quarta-feira, 1 de março de 2023

We Told You the Truth about Covid (and a Whole Lot More)

Jim Geraghty

On the menu today: Day after day, week after week, unscrupulous actors in the world of politics pelt you with a hurricane of BS and try to get you to believe that two plus two equals five. A big part of the mission of National Review is to insist — early, loudly, and frequently — that no matter how ardently they insist it adds up to five, that the truth is that it adds up to four, and no amount of demonization or name calling changes the facts.

Photo: Thomas Peter/Reuters

As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Wrote: ‘Live Not by Lies’

The theme of our current webathon is “combatting left-wing lies.”

Hey, remember when NPR reported in April 2020 that “scientists” had “debunked” the lab-leak theory? Remember when the Washington Post called the lab-leak theory a “debunked” “conspiracy theory”? Remember when Apoorva Mandavilli, a reporter covering Covid-19 for the New York Times, contended that the lab-leak theory was a racist conspiracytheory? As they used to say in that late ’90s Saturday Night Live parody of NPR, “Good times, good times.”

The George Orwell quote, “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle” is almost a cliché in journalism circles by now. But we get it, don’t we? As the world of news became an increasingly discordant cacophony, it became clearer and clearer that if you followed politics, national events, or the world stage, you’d run into a lot of shameless liars.

I don’t mean differences of opinion, exaggerations, understandable errors while speaking off the cuff, or predictions that later proved erroneous. I mean just flat-out two-plus-two-equals-five versions of wrong. I’m talking about things such as:

·         John Fetterman’s doctor declaring, shortly before the lone debate in last year’s Pennsylvania Senate race, that he “has no work restrictions and can work full duty in public office.”

·         There are people who want you to believe that an octogenarian president has no significant restrictions on his ability to perform his duties. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed that Biden has so much energy she “can’t even keep up with him.” Our eyes and ears tell us otherwise.

·         Karine Jean-Pierre also recently claimed that Florida governor Ron DeSantis wanted to block “the study of Black Americans.” Florida state law requires the teaching of African-American history; what DeSantis objected to was the portions of the draft of the proposed AP African-American studies curricula obtained by National Review that contended that color-blindness is a form of covert racism.

·         The president defended his keeping classified documents in boxes near his Corvette at one of his Delaware houses because, “My Corvette is in a locked garage. Okay? So, it’s not like they’re sitting out in the street.” That does not come anywhere near the requirements for making a site secure for the storage of classified documents under the law. Biden also insisted that, “People know I take classified documents and classified material seriously,” after investigators found four separate batches of classified materials in four separate insecure places.

·         Biden boasted, “We literally cut the federal debt in half by $1.4 trillion.” He did not do this literally or figuratively; the debt is $24.6 trillion.

·         Vice President Kamala Harris insisted in October that, “We have a secure border in that that is a priority for any nation, including ours and our administration.” A declaration that a secure border is a priority is not the same as actually securing the border. If the border were secure, fewer migrants would be trying to cross it; U.S. Customs and Border Protection would not be regularly experiencing more than 200,000 encounters per month.

·         President Biden warned that voting laws in Georgia and elsewhere amounted to “Jim Crow 2.0,” and “an atrocity.” And then that state had record turnout in the midterm elections, and a University of Georgia survey found that zero percent of black respondents said their voting experience in Georgia was poor in the 2022 midterm election. Around 73 percent of black and white voters alike said their voting experience was excellent.

·         Remember the contention in the Indianapolis Star that, “One of Buttigieg’s primary qualifications for a cabinet role is that he was the mayor of South Bend”? We were right to be skeptical!

·         Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer insisted that the spy balloon traversing the entire continent was a “humiliation for China,” not the United States, even though General Glen VanHerck, the commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, said of past balloon incursions: “I will tell you that we did not detect those threats. And that’s a domain awareness gap that we have to figure out.” Wait, which country was humiliated again?

·         Remember when the Chinese government was cited as a role-model for Covid-19 public-health responses — that China had “beat the virus and roared back,” as the New York Times put it? We knew China’s official numbers had no relation to what was actually happening on the ground!

·         President Biden asserted that January 6 rioters’ chants somehow motivated or triggered the nutjob who attacked Paul Pelosi, instead of focusing on the consequences of several successive law-enforcement failures involving that nutjob.

·         Maxine Waters praised Sam Bankman-Fried for being so “candid,” shortly before he was arrested and charged with defrauding investors, wire and securities fraud, and conspiracy to circumvent campaign-finance regulations.

·         Does the New York Times follow “the lead of far-right hate groups in its coverage of trans issues”? An irate group of activists wants you to believe that.

·         Even after independent, non-conservative journalism institutions such as the New York Times and the Washington Post verified the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called it the “half-fake laptop story.”

·         Everyone who assured you that your data was safe on TikTok? They lied, too.

·         Randi Weingarten and other teachers’ union officials now talk about year-long school closures as this unforeseeable disaster for children’s education, as if she and her allies hadn’t led the fight to keep schools closed in late 2020 and almost all of 2021.

