

On social media, most of the Liberal Media personalities dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop leaks as "Russian disinfo" or potentially false information. 

Offline Jerry Organ

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Re: The Media, the Virus and the "Lab Leak" Theory
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2021, 06:38:52 PM »
On social media, most of the Liberal Media personalities dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop leaks as "Russian disinfo" or potentially false information.

I can't find where it's been determined the laptop was Hunter's and that nothing was done to its contents while it was out of his possession.

The computer repair shop owner is John Paul Mac Isaac, an avid Trump supporter, who sued Twitter for $500,000,000 last December. So much for their love of free speech.

 

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