Suffering from existential despair, the NYT found itself a new scapegoat

One can feel the existential anguish oozing off every page and pixel at The New York Times.  That's not because the coronavirus is approaching apocalyptic proportions, with mass die-offs comparable to the year 1348, when the Black Death was at its apex.  Instead, the Times is confronting a different problem: President Donald Trump's poll numbers are doing very well.  His recent town hall was the most watched town hall in cable history.  His daily press conferences enthrall so many people that the media are desperate to stop televising them.

Clearly, the Times had to bring out the big guns to ensure that Americans understand that not only is Trump the ultimate "Orange Man Bad," but also that his supporters must continue to be recognized as the "Deplorables" they are.  To that end, the Times published one of the most vicious opinion pieces ever seen in its pages, and that's saying a lot.

Katherine Stewart has a bee in her bonnet, and that bee is her hatred for Christianity.  She's written a book with the giveaway title The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism.  That makes her the perfect person to write an opinion piece stating that "The Religious  Right's Hostility to Science Is Crippling Our Coronavirus Response: Trump's response to the pandemic has been haunted by the science denialism of  his ultraconservative religious allies."

With that title, one would think the opinion piece has specific and detailed information about the many times that Donald Trump ignored the advice coming from Dr. Anthony Fauci or Dr. Deborah Birx.  Or perhaps Stewart would write about the faith-healing sessions Trump was hosting in the Oval Office.  Or maybe we'd hear that Trump, instead of closing borders and mobilizing America to provide health care providers with masks and ventilators, was, instead, broadcasting daily evangelical prayers from the White House.

Because all of that is manifestly false, even Stewart doesn't make such allegations.  What Stewart does, instead, is set up straw men, pointing to a handful of evangelical preachers who support Trump and believe that their faith is the only protection they need.  From that, she leaps lightly to the sinister fact that Trump chose Easter as a possible endpoint for America's lockdown.  Trump, she darkly opines, "did not invoke Easter by accident..."

Having dropped that little bombshell, Stewart lightly dances away to another topic, which is the fact that conservatives, having lived through the Russian and Ukraine attacks, are suspicious of this round of targeted attacks on Trump.  And then she's on to another topic, this time the fact that, because Trump's supporters like him, it stands to reason that his governance is incompetent (an argument I'm sure she never made despite the media's eight-year-long fangirl crush on Obama).  Therefore, it's Trump's fault, rather than the CDC's bureaucratic bungling, that South Korea and Germany initially did more tests than America.

Then zoom, Stewart is on to the next target, and this is where the meat gets on the bones: Trump and his Cabinet oppose abortion.  How in the world can people who oppose baby-killing be sufficiently scientific to fight an epidemic disease?

And that's it.  That's Stewart's argument about Christianity being the root cause of...something.  Stewart's insults never lead to any factual support for her premise.

However, we like facts, so here are the things this avatar for science fails to mention:

1. Democrat politicians and other leftists in New York encouraged crowds for Chinese New Year to fight Trump's "xenophobia"  Meanwhile, New Orleans's mayor was incapable of calling the shots in her city for Mardi Gras.

2. Democrats have pushed for years to pack people into cities and, once in cities, put them all into public transportation.  Nobody considered social distancing then.

3. Democrat have pushed for years to ban single-use plastic bags.  Now that re-usable bags are proving to be a coronavirus vector, single-use bags are back.

4. Democrat policies have pushed for years for open borders.  Now borders around the world are closing, and Mexicans no longer want Americans to come in.

The Times behaved shamefully when it published Stewart's hate-filled, fact-free screed against Christians.  This kind of religious bigotry stinks as badly as religious bigotry did when the New York media establishment attacked Irish Catholics in the 19th century or Jews in the 20th century.

Stewart, the Times, and others who aggressively support policies that enabled the coronavirus's spread are now wallowing mindlessly in Trump-hatred.  They need to step back and think seriously about whether their theories, which are a matter of faith, had something to do with the coronavirus mess.

