Schadenfreude overload: NY Times COVID beat reporter discredits her own coverage and then deletes smoking-gun tweet
Twitter may have devolved into a left-wing propaganda organ, but it still has value as a medium for leftists to discredit themselves with hasty expressions of their real thoughts and feelings. Particularly for journalists accustomed to relying on editors to save themselves from revealing too much, the speed with which their unfiltered thoughts can be broadcast to the world is dangerous. The latest example comes from the New York Times reporter assigned to cover what may be the hottest story of our era: the COVID virus that turned the world upside-down and killed millions.
Apoorva Mandavilli at first seems to have thought that just as the agitprop media were being forced to admit that it isn't a crazy conspiracy theory to suspect that COVID emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, it was time to discredit such ideas as racist...at least in origin:
Someday we will stop talking about the lab leak theory and maybe even admit its racist roots. But alas, that day is not here yet.
That tweet has now been deleted, leading Stephen Miller to suspect she got a phone call from someone who realized that this view discredits her own and the Times' reporting on the story since it rules out what now is seen as an important line of inquiry.
Someone got a phone call. https://t.co/RjBb44cqyq— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) May 26, 2021
Others pointed out how destructive her contention is to the credibility of the COVID journalism at the Times:
So @apoorva_nyc - one of the lead @nytimes reporters covering #Covid - just tweeted she believes the lab leak theory is “racist.” (She has since deleted the tweet.)— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) May 26, 2021
How can the Times let her cover any aspect of Covid going forward? pic.twitter.com/CNuuEZY0Vv
nyt covid-19 reporter instills perfect confidence in the paper’s ability to actually report the issue. pic.twitter.com/D8JJLAFCK9— tsar becket adams (@BecketAdams) May 26, 2021
See the entire thread here, including this delightful take on just who is the racist:
i think my favorite thing about dismissing the lab theory as “racist” is that it asks us instead to believe the virus started in a filthy chinese wet market filled with bats and pangolin stomaches or whatever.— tsar becket adams (@BecketAdams) May 26, 2021
But Mandavilli compounded her problems with her initial responses on Twitter, now also deleted:
So she decided to try to wrap up the controversy by claiming that the problem with her tweet was that it was "badly phrased":
I deleted my earlier tweets about the origins of the pandemic because they were badly phrased. The origin of the pandemic is an important line of reporting that my colleagues are covering aggressively.— Apoorva Mandavilli (@apoorva_nyc) May 26, 2021
This means that she still believes that it is rooted in racism to pursue the lab origin theory. But oddly, she doesn't try to rephrase the idea in better language.
When she joined the staff at the New York Times a year ago to cover COVID, Mandavilli was hailed by the paper for not only reporting on science, medicine, and health but also as a diversicrat:
She co-founded Culture Dish, an organization dedicated to enhancing diversity in science journalism, and was the founding chair of the Diversity Committee for the National Association of Science Writers.
I suspect that this means she has a degree of job security that, say, a Caucasian male would not enjoy. But Mandavilli probably would see such a view as rooted in racism.
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