COVID prompts shape-shifting at the New York Times
Last Friday, the New York Times posted "Why 'follow the science' fails to answer many questions" in its daily online summary of news and opinion.
This was a remarkable article. The New York Times is the propaganda outlet of the Democrat party and its corporate and Hollywood institutional base. This article argued against many of the views promoted by the New York Times and top Democrats about the COVID pandemic during the past two years.
The influence of the New York Times goes far beyond its roughly 900,000 print and 5 million digital subscribers. The events it selects as the most important "news" of the day are routinely reported as such by most TV and radio networks, daily newspapers, and online news sites in America. This "news" is also used in the classrooms of most colleges and high schools in America. Roughly 49% of Americans say that the New York Times is a "trustworthy" news source.
The New York Times is also the de facto voice of the Democrat party. Roughly 91% of New York Times readers identify as Democrats. The far-left news and opinions of the New York Times consistently promote, justify, define, and announce the political agendas of the Democrats.
In many ways, the New York Times is to American Democrats what the Russian newspaper Pravda was to Soviet communists throughout the world from 1919 until the so-called end of the Cold War in 1991.
As with Pravda and communists, the New York Times and Democrats do not tolerate dissent or disagreement. In 2020, the Times pressured editorial page editor and writer Bari Weiss into leaving for not being far-left enough. A month earlier, it did the same thing to James Bennet. Bennet was forced out for letting a Republican U.S. senator publish an op-ed in its pages with a different point of view.
Pravda and communists often completely changed their "Party Line" whenever needed to advance their political goals. They did it without acknowledging or explaining the changes. They did it without ever admitting they had been mistaken or that their opponents had been right before. George Orwell described this in his novel 1984 when he said: "Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right."
For the past two years, the New York Times; the Democrat party; "woke" corporations; the media; and social media giants Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter all faithfully followed "The Science" when responding to COVID-19. That "Science" was whatever was announced or ordered by Dr. Fauci and other public health bureaucrats associated with the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These Democrats and their institutions all denounced anyone who publicly disagreed with the CDC. They all cheered the punishments of anyone who refused to comply with CDC-recommended orders on masks, quarantines, shutdowns, bans on public gatherings, and vaccinations.
As recently as Feb. 9, the New York Times published an opinion column by Thomas Friedman denouncing Joe Rogan. Rogan had interviewed Dr. Robert Malone on one of his podcasts on Spotify five weeks earlier. In that interview, Malone discussed well-documented problems with masks, shutdowns, RNA vaccines, and big drug companies using undue influence to block effective treatments and discredit legitimate experts. Dr. Malone also suggested that reliance on natural immunity and early treatments with ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) were better ways to fight COVID in some instances.
Friedman called Rogan "shameful" for spreading "misinformation," which he blamed for causing nationwide suffering and death. Friedman did not dispute anything Dr. Malone or Joe Rogan said. He denounced them for not mentioning three statistics from the CDC that Friedman thought were of utmost importance. Although Friedman said Rogan and the executives of Spotify had the "right" to "free speech," he praised 1960s protest singer Neil Young for doing everything he could to ruin them for exercising that right.
However, just two days later, on Feb. 11, the New York Times prominently presented an almost opposite point of view by David Leonhardt. It criticized the CDC and the idea that "Science" has monolithic answers to how we should deal with COVID. It concluded that we needed "conversation" instead.
That article began by pointing out that most Americans routinely ignore the recommendations of the CDC. It said we do that every time we eat a medium-rare hamburger or lick the spoon from a bowl of raw cookie dough. This is because "public health, like the rest of life, usually involves trade-offs."
"If you want to minimize the risk of getting sick from food, you probably need to eat less tasty food. If you want to minimize your chance of dying today, you should not get inside a vehicle. If you want to minimize your children's chance of going to an emergency room, don't allow them to ride a bike or play sports."
The article also recognized that "many" coronavirus questions "are complicated" and that "the current stage of the pandemic presents its own set of hard choices and tradeoffs."
The New York Times article failed to mention the small risk of serious illness or death to young, healthy people from the coronavirus. It also failed to mention the Johns Hopkins study finding that lockdowns did little to slow the spread of the COVID-19. However, it did admit that mask mandates, restrictions on gatherings, and school closings "can also lead to mental health problems, lost learning for children, child-care hardships for lower-income families, and isolation and frustration that have fueled suicides, drug overdoses, and violent crime."
The article recognized that policies must change when facts change and that "CDC officials tend to react slowly to changing conditions and to view questions narrowly."
It also said they often "urge caution in the service of reducing a specific risk...and sometimes miss the big picture."
So how should Americans deal with the coronavirus? The New York Times article concluded, "The answer will not spring from Science." It said that we Americans need a "conversation" about it.
That makes a lot of sense. Benjamin Franklin praised the benefits of such conversation 300 years ago when he wrote, "By the collision of different sentiments, sparks of truth are struck out, and political light is obtained."
This is exactly what Joe Rogan did when he interviewed Dr. Robert Malone last January. But how can we have a "conversation" if the New York Times and some most powerful people in America do whatever they can to ruin anyone who expresses a different point of view?
Is there now genuine disagreement within the New York Times and the Democrat party over how to deal with COVID-19 and people like Joe Rogan? Or are we seeing a typical change in the "party line" as described by George Orwell?
One more thing is worth mentioning. If the Democrat Party and its allies are now willing to tolerate real conversations on the "science" of coronavirus, are they also willing to tolerate real conversations on the "science" of "climate change"?