One can feel the existential anguish oozing off every page and pixel at The New York Times.  That's not because the coronavirus is approaching apocalyptic proportions, with mass die-offs comparable to the year 1348, when the Black Death was at its apex.  Instead, the Times is confronting a different problem: President Donald Trump's poll numbers are doing very well.  His recent town hall was the most watched town hall in cable history.  His daily press conferences enthrall so many people that the media are desperate to stop televising them.

Clearly, the Times had to bring out the big guns to ensure that Americans understand that not only is Trump the ultimate "Orange Man Bad," but also that his supporters must continue to be recognized as the "Deplorables" they are.  To that end, the Times published one of the most vicious opinion pieces ever seen in its pages, and that's saying a lot.

Katherine Stewart has a bee in her bonnet, and that bee is her hatred for Christianity.  She's written a book with the giveaway title The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism.  That makes her the perfect person to write an opinion piece stating that "The Religious  Right's Hostility to Science Is Crippling Our Coronavirus Response: Trump's response to the pandemic has been haunted by the science denialism of  his ultraconservative religious allies."

With that title, one would think the opinion piece has specific and detailed information about the many times that Donald Trump ignored the advice coming from Dr. Anthony Fauci or Dr. Deborah Birx.  Or perhaps Stewart would write about the faith-healing sessions Trump was hosting in the Oval Office.  Or maybe we'd hear that Trump, instead of closing borders and mobilizing America to provide health care providers with masks and ventilators, was, instead, broadcasting daily evangelical prayers from the White House.

Because all of that is manifestly false, even Stewart doesn't make such allegations.  What Stewart does, instead, is set up straw men, pointing to a handful of evangelical preachers who support Trump and believe that their faith is the only protection they need.  From that, she leaps lightly to the sinister fact that Trump chose Easter as a possible endpoint for America's lockdown.  Trump, she darkly opines, "did not invoke Easter by accident..."

Having dropped that little bombshell, Stewart lightly dances away to another topic, which is the fact that conservatives, having lived through the Russian and Ukraine attacks, are suspicious of this round of targeted attacks on Trump.  And then she's on to another topic, this time the fact that, because Trump's supporters like him, it stands to reason that his governance is incompetent (an argument I'm sure she never made despite the media's eight-year-long fangirl crush on Obama).  Therefore, it's Trump's fault, rather than the CDC's bureaucratic bungling, that South Korea and Germany initially did more tests than America.

Then zoom, Stewart is on to the next target, and this is where the meat gets on the bones: Trump and his Cabinet oppose abortion.  How in the world can people who oppose baby-killing be sufficiently scientific to fight an epidemic disease?

And that's it.  That's Stewart's argument about Christianity being the root cause of...something.  Stewart's insults never lead to any factual support for her premise.

However, we like facts, so here are the things this avatar for science fails to mention:

1. Democrat politicians and other leftists in New York encouraged crowds for Chinese New Year to fight Trump's "xenophobia"  Meanwhile, New Orleans's mayor was incapable of calling the shots in her city for Mardi Gras.

2. Democrats have pushed for years to pack people into cities and, once in cities, put them all into public transportation.  Nobody considered social distancing then.

3. Democrat have pushed for years to ban single-use plastic bags.  Now that re-usable bags are proving to be a coronavirus vector, single-use bags are back.

4. Democrat policies have pushed for years for open borders.  Now borders around the world are closing, and Mexicans no longer want Americans to come in.

The Times behaved shamefully when it published Stewart's hate-filled, fact-free screed against Christians.  This kind of religious bigotry stinks as badly as religious bigotry did when the New York media establishment attacked Irish Catholics in the 19th century or Jews in the 20th century.

Stewart, the Times, and others who aggressively support policies that enabled the coronavirus's spread are now wallowing mindlessly in Trump-hatred.  They need to step back and think seriously about whether their theories, which are a matter of faith, had something to do with the coronavirus mess.