And those are just the recent lies; before then, the president assured us that the surge of migrants at the border was a routine seasonal pattern, that the Afghan army was well-trained and well-equipped and deserved our confidence, that we wouldn’t see helicopters evacuating people from the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan, that inflation was transitory, that the U.S. would not enter a recession, that the supply-chain crisis didn’t occur, that Covid testing would be easy and plentiful last winter, and that the infant-formula shortage would get resolved quickly. This is all separate from Biden’s implausible and in some cases indisputably falsified tales — that he used to drive a tractor trailer; that he was arrested protesting for civil rights; that he was arrested trying to see Nelson Mandela in prison and that Mandela later thanked himthat he was shot at in Iraq; that he personally confronted Slobodan Milosevic; that former Israeli prime minister Golda Meir wanted him to be her liaison to Egyptians about the Suez Canal; that as a high-school and college student, he went to both Catholic Mass and services in a black church every day, and so on.

NR has a whole regular feature, Forgotten Fact Checks, in which it remembers that Biden and his top officials contended that Border Patrol agents on horseback had whipped Haitian migrants crossing the border, that Representative Ilhan Omar claimed she “wasn’t aware of the fact that there are tropes about Jews and money,” that certain journalists and elected officials claimed shadow-banning of Twitter accounts was a conspiracy theory, and so on.

A few days ago, I pointed out that the rambling hosts of The View regularly dish up as much disinformation and misinformation as any demonized social-media network. Charlie has regularly showcased the spectacularly shameless lies of Rebekah Jones, the disgraced fabulist who was fired from the Florida Department of Health for insubordination and other assorted lunacy.

You can find figures on the right who lie, too, and NR calls them out as well. It turns out that Sean Hannity never believed President Trump’s claim that Dominion rigged tabulation machines to “steal” the 2020 election from him. But Hannity said the opposite on air. We call out the former president’s lies, stirring up a hornet’s nest among his loud contingent of remaining diehard supporters. And then there’s the notorious George Santos.

Of course, the mainstream media and its self-appointed fact-checkers do a pretty thorough job of calling out Republican officials’ and prominent conservatives’ lies. They just seem to lose interest and motivation when it comes to Democratic officials and prominent progressives. Sure, they do it now and then, but it often feels like their hearts aren’t really into it. As the Times gently put it, “Biden, Storyteller in Chief, Spins Yarns That Often Unravel.” Like the commander in chief is Aesop or something.

Have you noticed that a lot of people lie to you shamelessly? Every day, someone tries to pelt you with a new hailstorm of BS. Week after week, some particularly unscrupulous, ambitious players in the world of politics try to convince you to believe that two plus two equals five.

They do this so that you’ll get angry at the other party, or keep voting for them and their allies, or ignore their scandals, or believe that they’re the only ones who can fix the problem. They often want to paint common sense as extreme, and the extreme as common sense. I think in some cases, like the president, they prefer to live in a golden-hued alternate fantasy world where they are always right about everything and their critics are always wrong.

I would say they do it because they want you to send them money, but I am laying all of this out in the context of a webathon asking you to donate to support us, so that could get awkward.

Correcting and debunking lies isn’t the only thing we do at National Review, but it’s a big part of what we do. And I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say what we do is needed in this country.

Thus, the webathon, in which we ask for donations. You can also subscribe — right now, it’s $24 for a year’s print subscription, $40 for a year of NRPlus digital, and $52 for a year of both. That’s a buck a week for both the print magazine and everything on the website — with no paywall, fewer ads, and invitations to exclusive NR events. Or heck, maybe advertising in NR is something that would interest you or your company.

ADDENDUM: Say, this statement from FBI director Christopher Wray feels like the sort of thing that should warrant a press conference and as much explanation as possible, not an off-the-cuff statement during an interview with Fox News anchor Bret Baier:

The FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan. Let me step back for a second. The FBI has folks, agents, professionals, analysts, virologists, microbiologists, etcetera, who focus specifically on the dangers of biological threats, which include things like novel viruses like Covid, and the concern that in the wrong hands, a hostile nation-state, a terrorist, a criminal, the threats that those could pose. Here, you’re talking about a potential leak from a Chinese government-controlled lab that killed millions of Americans, and that’s precisely what that capability was designed for. I should add that our work related to this continues, and there are not a whole a lot of details I can share that aren’t classified. I will just make the observation that the Chinese government, it seems to me, has been doing its best to try to thwart and obfuscate the work here, the work that we’re doing, the work that our U.S. government and close foreign partners are doing, and that’s unfortunate for everybody.

I suppose I shouldn’t complain. I’ve been saying, “Welcome to the party, pal,” to others regarding the lab-leak theory since April 2020 or so, so the FBI director coming out and saying that the lab leak is the “most likely” origin is just about miraculous.

Now I finally get to say: “Theo, you ask for miracles, I give you the FBI.”

Jim Geraghty, National Review, March 1, 2023 10:23 AM

Dr. Fauci Comes Clean on Vaccines and Respiratory Viruses
Lula e a esquerda não suportam a liberdade de expressão e por isso querem censurar a internet 
Quem quer nos escravizar? 
Google quer inocular as pessoas contra a desinformação. 
‘A imprensa precisa escutar as pessoas’, diz Alexandre Garcia 

Um comentário:

  1. Atenção, pelotão... vamos enfiar essas nossas máscaras na bunda.
    Aparecido Raimundo de Souza
    Lagoa Rio


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